OpenCourseWare: OpenYourMindware

OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a

“free and open digital publication of high-quality university level educational materials, including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams”  

according to the University of California at Irving website.  

In other words, OCW is educational material available to learners, students and teachers across the globe… for free. 

At MIT, http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm
on the MITOpenCoureseware site, free lecture notes, videos and exams are offered for free with no registration required. They currently have 1900 courses available on the web. 

Check out the Utah State University list of courses and you’ll find a wide range of academic courses as well as extension courses such as landscaping, turf management, irrigation and vegetable gardening.  

What’s the catch? 

You can learn for free. You can educate yourself on your time schedule. You can enjoy the process of learning. You can enrich your mind.  You will not receive a degree; however, you will receive an amazing education. 

To find a course from any OCW institution, go to www.ocwconsortium.org/use/use-dynamic.html and enter your selection.

It’s like eating from a buffet table; you get to pick and choose, taste a bit of this and a taste of that.  And once you find the item (or course) that you totally consume and seek out again and again, you’ll be years ahead of the other paying students who are struggling to find out what they want to do once they graduate (besides pay back a huge loan)!

Getting an education before you head off to college may be the best thing you can do. Check out a few courses from several institutions.  Are you engaged? Do you want to learn more?  You decide. At your own pace …

What fun!

Build a Book Online

Here is another great blog I read that links you to an amazing tool where you can build your own book.

This could be a class project, an indiviual assignment, a gift, a dream goal.  Take a look at this site and if you think of other possibilites, let me know.

Here is another example of free technology that can be used as a teaching tool!

Check it out at Stepping Stones: Building a Book Online

Thanks so much!

Treasure Trove of links, sites, resources and mucho mas!

esources

I found some sites today with tons of links to educational resources.

This one: Support Blogging
Support blogging has list of blogs educational blogs.
Included on this page are blogs by:

· Librarians
· Teachers
· Principals
· Psychologists
· Administrators
· Professors
· Parents

Not all the links work but most of the do –time to check it out!

And All Things Web 2.0 is a comprehensive list of 2.0 choices and possibilites on the web. You’ll want to check them out and bookmark them for future reference — good luck!

Baby Face… what will the baby face when’s he’s ready for college?

The student will be the teacher!What will college look like to my grandson? Will he be required to find his building, show up for an 8 am class, try not to yawn, pay $200+ for a dirty, used textbook? Or will he be able to set his alarm for the web conference that he organized and set up as part of a group project? Will his education include hosting classes, taking tours, talking about art found in world famous museums, inviting artists and lectures and reading text that others have written?

Will college degrees still be necessary in the year 2030? What significance will they hold?  What do they hold now? A degree doesn’t equal a job. A degree means (hopefully) that some learning took place and lots of jumping through the hoops. The jobs are going to those who can immediately apply what they learned .. and offer a service we need.  I’ve needed the service of an auto mechanic lately but rarely have I checked the yellow pages for someone with a literature or history degree. This is the beauty of community colleges. They have smaller sized classes where students can learn and apply their learning right away.

At the community college I attended Onondaga Community College (OCC) the first semester was classroom learning and the second semester, I was in the field! My classmate, Peggy, finished at OCC then went to Syracuse University to earn her BA in Human Services. As a junior, those students were just beginning their field work — 5 semesters into their degree. At OCC, we were active in our 2 semester. The beauty behind that was if it wasn’t a good fit, we were able to jump to a different field and continue towards our degree.

My generation will still need the same services that we need now — but will we need to have a degree after it? What if the Gwebbers refuse to buy into the degree ploy? What if they educate themselves on the web and forgo the degree? What if they look at their parents and realize the hole mom and dad dug by getting an education yet, they remained unemployed with a HUGE college loan to repay? In this article, A Virtual Revolution is Brewing for Colleges, the author asks how it will look, what will change?

I think it has already changed. High School students are entering college and EXPECTING their professors to be using technology. Many teachers are struggling to get their classes loaded using the same text and syllabi they use in the classroom — which we all know is a BIG mistake.  Online need to be interactive, concise and up to date. Students already access multiple forms of media simultaneously– cell phones, IM, email, I-pods, and twitter all while they are in a classroom. What magic act can get and hold their attention enough to teach them a new lesson?  Whatever act is used, each time it must be new, fresh and full of sparkle.

When I was a child I played with paper dolls, balls, hide and seek, Chutes and Ladders.  All of the toys my grandson has includes lights and sounds.   The plastic laptop says the alphabet, the cell phone says “Hello Friend”, Winnie the Pooh walks and talks, the farmer and his slow moving wagon sings and each of the 4 animals in the wagon say their sound… “Moo, Arrf, Baaa, Meeow”. To keep him still while I try to change his diaper, I hand him my cell phone. I only need 90 seconds to change him but in that time, his tiny fingers are glued to one number … and my speed dial is in action.

The educational system needs to change and keep pace with the technological revolution. Our kids and grandkids are fine-tuned to learn but in a different context from the classroom and a lecture hall. What are the colleges doing to prepare for the new wave of kids?

E-Learning: Finding bookmarks

I found a great site today – Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day. The site is full of excellent links to other sites and some great bookmarks. Thanks Jane!

And since posting are always more interesting with a photo, I found a great one of some elk I took in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday.Elk in estes park

Global Cafe

Elearning Blogs list, Global Cafe, Global Learning, GWeb195,

The internet is full of answers… to questions not yet formulated.  When searching for ELearning Blogs, I found a page with a list of 19 of the Best eLearning Blogs —at Word of Mouth. Each blog offers some insight, information and commentary on eLearning. The authors are knowledgeable, approachable and helpful. More to come!

Global Web 195 aka GWEB195

 The perception of education is changing.  Web 2.0 is the current classroom and our children in middle and high schools are clearly the teachers. What will college have to offer them when they are old enough to attend? Soon, the Global Web will replace Web 2.0 and all 195 countries will be participants. 

Staying connected and learning from each other is already happening. Our kids communicate through texting, twitter, emails, myspace, facebook, cell phones, blogs, videos, IM, and much of this occurs on devices the size of their palms.  And as they get younger, those palms get smaller and smaller… soon they will be able to communicate without the devices.   What classroom will be able to engage them like they are currently engaged?  

The Global Web 195 or GWEB195 will break all the rules because they don’t fit anymore. Universities will be a thing of the past as our children and their children realize that learning is the end result, not the degree.