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OER2011 Keynote: Dr. Louise Bay Waters, Superintendent and CEO, Leadership Public School

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Patrick McAndrew
30 March 2011

The keynote for the Hewlett Foundation talked about the impact that an approach based on open source/OER, low cost implementation of high tech ideas. OER and free-text books were said to be “Realistic, cost effective way to … school age readers” across a range of subjects. A good example of going further was the impact of feedback data – in a way I see this could be an example of learning analytics in action – using feedback “clickers” has led to “phenomenal results”. But they cost $400-$1200, which is too much to scale. The extra step is then in moving to open source and redesigning the task to make the best of what the clickers can offer based on using recycled smartphones over wifi.

Massive performance increases were described based on embedding new approaches into schools in challenging areas. Problems are also economic and need to develop a clear benefit for learners.  Start businesses as way to help them. Online approaches help to support learners through the difficult first year of college. The overall approach also spreads the risk by involving several schools in leading different strands to avoid innovations running out of steam and helping exchange ideas.

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