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Robert Farrow
25 October 2011

As an early follower of the work of MIT on OCW, Kenter believes that paying designers and educators to design good quality materials allows us to make learning accessible to wide audiences.  Recalling her early days in Silicon Valley, with Mozilla, Apple, etc... she expressed the view that those efforts are now starting to bear fruit.

When Obama took office, he posited the view that the USA would strive to have the best educated and most skilled workforce.  But the US is being outdone intellectually by 15 other countries (especially in Asia).  How can we partner with other countries to push knowledge forward and promote democratic values?  COmpetitiveness has to be leveraged!  But what can Washington do to support the Open Education movement systematically?  There is an opportunity to use both public and private markets to push knowledge forward.  The impact of Open Education can be seen in developing countries.  We need to allow faculty to be as creative as they can be.
Over many years, the education system has become a system of micro-bueaucracies, which stifle innovastion.  The OER movement allows for tremendous innovation and creativity.  When the President says he wants the US to have the best education system in the world, it needs to be done through creativity and innovation.
Extending broadband is an important part of improving access to Open Education.  OER content will be repurposed by students and teachers, so there's a lot of added value there.  Research is showing that learning is being improved by the use of OER.
Those engaged in the process of building OER need to be champions in the forthcoming 'request for information', telling the government what is working and why, providing evidence to help shape policies and initiatives in the future.
Approximately 10 million more students completing college by 2020 (4% growth).  Need to improve rentention (lose student every 22 seconds).  Need to articulate pathways for students and inspire them.  Encourage faculty creativity and freedom through open textbooks.
Around the world a number of open universities (nb India, China) are expanding quickly, and that is to be encouraged.  But there will also be private sector innovation.As an early follower of the work of MIT on OCW, Kenter believes that paying designers and educators to design good quality materials allows us to make learning accessible to wide audiences.  Recalling her early days in Silicon Valley, with Mozilla, Apple, etc... she expressed the view that those efforts are now starting to bear fruit.
When Obama took office, he posited the view that the USA would strive to have the best educated and most skilled workforce.  But the US is being outdone intellectually by 15 other countries (especially in Asia).  How can we partner with other countries to push knowledge forward and promote democratic values?  COmpetitiveness has to be leveraged!  But what can Washington do to support the Open Education movement systematically?  There is an opportunity to use both public and private markets to push knowledge forward.  The impact of Open Education can be seen in developing countries.  We need to allow faculty to be as creative as they can be.
Over many years, the education system has become a system of micro-bueaucracies, which stifle innovastion.  The OER movement allows for tremendous innovation and creativity.  When the President says he wants the US to have the best education system in the world, it needs to be done through creativity and innovation.
Extending broadband is an important part of improving access to Open Education.  OER content will be repurposed by students and teachers, so there's a lot of added value there.  Research is showing that learning is being improved by the use of OER.
Those engaged in the process of building OER need to be champions in the forthcoming 'request for information', telling the government what is working and why, providing evidence to help shape policies and initiatives in the future.
Approximately 10 million more students completing college by 2020 (4% growth).  Need to improve rentention (lose student every 22 seconds).  Need to articulate pathways for students and inspire them.  Encourage faculty creativity and freedom through open textbooks.
Around the world a number of open universities (nb India, China) are expanding quickly, and that is to be encouraged.  But there will also be private sector innovation.

As an early follower of the work of MIT on OCW, Kenter believes that paying designers and educators to design good quality materials allows us to make learning accessible to wide audiences.  Recalling her early days in Silicon Valley, with Mozilla, Apple, etc... she expressed the view that those efforts are now starting to bear fruit.

When Obama took office, he posited the view that the USA would strive to have the best educated and most skilled workforce.  But the US is being outdone intellectually by 15 other countries (especially in Asia).  How can we partner with other countries to push knowledge forward and promote democratic values?  COmpetitiveness has to be leveraged!  But what can Washington do to support the Open Education movement systematically?  There is an opportunity to use both public and private markets to push knowledge forward.  The impact of Open Education can be seen in developing countries.  We need to allow faculty to be as creative as they can be.

Over many years, the education system has become a system of micro-bueaucracies, which stifle innovastion.  The OER movement allows for tremendous innovation and creativity.  When the President says he wants the US to have the best education system in the world, it needs to be done through creativity and innovation.

Extending broadband is an important part of improving access to Open Education.  OER content will be repurposed by students and teachers, so there's a lot of added value there.  Research is showing that learning is being improved by the use of OER.

Those engaged in the process of building OER need to be champions in the forthcoming 'request for information', telling the government what is working and why, providing evidence to help shape policies and initiatives in the future.

 

  • Approximately 10 million more students completing college by 2020 (4% growth).  
  • Need to improve rentention (lose student every 22 seconds).  
  • Need to articulate pathways for students and inspire them.  Encourage faculty creativity and freedom through open textbooks.

 

Around the world a number of open universities (nb India, China) are expanding quickly, and that is to be encouraged.  But there will also be private sector innovation.  Working with OECD and UNESCO will help this.  Kenter also noted that work currently taking place in Washington will help to streamline the recruitment process for teachers (which currently includes 400 conditions, including the Myer-Briggs test).  Educators should help to feed into the process and help government to understand which regulatory frameworks would be beneficial.

There will also be new funding opportunities available for producing OERs which will need to be released under a CC licence.  This is how the educational materials of the future will be produced.

Extra content

Rob Farrow has produced excellent notes on this and other OpenEd11 talks - far more comprehensive and thorough than my own notes (made with an Android tablet with which at this stage I had low level of skill getting text to stay in the right place). These 'extra content' bits are simply my reflections and takes on sessions he has already covered. Hope you find them useful.

Biography of Martha Kanter, Under-Secretary of State for Education

Suggest that you watch the video for this and other OpenEd11 talks. David Wiley had amassed an impressive and varied range of keynote speakers. On day one Martha Kanter was one of two who were looking at OER from a political perspective, articulating a strong interest in making this movement work in the domestic arena to address current and future problems in UK education. This is perhaps a sign of the maturity of the OER (or in US 'open content') movement ten years on from the MIT launch - that there is serious external interest in OER not as an abstract concept, but as a normal way of going about education. Based in the UK its hard to associate this level of polutical interest wih the situation here, although the grounds for that interest exist in the UK.

Kanter recalled that the original Apple logo was based on Eve reaching for the apple in the garden of Eden. That is of course the fruit of the tree of knowledge and there was perhaps an inference here that currently too many have restricted access to the fruit of the tree, within the US. She made the point to an audience which (conference being in Utah) was mainly from US, that Singapore was 'out-competing' them in terms of the level of education, that China was soon to have the largest population of English speakers. This has apparently fuelled Washington's thoughts (under Obama administration) that open education has 'a role to play' in addressing this. She was presenting the challenge as one of creating public and private markets that can 'get the knowledge into the hands of everyone'.

What was most impressive is that she - drawing on her background in education - saw OER as a great opportunity to foster creativity in faculty and allow them to exercise that creativity in teaching rather than feeling 'beaten up' by what she called 'cookie cutter curriculum' and 'micro-bureaucracies. She provided the example of teachers being required to complete a Myers-Briggs test as one of over 400 requirements. At a time when markets are growing and changing she saw open content as allowing tremendous innovation and creativity, in contrast to an over-controlled education system which currently allows little autonomy.

There was something of a tension (most notable in the juxtaposition of the two keynotes on Day 2 (Josh Jarrett and Jim Groom) between those speakers who were talking about big projects, funded initiatives and some element of standardisation in OER to move forward and those who were talking about initiatives that started with the action of one educator. The OER movement needs both types of activity and it was interesting that Kanter was expressing the power of the invdividual in exploiting and contributing to open content while also drawing out the significant support at the institional, state and national level.

She mentioned ENTER- an open platform which has government support and in which all resources will have to be licensesd as cc:open. She also referred to the American Graduation Initiative noted in Obama's speed at Macomb Community College in Michiganin 2009. Transctipt. Video (mp4)

The emphsais in these initiatives are on 'getting the best content into the hands of students', recognising that retention is a problem with half of students failing to graduate within 6 years and too many under-prepared students needing remedial material which are out of date. This last point was a recurrent theme, with this conference having much to share about the generation and adoption of open textbooks (see other talks on this).

Other blogs and reviews of this talk at:

http://opensource.com/education/11/10/martha-kanter-and-jim-shelton-us-department-education-open-2011-open-education-confe

http://cain.blogspot.com/2011/10/open-education-conf-keynote-speakers.html

Chris Pegler
10:51 on 31 October 2011 (Edited 10:57 on 31 October 2011)

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