Licenses: Data, Code, Practices

Image of children working on a laptop

Open, but not just about Linux

Licenses can be a dry topic for some but have been key to my teaching. Any of my students and colleagues during the past twenty plus years know me as the teacher who was always pushing the use of Linux, Eclipse, Apache Emacs and other open source tools that use open source licensing. This is an important part of my practice and my tool set and remains so.  Read on to get a view on how my teaching has changed to include more focus on open data and open practices.

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Open Truly Matters to Me

Meme with Katy Perry shouting ¨ I´m Taking A MOOC And I Like It¨

I’m Taking an Open MOOC and I Like It.

An excellent opportunity to take a MOOC “Introduction to Open Education” (also available on the open web at #OpenEdMOOC) on the edX platform appeared on my radar over the summer. I was kicking around for months which platform to leverage for a reset of my #OpenFlip cMOOC which introduces learners to the four pillars of flipped learning with the Flipped Learning Network in collaboration with my institution the Tecnológico de Monterrey. When I landed at the edX page, it suggested this course for me.

The fact that this was led by David Wiley and George Siemens sealed the deal.  Ever since I stumbled across their work a few years ago (more about that below) I have admired the work of both of these pioneers in open education.

You will also notice the ¨redundancy¨ of using Open in the title when it already says ¨MOOC¨. More below.

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Connected and Going Native?

flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Connected Learning

I’m been running a form of connected courses since the January-May 2015 semester here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. I have this tendency to throw a new power tool into my teaching toolbox every January which has been happening for about five years now.  The list of courses I have setup is growing so much that I’m struggling to keep them maintained (see Alan’s tweet about needing an updater) and really should list all of them somewhere on the landing page for kenscourses.com. You can just find the current semester courses there now, go ahead and tweak the URLs to find the past semester.

I think the tool side has matured and is leaving room for more focus on making actual connections. I want to listen more than I want to be heard and that aligns with so much I’ve been reading, discussing and hearing about lately.

August Focus

So what am I focusing on this semester?

More love.

More love for and in teaching and learning.  Amy Collier spoke so well about this in our Virtually Connecting hallway conversation (joined that day by Stephen Downes). Just last week I had a (in-the-flesh) lunch conversation with my colleague Pille here on campus and we found a connection there that institutions (through fear) want to remove so much personal communication between students and teachers when we know that students (and teachers) need personal connections that allow us to feel the confidence and have the strength to struggle at this thing we call learning which can be so messy.

More Listening.

I’m known locally and in my network as the “flipping guy”. That label is descriptive in some ways but limiting in others (like most labels). For me the key to my flipped classroom is the flipping of responsibility for the learning. I talk less and listen more while guiding my students.  I think I’ve done a good job so far but need to push myself to be sure I am listening to the students that don’t have such a strong voice. This came up in another Virtual Connecting (see a pattern?) hangout which involved our first student participant: Andrew Rikard.

More Openness

I recently discovered the HybridPod podcast and gave all eleven episodes a listen while leaving the feed on my phone for further updates. The latest episode was about the concept of Openness in the context of sexual orientation and I applaud Chris Friend and his guests for being open about how important (and scary) that can be in a classroom environment.

Their discussion led me to consider how my sharing and interaction with my students online and in person needs to come from a context of me showing my own vulnerabilities when confronted with something new, uncomfortable or scary.

Lately I have found myself hanging out online with a group of educators that frankly intimidates me (see Bonnie‘s reply below). This is a new group and I’m the new kid on the block. I don’t know the language (all of my education is in computing science, not education) but I can be aware of my own deficiencies while also being aware of my strengths.

Going Native?

When the pendulum swings from teacher focus to student focus I wonder if my diving to deep into active participation will lead to a danger of going native? We’ll find out as I try to spend more time in the habitats of the Tec student.

flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Thanks for People

Thanks Laura for pushing me to get a post out. You do amazing work (and intimidate the heck out of me) and I appreciate that. I love all the people that go out of their way to spend little moments of their day to help others.

Join the Discussion

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