Open source learning

Children need boundaries and expect rules. Teaching is necessarily didactic (the teacher will always know more than the pupils).

With adults, the balance changes. Research students should know more than their supervisors; practitioner-students will always have a depth of knowledge on which to draw. In these situations, the teacher becomes more like a conductor than a performer.

This blog has been an experiment in ‘open source learning’, or collaborative ‘we-think‘.

The stats tell the story: a slow-burn in the weeks before the course turning into an explosion of activity as one contributor became many.

Though classrooms are enclosed spaces, we involved a number of outsiders in the teaching which enabled us to broaden our reach.

In the week since the course ended, the visits to the blog have dipped dramatically – but there were still twice as many as before the course began.

In We-Think Charles Leadbeater talks about the blurring lines ‘between expert and amateur, audience and performer, user and producer’. Our class, like our blog, was a mashup involving all of these. The aim was to co-create learning.


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