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Slide Notes

Have you ever imagine that you..., yes, YOU...can be the wind of change that blow and spread your knowledge and wisdom to help change the world for the better? Well, if 'anyone can fly' now, almost anyone can also be an educator. This is the digital era — the 21st century — everything is centred around knowledge. One can do wonders with knowledge. The good news is, knowledge is no longer circulated and confined within a limited boundary but it can now transcend across the globe.

"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it"
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), Journalist.

Spreading Knowledge

Published at Nov 18, 2015
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PRESENTATION OUTLINE

SPREADING KNOWLEDGE

    Have you ever imagine that you..., yes, YOU...can be the wind of change that blow and spread your knowledge and wisdom to help change the world for the better? Well, if 'anyone can fly' now, almost anyone can also be an educator. This is the digital era — the 21st century — everything is centred around knowledge. One can do wonders with knowledge. The good news is, knowledge is no longer circulated and confined within a limited boundary but it can now transcend across the globe.

    "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it"
    Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), Journalist.

    REACHING OUT GLOBAL LEARNERS

      This presentation is about the philosophy of open education — the promise of delivering education for all. Access to education in any form is still a challenge is many parts of the world. However, the lack of infrastructure should not be an excuse to limit access to good education. Access to education is a fundamental human right. Everyone, regardless of color, race and socioeconomic status, deserves good education. Not a single soul should be deprived of education — but how do we realize this agenda of providing education for all? Well, now we have the platform, the technology, the tools...all that we need now is the desire to share our knowledge and wisdom — reaching out the global learners. This is about democratizing education in a real sense. This presentation is about the WHAT, WHY and the HOW.
      Photo by dafuriousd

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        We can use education as a platform to nurture the future nation builders. Any good education system is based on three domains: KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS and VALUES.

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            Government around the world are making great effort to raise the standard of education for their people. In the context of Malaysia, various initiatives have been made and are being undertaken by our government to uplift the quality of Malaysian education by revising the policies and teaching practices. This efforts culminated with the launch of The Education Blueprint which aim to adopt new models of 21st century teaching and learning approaches.

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              This effort is very much in line with the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that "Everyone has the right to education" and the UNESCO agenda of "Education for All".

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                It is important to understand the philosophy and the importance of open education before we jump on the bandwagon.

                THE sECRET GARDEN

                  I like to use the metaphor of secret garden because indeed for centuries our classroom is treated like a secret garden — what happens in the classroom remains in the classroom. Knowledge is confined within the physical space. This practice is still prevalent even today. Teachers, by and large, are not taking advantage of technology and online learning, even at the very basic. Many are still sceptical and reluctant to explore or make an attempt to add value in their teaching approach. Maybe time is ripe now for educators to seriously thinking to step out from the confining physical boundary of the classroom.
                  Photo by xsix

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                      With the rapid advancement of information, communication and technology (ICT), the whole world now is wired and connected. In other words, people are constantly communicating with each other, 24/7. At the same time, huge amount of data and information are being generated every second. This is the era of big data. Information is now available at a mouse click or just a touch away. Practically anyone can learn anything, anywhere, anytime! Learning can now happen beyond the classroom. In fact, the WORLD is the GLOBAL classroom!

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                        Want to learn a subject on 'Financial Markets'?Just go to Open Yale Courses and register yourself — free! There are now hundreds (or maybe thousands) of open online courses offered by various platforms and educational institution. Just name a subject, the chances are you can find one.

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                          This is one example —iTunes U — happen to be one of my favorites. This is one of the goldmine of knowledge resources. iTunes U is from Apple but available on various platforms. The site is beautifully designed and the courses are well structured. For motivated learners, learning is a joy and fun with all kind of learning resources available at their disposal.

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                            With the widespread connectivity learning can happen anytime, anywhere. This is the era of 'learning on demand'. One can access the information just-in-case and just-in-time when the need arises. One can learn anything, just enough to serve the purpose of the moment and learning can be personalised and customised to suit individual needs.

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                              With the huge knowledge repository available at our disposal the access to information is no longer confined to the physical boundary of the classroom. This is where the educational institutions can leverage the technology to open and widen access to reach out global learners and realise the notion of 'education for all'.

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                                Although distance education has been around for a long time, MIT was recognised as the trailblazer in the context of global classroom phenomenon. It was in the early 2000 when MIT took the initiative to launch 32 open online courses that reached out thousands of enthusiastic learners globally. UNESCO saw this effort as a platform to accelerate their 'Education for All' agenda and promote the effort to share open educational resources (OER) which led to the UNESCO OER Declaration 2012. Both OCW and OER initiatives later culminated in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The year 2012 marked the phenomenal rise of MOOCs and was touted as 'The year of MOOCs) by New York Times.

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                                    The philosophy behind OER is the notion of 'sharing is caring'. The OER movement is facilitated with the unprecedented advancement of Web 2.0 technology. Free web-based tools and applications (apps) are available to anyone willing to invest time to develop learning materials. These tools and apps are in general so intuitive, allowing even non tech savvy to develop learning materials of reasonably quality. This is supported further by hosting platforms such as YouTube, vimeo, Slideshare, Scribd, etc.

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                                      The proliferation of OER can be attributed to the new model of making learning resources available to the masses. OER is basically based on the concept of 4Rs, namely Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute. This is made possible with the shift from the conventional copyright (All right reserved) to the introduction of open licensing such as Creative Commons (some right reserved).

                                      MOOCs everyone?

                                        A simple google search for 'Massive Open Online Courses' gives a massive 24 million hits. Mind boggling indeed! If the number of hits can be used as a simple measure of popularity then perhaps we can surmise that MOOCs is a phenomenon that have a potential to disrupt education world and will bring about significant impact on achieving 'Education for All' agenda of UNESCO. MOOCs are simply online courses aimed at large-scale (hence massive) participation and open (free) access via internet. MOOCs actually emerged from OCW and OER initiatives and drew on a long and established history of distance education.
                                        Photo by Cikgu Brian

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                                          Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide the unprecedented platforms to disseminate information and knowledge to anybody motivated to learn. MOOCs have been touted as game changer, or some said a disruptive innovation. Indeed, MOOCs may change the way teachers teach and the way students learn. Physical boundary or time is no longer a barrier. Thousands of learners from all walks of life now can register in any course of their interest. This changes the economic of upscaling education to reach a wider audience and elevate it to a new level.

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                                            So as we are riding on the technological marvel of the 21st century — the Internet — it's time now to step out from the boundary of the classroom and reach out the global learners...if we, the educators, wish to remain relevant.

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                                              The number of MOOCs platform (providers) is steadily increasing. Coursera and EdX are now well established. Others are making their mark.

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                                                Humanities, Computer Science and Business Management constitute about half of the MOOCs currently offered on various platforms.

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                                                  MOOCs are now being offered through various providers, the more popular one are Cousera, EdX, Udacity, etc.

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                                                    Money matters aside, I would say the immediate ROI would be learning itself, also the benefit of collaboration and networking. It's a boon for lifelong learners! And if we talk about POSITIONING & VISIBILITY, what a better and convenient way to do it by having our courses (preferably our niches) freely accessible by the masses. That's big enough ROI!

                                                    There is another form of ROI — the improvement in the quality of online courses in the form of structure and delivery. This can happen in two ways: better course design and continuous students and peer feedback. Professors who embark on MOOCs will inevitably be more concious of how they would conduct the course because it will be seen not only by a few thousand students but also peer educators in the same subject matter.

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                                                      I believe MOOCs would prompt many new ideas and innovation that would elevate the quality of education at all levels. As technology and internet penetration increase, the issue of accessability is no longer the barrier. What remains to be addressed is the readiness and willingness among educators to leverage new approaches in their practice. The potential for this model to realise the 'Education for All' is profound but educators and leaders need to roll up their sleeves and work together.

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                                                        MOOCs are still relatively new and evolving. After all, Rome was not built in a day. There are challenges ahead: revenue models, creadentialing, accreditation, course completion rate, student authentication, etc. As research in this area is developing, more data will emerge that would help to address the challenges.

                                                        As Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work". I believe him!

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                                                          The original intention of MOOCs is to provide free access to education but if the providers want to generate revenue from MOOCs there may be several business models that can be adopted.

                                                          Further reading on business model:
                                                          Money Models for MOOCs by Chrysanthos Dellarocas, Marshall Van Alstyne.

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