Friday Conference Sessions

Friday wrapped up the 5th Annual International Symposium for Emerging Technologies for Online Learning. I attended 2 sessons:

LessonSketch: An Online Learning Environment for Mathematics Teacher Education and Development

Conference Link: http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2012/et4online/lessonsketch-online-learning-environment-mathematics-teacher-education-and

lessonsketch.org

This resource is aimed at instructor education. This talk focused specifically on mathematics education. Scenarios can be set up in the flash interface to show different types of students, custom graphics (geometry on the chalkboard, for example), and audio. The resulting videos can be used to spark conversation with how to deal with common errors for particular problems and standardizing education across instructors or institutions. The motivating idea is that these skills area more easily learned through stories and experiences than theoretical readings.

Open STEM Education and Approaches for Maximising Discovery and Learner Impact

Conference link: http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2012/et4online/open-stem-education-and-approaches-maximising-discovery-and-learner-impact

jorum.ac.uk – repository for OER, everything is under Creative Commons

One of the ideas that was hinted at in other talks but expressed more here is that students come in to classes with mixed background, and OERs could be used to ensure that all students have the required basic knowledge for a course.

The talk returned several times to the marketing aspect of OERs. Universities and businesses are posting a couple resources with open access, but charging for remaining materials. Also, some students are opposed to having materials from a course they paid to take posted publicly under Creative Commons. So far, I haven’t encountered much of this, but it was a handy reminder that “open” doesn’t always mean completely “open.”

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