Open Learning is a philosophy of student education that promotes and appreciates the practices of constructivism and connectivism (Grahm, et. al, nd.). At it’s best an Open Learning environment in the K-12 classroom blends face-to-face, computer augmented and use online resources or activities (Harasim, 2011 as cited in Grahm, et. al, nd). This understanding of blended and open learning stands on the belief that knowledge should be free and that students and educators should be able to contribute the collective wealth of knowledge available.
I agree that there are many numerous positive outcomes to blended learning environments and that with clear objectives (teacher created) an open learning experience can be extremely inspirational. In Alaska with our hundreds of villages this is only more apparent. Open learning also helps teachers to fulfill the necessary requirements for technology engagement in the CCSS and likewise the AKSS.
As I began researching safe and reliable sources of information for K-12 teachers to use I ran into a several difficulties. Kahn Academy is one source and we as a family have used it as times to help redirect our own children with their homework. This has stemmed mostly from the “That’s not how my teacher does it” wail of frustration we are often met with around the dinner table. Kahn to the rescue! Somehow when he explains it to our kids all things are right again with the world. But since that resource has already been shared by others I wanted to try and come up with something different.
AKTEACH is an online, homeschool, and blended educational resource that is really starting to take off here in our state with numerous benefits to students and families. Any student can access this resource, however students must be enrolled in the program so it isn’t something families can access independently. However, the benefits for learning our many. Students can take one or all of their courses through this program and can be in traditional brick mortar classroom or be completely home-schooled. To me this program really exemplifies the amount of virtual learning that can take place in our state, especially in regards to STEM learning. If you haven’t checked out this program is worth looking at. As a plus Dr. Grahm will be the keynote speaker at the conference they are hosting next week here in Kodiak! Maybe I will see your Dr. Grahm. (Although I will be attending other PD oppurtunities).
TED Ed is another online educational platform resource that teachers can use to provide access not only to educational videos and resources but also to share teacher and student created animated videos emphasizing learning topics. This platform provides to create their own interactive lessons for classrooms all over the world.
Graham, et. al. (n.d.) Open learning in k-12 online and blended learning environments. Retreived from: https://www.academia.edu/10311797/Open_Learning_in_K-12_ Online_and_Blended_Learning_Environments