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We can see at the web that humans leverage information, act as information broker, provide support and help each other, create and remix things, tag them, question them, improve them, and ultimately do this for a particular reason be it learning, work or fun… And IMO they are doing a fairly good job on this.

A simple bulletin board can be turned into a vivid learning community, as long as there is a motivation and reason for a diverse group to engage at it.

We have already for quite some years all those free tools at hand, but yet we haven’t managed to apply them in the right way. If we are to “go open”, and not just use “open” as the trendy word it became, we might need to understand first how the web works and what’s proven to work out well and to create similar conditions within an educational setting and than keep on going to improve and enhance it step by step.

But you might have taken this all into consideration and it is just me being scared by the wording or the way I interpret them, which gives me the idea that the focus is once again on new technologies.

Best, Andreas

5. davidmcquillan - october 20th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Hi all,

I’m interested to know how open SocialLearn is.

Will it be available for the students of other institutions to use?

6. martin weller - october 21st, 2008 at 1:48 am

@Ken - I think disaggregation may come in many forms. You can view current higher education as a convenience bundle: it puts together content (lectures, selected books/articles), support, assessment, and a cohort to study with. That’s quite a powerful bundle and worth paying for. But elements of it begin to fray - content for example can be easily found and assembled (but the sequencing is still valuable), support could be paid for as you need it (PhD students offering it online for $20 an hour), and a cohort could be assembled on the fly (think the neighborhood in LastFM). Assessment, in a form that is recognised by society, is probably the key component holding these together - society still knows what a degree is. But if that became unbundled you could see how the other elements might be picked off - both by businesses, but also by technology. I’m not proposing this as desirable, just a possibility now in a way that it wasn’t before.

@Andreas - you make an interesting point, openness is a state of mind, not a shiny new technology. But I’d argue that the technology is partly how you realise that state of mind. In the case of sociallearn the aim is to allow you to integrate these simple existing technologies in a learning context. Also, as you suggest, there are elements of the business and/or pedagogic model that are currently not realised, so the project is simultaneously trying to implement these/

@david - the idea is that it’s open to anyone to use, but also that other institutions may take and install a customised version.

7. ken udas - october 21st, 2008 at 9:16 am

I have been giving some significant thought to the idea of independent learners “scratching an itch,” as Andreas describes it, the notion of disaggregation, and openness as a pedagogical intent. My thoughts have been further stimulated by an email I received from my daughter last week. She is 14 years old, is living in a Scandinavian country and has shown aptitude and interest in science. She has identified an intellectual itch to take upon herself “independent study” of biology and turned to the MIT Open Courseware site for some content and some structure for a course of study.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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