The big picture

Week 3: Reflections on #OpenEdMOOC and stock space footage

Have you noticed that every video Stephen Downes posts for #OpenEdMOOC has a moving space-theme for a background? I have, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Stephen Downes: Open Course 3

First, I want to know where this stock space footage is coming from so I can  project it, in a loop, on my living room wall. Beyond curiosity and party tricks, I think there is design at work here. I wonder if Stephen is provoking us think bigger – beyond our lives and our context. 

I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity this week to take part in a panel speaking with delegates from the Open University of China. With the help of an extremely talented translator we had a meaningful conversation about learner needs. Delegates from the OUC wanted to know how to better engage and understand their 3 million students. That number alone was enough to give me pause. Our world looks so different from theirs, and yet, we have exactly the same goals.

When I told them that all of the results of our @SXDLab would be openly licensed they were very happy. Class size and culture aside, they wanted to know how 22 Canadian students were rethinking and redesigning their learning experience. Maybe OUC will take that work and adapt it for their context. They can teach us a thing or two about operating at scale.

This is all a reminder that open licensing remains a simple and elegant solution to keep connected in a world (a universe!) as diverse and unique as ours. All of the other alternatives seem unnecessarily complicated and short-sighted. Cultivating the commons is a social process. The more we engage, the better we are.

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