Hewlett OER meeting: first session

March 12, 2008

Cathy Casserly opened the session with the challenge of how to structure contact between Grantees. The meeting here will be extended with a session tomorrow on the Meta-university meeting. Cathy also showed the Michael Wesch Kansas State University video Students Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o and a remixed version of it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln6WUy29fAA released for Martin Luther King day.

 

Joel Smith CMU – opening session

Cathy introduced this as the second major Hewlett grant on OERs. Joel listed famous people from CMU/Pittsburgh.

Considering the growing “ecosystem” of OER workers. Ecosystems are not necessarily things to control – but actually it does need management but of an adaptive style.

 

Keynote: Raj Reddy – reinventing education for the 21st century

Raj ran through the influences on his professional development – Newell, Simon, Anderson, Gibbons. He also mentioned previous work on a PITAC report: using information technology to transform the way we learn. Leading to the “teacher for every learner” challenge. Raj will be working in India on a new Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies. This will try to apply learning principles. Funded with ~$1bn over 6 years and with a 6 year curricula from yr11&12 followed by 4 years undergraduate. Selection based on the California system of selecting the “local best” students to get mix of backgrounds – though all will be from rural backgrounds.

All students get laptops and a gap analysis approach to reinforcing learning through practice. The curriculum includes 1 day, 1 week and 1 month courses with the results available as online open resources. With extra topics introduced by extending the day and giving very little holiday time. Even the spare time is to be filled with activity – the example that he gave was audio books of the English classics. [This sounded worthy but also felt a bit like imposing the outside culture and not a close match to the needs of the students.]

He also flagged up other issues that he has been working on: broadband for Africa, integrated cheap computer/TV/phone, digital books – universal library. These examples cover infrastructure, computer & content.

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