I am a few months into my fellowship and happy to provide an update on the project status so far. Reception to the project has been somewhat positive so far, and yet participation in the survey has not met my intended target for participation yet. I am hoping there will be further chances to promote the survey in the coming months. In any case, this is work I will continue to do as I engage with teacher candidates to promote open approaches to learning design.  

In April I had the chance to share the project idea and early research at the OER22 conference. The conference was well designed to support face-to-face, live synchronous online, and pre-recorded sessions. I presented via the latter, creating a video that was shared during the conference and is now accessible to all for watching on demand. If you would like you can access the video:

As a result of this presentation, I made a few interesting contacts who shared an interest in the area of open education in K12 education. Dan McGuire messaged me via Twitter to have a conversation about this topic, and we had an interesting Zoom session debating the merits of introducing open education to new and emerging teachers. Dan suggested that new teachers should have a clear understanding of open educational resources that can be used in their specific subject area and grade level – how to find them, how to revise them, and implement them in instruction before trying to tackle what is meant by ‘open education’ or ‘open practice.’ While I suggested that new teachers must be able to move beyond recognizing and using open content to understand new pedagogical practices enabled by open education and the foundations required to engage openly. As such, teachers need training that goes beyond open content, and includes open technologies and open pedagogical approaches. We have decided to submit this topic to the OpenEd conference happening later this year. We intend to structure this session as an interactive conversation with audience members. The main presenters will each make their case and invite audience participation in the debate around how best to engage new or emerging teachers with open education. The proposal is currently in review, but I will share widely if/when we are accepted at the conference.

I am learning that there is lots of interesting work happening at the intersection of open education and K12 teacher training. I noted several presentations at OER22 ‘Refreshing the STEM narrative; OEP in STEM pedagogy for preservice teachers’, ‘The Open Pedagogy Project Roadmap: A Resource for Planning and Sustaining Open Educational Practices’, and, of course, Viviane’s work on ‘Investigating the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and or Open Educational Practices (OEPs) by public basic education teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic’. As well at OTESSA22, ‘Building Open Education Resources with Teacher Candidates – Reflections from the Field’. I believe that many of these presentations were given by teacher educators who are integrating openness into their teacher training programs. I have yet to reach out to these folks to learn more.

Several folks reshared the survey (for which I am very grateful!) that I am using to collect the range of perspectives on foundations for open education. This was helpful, and yet I still need more people to engage with the survey, so if you can, I would greatly appreciate your contributions! For now, I can offer a sneak peak into some of the main keywords in each area, collected so far:

  • Technological values and principles – ethical, private, equitable, accessible, open source, pedagogy focused, critically reviewed, interoperable.
  • Pedagogical values and principles – care, equity, learner autonomy, choice, transparent, participatory, valued outputs, authentic, contributing to global knowledge, power sharing.
  • Content/curriculum values and principles – content that supports open learning, democratically constructed, values both expert and beginner, collaboratively created and curated, student involved, relevant, useful, practical.

This provides just a brief overview of the data collected thus far. I will have much more work to do in analysing these responses, once more data comes in. The sense I have from the few responses submitted, is that there is work to do in developing open practices with new and emerging teachers. As well, it is at the confluence of technology, pedagogy, and content that I hope to hone the argument, as I have found it useful to explore openness in each of these areas.

Lastly, I would really appreciate your participation, whether you are in involved in teacher education, faculty/teacher professional development, or interested in open education. The survey should not take more than 3-5 minutes.

For every survey completed, I will be donating $5 CAD, up to a maximum of $1000 to the aid effort in Ukraine. This donation will be made to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.

Click here to complete the survey!

Thank you for your time and insight!

Cover image by Chris Liverani in unplash