Open Access

So this week’s open learning activities ran parallel to my personal start into investigation of a potential topic for my PhD (Needless to say, I am overwhelmed but academically so it is a good thing).  My ideas are running rampant and so is my anxiety haha but they tend to fuel one another so I cannot really complain.

As for this week’s topic, I am frustrated. I have much to learn and that is more than apparent. However, my frustration is … why does higher education cling to the remnants (and they are remnants – the way we do things are changing whether we like it or not) of past traditionalist research views and publishing methods. This whole “forward-thinking” side of me has only just developed on this end! I liked my old ways and I still do but they are becoming irrelevant and one thing I hate even more than change is being left behind and consequently irrelevant – so here I am! I’m extremely uncomfortable but I am more excited despite my discomfort. Now that I have educated myself on the way the digital age works and I better understand it, I feel like the guy in the Matrix when he took the pill – oh, the possibilities! The power of crowd and connectivity is incomprehensible! So, how do we get other people on board (without forcing or bribing them LOL)?

I leave you with this, we ran out of time with Peter Suber earlier this week but I am interested in what people have to say… I wanted to ask, “How do we encourage a move of higher education from conventional methods of publishing to OA? (not to mention a complete rework of the education framework of incentives, etc.) My question comes from reading Robert A. Reiser’s (2001) A History of Instructional Design and Technology (Part I & II). He tells of the unfortunate inability of education to adopt and allow technologies to reach their full potential. Academia never seems to use them to their full potential and they eventually fall by the wayside. How can we circumvent this?

Let’s give them something to talk about…

Okay, so that wasn’t so bad! Actually, it was great. Annotation is basically what I do normally in pdf form on journal articles for my research – so it came naturally. Plus, I like to think and talk so I may have found my outlet. I apologize (because I am Canadian and it is the polite thing to do!) ahead of time. I just write down my thoughts and ideas- and, I promise, you all will get used to my lengthy babbling ideas. The strange part was knowing that it was no longer private. It did involve some self-policing of how and what I chose to say but I attempted to keep it as open and vulnerable as possible – this is me and what I think and people are going to disagree (in which I can gain understanding) or agree (in which I can gain understanding). So, I see participating as transparently as possible as a benefit to developing a better me (and who doesn’t like that???).

Another interesting part of this exercise which peaked my interest was the possibilities of annotations. I come from a Canadian university that back in the early 2000s made the seminar system the only mode of learning for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students to shift away from traditional lecture forms. Seminars gathered in groups of usually 10-15 learners in which the students (me!) were responsible for reading and discussing our way through the material together. The leader of the seminar was only known as a facilitator and gave us guidance from time to time but otherwise, was silent and observant. Eventually, we also facilitated the seminars as well. Annotations remind me of this process but in a new environment. Actually, the entire cMOOC experience reminds me of this so far. Its constructing and building a network of knowledge based on personal understanding and meanings – I find it really cool (plus, I can sit in my pjs with mug of coffee while I learn! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!)


Well, this brings new meaning to adult education! I am currently endeavoring to add myself to a cMOOC hub and … “third time is a charm” or “try, try, try again!” haha. So here I go – *fingers crossed*

A new beginning…

I’ve started into the world of blogging – late. But, better late than never! I have started a new journey as a PhD student. I ask myself, “What have I done?” constantly. However, when I take part in on-campus activities such as VT’s Open Education Symposium, I realize that I know exactly what I have done: Developed a blog and joined a cMOOC (a little crazy for me but, I “press” on!). Looking forward to engaging in the world of Open Learning 19!