Wednesday, October 03, 2012

DeFT OER conference

I've been on leave for a while, but back in time for the DeFT project conference which was a raging success! I'm sure there'll be more about the day on the project blog, but this is just to give a preview of Jack's excellent video record of the day and to capture a few things that might otherwise be forgotten. For me, an important message was the imperative to change practice in an environment in which changing policy might be more challenging. At the very heart of what we've been doing is encouraging active learning in which pupils and students produce and consume new meanings with technology. I've observed that the extent to which old or new literacies were used in project activity varied enormously, but was always there as teachers and their pupils merged the online/offline, teacher/learner, home/school, in-classroom/out-of-clasroom spaces. And they all exemplified safe, ethical and advantageous practice which invariably opened opportunities for critical digital literacies. OERs seem to me to have an important part to play in taking this work forwards. There are two important aspects of this: firstly, OERs foster the kinds of participation that are intimately connected with the 'mindset' and practices of web2.0 and digital literacies in that they enable us to personalise, remix, and add to knowledge and secondly,  in a rapidly changing environment in which resources and practices are fluid and ephemeral, they offer the possibility of regular updating and new forms of sharing. But beyond all this, there may be a deeper, political edge - in a time in which education is increasingly marketised, constrained and reduced, the open participative ethos of these environments may assist grassroots connection between teachers who are all too often separated by sector, by region, and by national boundaries.

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