Open Education for Learning e-Skills Ecosystems
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There is a need to constantly facilitate the learning of a dispersed population with bigger agility and speed. What can educational technology, more specific distance education / e-learning combined with open education movement bring to the table?
OER and Open Courseware have already been mentioned (http://daa.ec.europa.eu/content/mass-creation-skills). Here are some more inspiring initiatives and practices of interest.
- Massive Online Open Courses - MOOCs
George Siemens (http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/) and Stephen Downes (http://www.downes.ca/) from Canada launched the first MOOC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course) in 2008 attracting over 1,000 participants world-wide.
- Open Education & Social Learning
David Wiley (http://opencontent.org/blog/) is a open education and OER champion.
Howard Rheingold (http://rheingold.com/) is a social learning and virtual collaboration proponent.
In Europe Erik Duval (http://erikduval.wordpress.com/) and Martin Ebner (http://elearningblog.tugraz.at/) are open education pioneers in higher education.
-3D Virtual Worlds
3D Virtual Immersive Environments can provide the platform for all-round business interactions, and enhanced synchronous learning activities.
3D Platforms such as Second Life have been used effectively to host massive meetings, virtual conferences, for up to thousands concurrent users not just to save massively on time, travel cost and CO2 emissions but also to offer a superior virtual meeting experience that resembles and approaches a real meeting experience.
The Nordic Virtual Worlds Network (http://nordicworlds.net/) is one vibrant community of practice that researches and explores actively this direction.
In this context, I'd like to note we sometimes tend to think that learning = teaching. Sometimes an open learning scheme with minimal structure and interventions could be very effective as Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall experiment has demonstrated (http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/).
How can we combine ideas and practices to build applications in specific e-skills domains?
Does Europe need its own Open e-Skills University? Or a network of institutions to form an Open Learning Ecosystem on e-Skills?
I firmly believe that Europe can and should promote aggressively
- formal and informal open education & e-learning initiatives,
- the formation of sustainable communities of practice and the
- creation and sharing of useful open educational resources.
by utilizing the potential of the aforementioned technologies and beyond.
You are always warmly welcome to join the discussion and share your thoughts and ideas at the open platform of the Digital Agenda Assembly http://daa.ec.europa.eu/