Student as Producer, Rethinking Technology (Slides)

Novak and I recently had the opportunity to present twice at this year’s Open Education conference. Overall, the conference was great, and while it was filled with amazing presentations that I’m still mulling over, the true value of the conference was the people, the conversations, and the networks that were formed and re-enforced. Sort of like higher education. But, also sort of like higher education, I’m focusing on content here by posting slides.

Our first presentation was an expanded look at case studies at UBC that have embraced the Student as Producer model. The student as producer model, which came to our attention from work done at the University of Lincoln, emphasizes the role of the student as collaborators in the production of knowledge. In this model, the university’s approaches to learning and research are closer aligned; for example, students, similar to researchers, are asked to share their work beyond the walls of the classroom and not just with their immediate instructor or adviser. There’s a lot of amazing students and instructors at UBC who are doing pretty neat things and it was fun to talk about the approaches and philosophies that support and enable this work:

Our second presentation was entitled “Rethinking Technology’s Role in Sustaining the Future of the University.” My part of the presentation was highlighting a bit of the future trends or issues that are being fretted about and looking at approaches that work. Basically, for me, it comes down to two themes: 1) our systems and management of technologies need to empower and enable all users; and 2) we need technologies that better support open. As Novak’s Law states: The best way to promote a university is to expose the work of its people, including students, staff, and faculty:


Open Badges, Flexible Pedagogies, Hands-On Learning (Slides)

Recently, I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a couple of different sessions with Erin Fields, a librarian at UBC (which continues my ongoing strategy to associate with innovative and passionate people and then integrate myself into their presentations). The first session took place at the CTLT Institute and focused on starting a conversation around how open badges could be used in higher education. My part was a mostly an open badge 101 workshop which built on this overview I had written earlier. The session was also used to help inform the development of a UBC funded project that will be developing a badge infrastructure and framework. More information about that project can be found at, including a nice write up of the workshop. As a side note, there was also a related workshop which focused more on student perspectives of badges and the full notes of that session are worth checking out.

Anyway, here’s the slides from our session:

Erin and I presented again at ETUG and this time we focused on how to integrate some of the innovative pedagogies found in maker culture into classroom teaching. Rather than focus specifically on the making itself, we tried to trace the embedded practices (which, as Audrey Watters notes, involve such radical themes as small group discussion, collaboration, peer-to-peer learning, experimentation, inquiry, curiosity, and play) with effective learning. Erin weaved in educational theorists like Frerie and Papert, while I focused on some of the emerging practice frameworks like Mike Neary’s work on the Student as Producer Model.

Here are those slides:

BCopenEd, Creative Commons, presentation, Student as Producer

The Media & The Message (Slides)

“What we are teaching and the tools we are teaching it with are in dialogue; how we teach can be an example of what we teach.” – Jon Festinger

I recently had the opportunity to give a talk for the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer‘s Communications and Media Articulation Committee (CAMAC). When I was invited, I was given the rather non-specific topic of online education, copyright, and technology – which, to be honest, delighted me as these three areas are often the holy trifecta of open education. The general thread of my presentation was that:

  • The future of education is not about information transmission but about scaffolding learning and knowledge building around information
  • Open licenses (such as Creative Commons) provide a simple solution in contrast to the complexity involved in aspects of copyright
  • Open education resource (OER) adoption and creation provide for the ability to build and improve the scaffolding of learning
  • Open approaches are highly effective methods for enabling this learning
  • The alignment of the student as owner of their learning and as collaborators in knowledge creation (e.g. the Student as Producer Model) is dependent on open approaches and open licenses
  • Open technologies and an alignment with the open internet are necessary to enable effective use of both OER and open pedagogies

Most of this I’ve talked about before but enjoyed compiling some independent aspects into a single talk. Here are the slides from the presentation: