Open Source Education

Googling Towards ePortfolios

ePortfolios are a high-cost, high-risk, and high-return pattern to adopt.  Although the State of New Hampshire (ambitiously) required all public schools to adopt ePortfolios by a common deadline, not all schools were (or are) ready for that level of technology integration into instruction and assessment.

ePortfolios in New Hampshire

Digital portfolios are mandated for public schools in New Hampshire, with two generally understood purposes:

Devotion to the Time Being

The Kaiser Family Foundation's recent survey of teen media use found that:

Today, 8-18 year-olds devote [emphasis mine] an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). 

I am struck by the KFF's use of the word "devote" here - it seems out of place.  "Devotion" implies (to me) a reverence for the time of one's life and the use of it for higher purposes.  More likely, I reckon KFF's survey kids "found themselves spending time with" media - they did not "devote themselves" to it. 

How Learning Organizations Handle Mistakes

Most of of Liza Kindred's Lullabot Case Study will interest only Lullabot fans, but 9 minutes in, she tells a story that makes a great subject for an Open Source Education post.

In brief: a key Lullabot employee makes a small data import error late at night that causes huge legal problems.   She fixes the problem and waits for a "you're fired" call from one of the partners, Matt Westgate.  The call comes:

E-School News Roundup: May, 2010

I once wrote a blog post castigating eSchool News for a tendency to view technology as the solution to all school problems.  The line between "how can technology help schools achieve their mission" and "students love computers, so the more schools use computers the better they will be" is not always guarded, particularly when corporate press releases are loosely disguised as news.

The Transition from Bureaucracy to Learning Organizations

Traditional American public schools are bureaucracies (Max Weber), the best are learning organizations (Peter Senge), and most are in a transitional form between the two. I believe that the structure of open source communities, like Drupal, can inform this transition.


Google Alert Results

For two months, I rand Google Alerts for "Open Source Education" and "Open Source Schools". 

Almost all posts concerned SOFTWARE (adopting open source operating systems and applications), not CULTURE (values and models for school organizations), with the sole exception of posts like these by Miles Berry:

Bravo, Education Week

Keeping Up: EdWeek E-Blasts

It took me about an hour to go through all the relevant articles and resources that came to my email today from Education Week.  I hope this doesn't keep happening...

It's important to stay abreast of what's happening, of course, and helpful to rely on a publication to do the initial searching and sifting. Before the blogosphere, I would just pick one or two sources and read every issue (it was Education Week and ESchoolNews back then, I think). 

OLI and Curriculum Maps

What does the open source model offer to our schools?

"Open source" means more than "people can change it" and "free to use".

There's something also wonderful about the culture of open source organizations: the way communities form, establish norms, build systems, and induct new members, all for joy of sharing and contributing to a collective effort.

I think schools could be more like this, and this blog will be that exploration.

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