Learning Creative Learning – interesting new open online course by peer-to-peer university and the MIT Media Lab

February 4, 2013 in Freedom to learn

The Peer-to-peer university (p2pu) has worked with GIZ’s Academy for international Cooperation (AIZ, where I work) last year on “Selbstlernen”. Now p2pu and the MIT Media Lab are experimenting with a new course approach on “Learning Creative Learning“. It’s being organized as a massive open online course, meaning everyone is invited to join. The organizers have asked to “tell your friends about it”. Which is what I do with pleasure, copying below the course announcement by p2pu. Cheers, Balthas Seibold

“Learning Creative Learning is an online course for designers, developers and educators. Offered by the MIT Media Lab & yours truly, the folks at P2PU. It’s based on a course Mitch Resnick teaches at the Media Lab. And now it’s online for the first-time through a collaboration with P2PU. That’s pretty cool. You learn a whole lot about learning. And because learning (and learning about learning) is more fun with other people we’ll group you with other students, so you can share ideas, give each other feedback, and make new friends. Each week we’ll focus on a particular topic related to creative learning, such as “Interest-Based Learning” or “Powerful Ideas” or “Tinkering.” We’ll host a panel discussion, inviting some of the world’s best thinkers and builders to join us in person or online. You’ll be able to suggest questions beforehand and follow along live (or watch it later). We’ll also design a hands-on activity for each week that you can tackle on your own or in a group (more fun!). You’ll get a chance to experiment with lots of different technologies and projects. More information: http://info.p2pu.org/2013/01/29/medialabcourses-launches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medialabcourses-launches

Peer-to-peer learning with seven billion teachers – but: what motivates people to learn by themselves?

July 2, 2012 in Freedom to learn

Logo of the peer-to-peer university / copyright: p2pu

Logo of the peer-to-peer university / copyright: p2pu

Last Friday, I had the chance to take part in some interesting discussions at the „Summer-Academy” of GIZ’s “Academy for International Cooperation“. The issue was “self-empowered and self-guided learning processes”. we learned at the event, that this paradigm transforms trainers into coaches for self-guided learning, requires different pedagogical methods and is fuelled by the open models of learning catalyzed by the Internet (such as open learning events, open educational resources, social learning and peer-to-peer learning online and offline etc – see some of my previous blog entries on more …).

But I was struck by another point. …

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“Participation in education” – the story of yet another embattled concept …

June 26, 2012 in Freedom to learn

This picture is how the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom visualized "participation". Licenced under a cc attribution 2.5 licence. Source and copyright: http://www.wilpf.org/2010CSWInvitation

This picture is how the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom visualized “participation”. Licenced under a cc attribution 2.5 licence. Source and copyright: http://www.wilpf.org/2010CSWInvitation

So I am listening to the speakers of the panel “Learning is  a two-way street: Participation in Communication and Education” of this years’ “Global Media Forum” of Deutsche  Welle. And I keep thinking that the speakers on the panel seem to describe another case of a “stolen concept” here:

Kanchan Malik from India’s University of Hyderabad starts by defining “participation”. She explains,  that the original meaning of “participation” was taken away from the practitioners, more precisely the power of defining it was taken away from the “communities”, who are supposed to participate in communication, learning and  political transformation. Quite an irony.

I also hear lots of other formulations that hint at the perception of a distortion. The speakers emphasize, that “participation has often been reduced to a multipurpose label  to give respectability to projects”.

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‘Peeragogy’ – towards global online peer-learning

May 30, 2012 in Freedom to learn

Howard Rheingold in 2004. Picture by: Mikegr. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howard_Rheingold_by_Mikegr.jpg

Howard Rheingold, who coined the term ‘peeragogy’ in 2004. Picture by: Mikegr. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howard_Rheingold_by_Mikegr.jpg

So I learned a new word this morning containing the component “peer”:  “peeragogy” comes from Howard Rheingold. He defines it “as the powerful idea of making our class into a community of co-learners”. Also called “Paragogy”, it’s a nascent theory of tech-powered peer to peer pedagogy. What I find particularly interesting in connection with my field of international development cooperation: peeragogoy is looking at synthesizing individual and organizational learning, and it’s looking at ways of radically scaling education to a global level through online networks.

So let’s see, if peeragogy has the long-term potential to outdo my current favorite: “commons-based peer production”.

More on  “peeragogy” at Howard Rheingold’s blog.

New online courses on GNU/Linux skills by the Free Technology Academy

March 2, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source IT business

Logo of FTA, copyleft 2007: FTA, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution share alike license, source: http://freeknowledge.eu/FTA

Logo of FTA, copyleft 2007: FTA, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution share alike license, source: http://freeknowledge.eu/FTA

Just got news about this years courses by the Free Technology Academy, which is a partner of http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net. See the following announcement: The Free Technology Academy expects to run two course modules for users and systems administrators who want to get started with GNU/Linux systems. Skills in this area are increasingly demanded and hard to find for employers [1], making these topics very interesting for any IT professional.

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Free digital knowledge!

June 15, 2006 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

logo-goettingererklaerungFree digital knowledge! claims the German Coalition for Action “Copyright for Education and Research”. These days, Germany is debating new legislation for copyright in the digital era – a proposed text passed the executive branch of government in March of this year. A nationwide coalition of research and educational organizations and personalities fights the proposal, which “would severely” harm education and science in Germany according to the coalition. In particular, access to scientific information could be more restricted and more expensive. Key criticism and proposals are online in the “Göttingen Declaration on Copyright for Education and Research” , which was signed in 2004 – also by the author of this website. The declaration can be signed here.