H817 Activity 1 – My experience with Open Learning

A blog by @mircwalsh

H817 Activity 1 – My experience with Open Learning

About my experience with Open Learning
I have been using open education since 2005.
My first experience with open education was back in college. First with blackboard during my Arts degree shortly followed by Moodle when I was studying for my BA in Journalism. Notes and assessments were handed distributed through these online platforms so I never knew any different.

In 2009 I went to work for a non-profit inclusive education website (Irishdeafkids.ie) where we posted blog posts about inclusive education for deaf and heard of hearing kids.

Leaving there in 2011 I began working with City of Cork VEC and was part of their iTunes U team creating their iTunes U Platform.  Between January and May 2011 we created over 50 collections featuring learning materials from the VECS three city centre colleges (St. John’s Central College, Colaiste Stiofain Naofa and Cork College of Commerce) All these videos were hosted on the iTunes U page and to this day I still upload new content onto it.

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My first MOOC was the summer of 2012 when Google launched their Google Power Searching MOOC. During this time myself and my class all took the MOOC and completed it over the couple of weeks and got our certificates. Since then I have also completed several other Google MOOCS and become a Google Apps in Education Certified Individual.

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This same year Apple launched their iTunes U courses feature and I started converting all my class notes into iTunes U courses. I was lucky to attend the 2012 Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) Global Institute where I saw innovative educators create books and discuss courses. In 2013 I was recognised as an ADE and so learn from the experts how best to create my own courses. I now have over 50 online based courses. My English as a second language course has been subscribed to almost 3,000 times.

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What I have learned from open education is that it is the one way that you can create and provide inclusive education. Using the right resources you can provide an education to anyone anywhere in the world. MOOCs are a great way of learning without the barriers of the needed classroom walls. You can learn for fun or learn for work, you can take a course from anywhere in the world (providing you have internet of course) and learn new skills.

I have also learnt that you don’t always need a MOOC to learn. Twitter and Facebook can also be great learning platforms. As an ADE I have attended 3 Apple Institutes as local as my home town and as far away as San Diego but these are yearly (if you are lucky enough to be selected to attend) and in between that you can learn so much and keep in contact through different means such as # on twitter. In particular #edchat #ade2015  #adedu and #edchatie.