The term open learning has been around since the seventies. At core is to identify the “needs of the learner as perceived by the learner”, and to implement teaching methods to actively involve the learner. Today, the focus of open learning is in how technology can be used to teach and involve intrinsically motivated students.
In the past few years, the emergence of new technologies and social platforms has allowed for a new realm of open education exploration and development. There are countless resources available, from the widely popular Kahn Academy to those of major universities such as Northwestern, MIT, and Berkeley. These massive online open courses (MOOCs) have huge potential globally, making education available to anyone who has the motivation and the basic technological resources necessary. However, there are still many obstacles to implementing open education for effective change. Northwestern University has an online learning initiative lead by Marianna Kepka, which includes work with the Semester Online Consortium. Semester Online is a group of world-class universities partnering to make quality for credit courses available to undergraduate students and to students around the country and the world. Ms. Kepka will present Northwestern's Digital Initiatives at Tech Day along with her colleague Joel Shapiro.
While technology and online courses are center stage in contemporary efforts toward open learning, an important goal is to figure out how such resources can enhance the traditional learning experience. Antonio Vantaggiato, a Professor of Computer Science at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he also founded the distance learning institute, will deliver the keynote at Tulane’s Tech Day. This talk will cover how emergent technologies could be restraining an educational revolution and how we can build a constructive bridge between the online and classroom learning experiences.
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