Price (2013) identifies that “because information flows faster and more freely than ever, and because we are better connected than ever, the barriers to learning are being dismantled” (p. 6). This shift has resulted in a massive disruption within education. Courses from reputable universities are being offered free of charge to massive amounts of interested students. While Massive Open Online Courses (Moocs) effectiveness can be debated, their potential is something that scholars must take note of.
The case study explored in this post “highlights a U.S. based provider whose platform supports teachers to get the best of the opportunities created by online and digital learning” (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2013, p.11). EduPlanet21 was created out of a need to extend conversations outside of professional development sessions where ideas and motivation often stagnated (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2013, p. 12).
Here’s a quick video that outlines it further.
The framework for the program is of four steps essentially consisting of a presentation, activity or stimulus reading material, collaboration with other users and reflection section. So essentially schools will purchase this program for staff and they’ll use it to track and encourage learning. Once a member, you’ll have access to a global resource with a vast number of educators to collaborate with.
An interesting aspect of this platform is the encouragement of rewards through monitoring staff’s progress and the potential for live video conferences with ‘virtual speakers’ (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2013, p. 13)
The case study notes:
While there is a cost for the platform – a necessary move in order to be able to pay the authors and content creators who work hard to communicate and present their ideas – EduPlanet21 is most definitely open to global collaboration and the creativity of users. (p. 13)
It seems as though the designers have stopped short of the “open” principles which they profess to embrace. Although no prices were listed on the EduPlanet21 website, it’s apparent that cost is a limiting factor to the use of this product. I’d advise a try before you buy senario. It the open and collaborative culture wasn’t flourishing when used, I’d advocate steering clear of it.
(please note that formatting problems within WordPress has impacted the correct indentation of referencing below)
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. (2013). Six case studies of innovation in professional learning and performance and development. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/case_studies_detailed.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Price, D. (2013). Open: How we’ll work, live and learn in the future. Crux.