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Musings - having 2 teenagers who have already spent about $12000 on tertiary fees, a wife also spending hundreds of dollars each year finishing an almost completed degree and are all years away from recouping this money (and for my children if they can find employment).

Being also a teacher in a full primary where I am supposed to be encouraging my pupils to aspire to enter a tertiary institution and follow in the footsteps of my indebted children. I wonder what happened to the ability to learn for the sake of learning, like anyone my age was able to do - tertiary education needed only passing an exam to enter into rather than parental income or future job prospects. I presume anyone entering a tertiary institution these days needs to have done careful budget predictions to assess whether their years of leaning will be paid back from their future employment prospects.

Does this mean that our learning institutions are full of people who have entered through future fiscal prospects only? Are tertiary institutions truly represenatative of the socio demographics of NZ?

How will creating OERs effect the lives of my own children and pupils?

What is the purpose of an OER - do i really understand what an OER is?

My basic understanding is that from a school perspective all that we do will be available on line - to inform others of our operation, our philosophy on teaching and learning and make available all materials that may benefit children to learn and assist others with their teaching. I make the same presumption for secondary and tertiary institutions as well?

Why put any course material on line and especially if it is free, this surely goes against the corporate model of education that is now the norm within NZ?

How will educational institutions compete for "bums on seats" if each institution offers courses that can be shared by all?

Who will take up the offer of taking up an OER - other teachers, overseas students, people who have the desire to learn but not the necessary money to expend on fees, someone wishing to retrain while they are currently employed and maybe people who want to learn because learning itself is fun and interesting?

I see a problem for a learner who dedicates their energies to an OER who then finds at the end of their OER course/leaning they were not able to have their achievements formally recognised - educational apartheid? Through OERs, money is no longer the gate keeper to higher education but maybe the ability to have learning accredited is.

As primary school teachers we have learnt not to fear the home schooled families that exist in our communities - home schooling has grown - but it hasn't affected what happens in the primary school sector. Home schooled children have been told for years that their entry into tertiary education or employment is through the creation of portfolios.

This model of learning at using OERs appeals to those who have the intrinsic motivation, or lack of funds or a learning style that doesn't fit well with educational institions.

Taking this model into the tertiary sector this would allow a learner to take advantage of any OER and then through portfolios seek accreditation or employment?

The accreditation could be accessed via fees but would be at a cost decidedly smaller than that of attending an institution and also be tiered?


Rekrapenator (talk)19:44, 24 August 2008

Hi Nathan,

Many thanks for sharing your thougths on education, and the challenges for open education!

I was struck by your term of education apartheid.

In Canada, particularly Vancouver, I have witnessed the commodotization and institutionalization of education - whereby in order to to anything, even being a waiter, you need to get a certificate! (in the case of a waiter, it's called Foodsafe). The apprenticeship model, the peer learning model is seemingly out the window.

One of the answers I think is the movement towards "quality education". Educational institutions of the future, will differentiate themselves in terms of quality ~ learner-focused materials,effective learner support, accessibility, teacher-facilitators, openness, community and engagement. THAT would be worth paying for!

On WikiEd, we are exploring how we can improve quality of the learning materials, through a peer review and quality assurance process. Peter Rawsthorne is co-leading the charge.

--Randy Fisher 12:08, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikirandy (talk)00:08, 21 September 2008