This week we had the opportunity to partake in a video conference with Varena Roberts in Alberta. She was leading a workshop and our class was able to learn and listen to her presentation through Blue Jeans (the same platform we used to video chat previously). I found the whole experience to be very informative and feel like I came out having learned loads in just a thirty-minute presentation.
Verena began her presentation by explaining that we needed to know more about each other to be able to learn together. She used a site called Poll Everywhere to connect us all together and have us answer three questions. It was neat that we were all able to answer the questions and connect even though we were in different provinces. I thought the site was interesting and also liked that it was accessible from cell phones and computers.
Verena’s presentation was on Open Learning. She outlined the main indicators of open learning in kindergarten to grade twelve practices:
Open learning indicators are
- Designed for sharing
- Participatory learning
- Learning networks
- Safe learning spaces
- Expanded learning environments
She also explained how, as educators, we need to connect different spaces of learning for our students. She said that we need to design practices to share, build relationships, build digital literacy skills, create evidence of connections and learning and that reflection and feedback are huge in the open learning process.
Varena shared the “Open Learning Cycle” with us which I found to be very clear and easy to understand. The steps of the cycle are:
- Connecting and interacting with others
- Listening to different perspectives
- Taking action