TED Conversations

Adam Maikkula


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Crowdsourced syllabus for global open education initiatives to flourish

Learning via the internet is exponentially more accessible as we see more open education initiatives take root. The problem is that to a newbie, the world is vast and the information online is overwhelming (and sometimes distracting). There are so many places to start, that without the proper guidance, you stumble into believing that any one piece you discover is starting point 'x'. The issue with this is that you may be assessing your progress or clicking through to additional content before fully seeing the whole picture...and even possibly "putting the cart before the horse". Why not crowdsource the development of a global human syllabus for learning online (and offline). The greatest minds coming together to map out the best way to understand the world around us would be a very powerful educational resource.

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    Feb 25 2011: I think your idea is right on. I'd like to see even more to it than just a starting point. I'd like to see way using some level of incentive like points as incentives for members of the community to mentor and help guide others (even teach). Then those same points could be used to apply towards coursework and add to the education "cred" if you will. Note that in my comments, I assume an actual crowd-sourcing site and community that would then leverage eduction resources out on the web.
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    Feb 27 2011: Thumbs up on this conversation starter Adam! Over the past ten years, I've worked to transition small cohorts of k12 pupils from traditional learning environments to education initiatives similar to ones discussed here. Strong homeschooling legislation in the US has provided a wonderful opportunity to experiment with pedagogy and epistemology in more creative and collaborative ways than ever before.
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    Feb 27 2011: Steven, great point. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I also believe that a scoring system or incentive program would be an ideal addition once the syllabus were created. I envision a time when someday my kids would include the educational materials they interact with (and create) online as a part of their future school applications, resumes, and digital identities. Very similar to TEDcred, but maybe linked with something like MIT's Personas Project http://personas.media.mit.edu/
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    Feb 17 2011: That's a great idea! Actually it was only yesterday that I learnt about open education. In a different conversation I found a link to the Open University of Utah. I saw there are both similarities and differences in approach to learning here and there and there are also similarities and differences in terms of syllabi. But how do we know what standards are being used somewhere else? What is being taught and how? I think it would be interesting and valuable to have all the information available in one place.