What does open mean to me? #WhyOpen


I am co-facilitating a course on Why Open at the School of Open, P2PU with Christina Hendricks, Simeon Oriko, and Jane Park. It runs for about a month from August 10 to September 5. In the first week, we ask participants what open means to them. I also attempt to answer that question myself.

Open as a Literature and Writing Instructor

As an educator and user of open source technology, I think about open primarily in terms of education and technology. I teach English literature and writing at an independent high school in the United States. This past academic year, I taught two of my classes using only open educational resources (OER). In the upcoming academic year, I will teach four of my classes using only OER. Why? Continue reading

Learning to Write Well is Challenging: Blended Learning can Help

I am now in the last week of another 10-week writing class where students learnt how to write a literary analytical essay, aka the English essay.  One of the activities I assign students is self-reflective responses that are submitted along with each draft. Every time I teach this class, most students like the writing process that I create and at least a couple find it a challenge. Blended learning might help change it so that every student’s need is met.

The Writing Process
  1. brainstorm
  2. thesis statement
  3. outline
  4. body paragraphs
  5. conclusion
  6. Continue reading

The Internet as Teacher, #OCL4Ed

demografia en internet by turcon.blogia.com
demografia en internet by turcon.blogia.com

I am participating in #OCL4Ed, which is an open content licensing course offered by OERu. It explores the meaning of open educational resources and supports releasing educational material created with public money under open licenses. This is a great course for educators interested in OER, copyright, and creative commons licenses.

As such, one prompt is to post on creating a blog. Since my blog has been in existence for over two years, but I am a sometime blogger, I decided to consider why I chose WordPress.org. Continue reading

Creating a Digital Project In a Literature Class, #DLDay


1873 Portrait of Charlotte Brontë Painted by Evert A. Duyckinck, based on a drawing by George Richmond
1873 Portrait of Charlotte Brontë Painted by Evert A. Duyckinck, based on a drawing by George Richmond

Do you ever want to experiment with technology and open educational resources in literature classes? In some ways, this can be a challenge because literature classes are wedded to the text. If the novel, poetry, or play was published before 1923, instead of ordering a new revised edition, check to see if it has been digitized by Project Gutenberg. This is not that difficult since so many literature classes teach the canon, and much of the canon is in the public domain (i.e. published before 1923).

Last year, I decided to recast my Big Book: Jane Eyre class into an iPad OER class. I used Project Gutenberg‘s ePub of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Subtext (which was free in the last academic year). For the most part, students only used the iPad to consume. Some of them were a little daunted to read such a long book on a tablet but everyone navigated e-reading with varying levels of success. Continue reading

The Developing Writer: Strategies for Getting Students to Own their Writing


For #OOE13, I was asked how do I get students to engage the writing process. The truth is that I have never taught a writing class, academic or creative, where every single student entered into the writing process with enthusiasm: there is usually a continuum from intellectually open students and those willing to try anything for a good grade to those married to disinterest. Unengaged students are generally a tiny minority, but I do have strategies. Continue reading

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