Open - Connected - Distributed: Learning

Open - Connected - Distributed: Learning

cc. Steven Sprouse

M.Ed. (2010-2013)
cc. David Kernohan & Michael Branson Smith


What is independent learning?

Learning is defined, organised and completed by the learner. Educators (experts) may act as facilitators or guides. However, the learner is encouraged to plot their own path, valuing their own, their peers and experts input equally; developing in(ter)dependent learning strategies

Michie (2012)


What is openness in education?

Openness is the only means of doing education...

If there is no sharing... there is no education.

Wiley (2010)

What is openness in education?

Open pedagogy makes use of this abundant, open content (such as open educational resources, videos, podcasts), but also places an emphasis on the network and the learner's connections within this.

Weller (2013)

What is openness in education?

At its best openness is an ethos not a license. It's an approach to teaching and learning that builds a community of learners online and off.

Groom (2013)

Be open...

    • Sit amongst your students
    • Give them a voice
    • Give them choices
    • Listen to them
    • Be transparent
    • Enter into a dialogue of and about learning...


Be open...

    • Apply tested pedagogy
    • Encourage independent thinking
    • Let them take the lead
    • Make ownership an affordance
    • Learn with them
    • Allow for divergence...

cc. Dylan Wiliam (2010)
cc. David Didau (2011)


Rheingold (2012)

cc. Alan Levine

At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks. Knowledge, therefore, is not acquired, as though it were a thing... What we learn, what we know -- these are literally the connections we form between neurons as a result of experience.

Downes (2011)

Be connected...

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Be connected...

    • Sit learners in groups NOT rows
    • Put discussion at the heart of your classroom
    • Use paired and group-based activities
    • Teach note-making
    • Create a learning community

But what about independence?

...and isn't group work bad pedagogy?

Apply 'good' pedagogy...

    • Discussion is a skill... it needs to be taught
    • Use sentence starters and demand standard English
    • Group work is a skill... it needs to be taught
    • Model how to work collaboratively
    • Assign roles...
    • Make the outcomes clear

Apply 'good' pedagogy...

    • Think, Pair, Share
    • Question, Answer, Challenge, Respond
    • Small group
    • Whole class


Coherence. Sensemaking. Meaning. These elements are prominent in constructivism, to a lessor extent cognitivism, and not at all in behaviourism. But in connectivism, we argue that the rapid flow and abundance of information raises these elements to critical importance.

(Siemens, 2008)

Encourage In(ter)dependence
cc. Taro Taylor

Be connected...

    • Use web-based tools to foster collaboration, interaction and sharing:
      • Collaborative authoring... Google Docs
      • Collaborative assessment... Google Docs
      • Reflective writing... Blogger / Wordpress
      • Opening up discussion... Blogger / Wordpress / Twitter
      • Research in the open web...

google docs

Changing roles

...from a consumer of learning into a researcher, a co-producer, an explorer and that's a much more exciting, exhilarating role

Heppell (2010)



The VLE is dead!

Long live the VLE!

How will you make your classroom 'Open - Connected - Distributed'?
cc. Disney