Category Archives: Weekly Reflections

Lessons with animated videos: TED-Ed (part 3)

[You can read part 1 of this series on TED-Ed here, and part 2 here.]

After learning so many great things about TED-Ed, I believe it is important to understand the usage policy of these TED-Ed lessons.

TED Talks Usage Policy

TED Talks are under a Creative Commons License. This means we can share TED Talks on blogs (if sharing TED Talks is not the main purpose of the blog) with a visible link back to We are also encouraged to stream TED Talks in classrooms for discussions and share links to on class platforms.

TED-Ed Usage Policy

TED-Ed animations (videos) are made available through YouTube. This means TED-Ed videos are under YouTube’s standard usage policy. I was not able to find where it is clearly stated that educators can or cannot stream YouTube videos for educational purposes. So I asked my Twitter friends for help. I got zero responses. :(

Image by verygooddesign/fotolia

The Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement and TED-Ed as an OER

Christer Gundersen put OER projects that have influenced the OER Movement in an interactive timeline. The concept of OER is new to me, but since I support Kelsie’s belief that “education should be open and available to everyone,” I strongly believe that OER is a great way to make education more accessible to more people. I believe we are still too far from equity in education, but OERs are a great step towards this. I believe I’ve tried to complete some courses offered through OER in the past, but nothing too extraordinary comes to my mind. However, this week I came to know about two courses offered by two important Canadian Universities through Coursera: Indigenous Canada, by the University of Alberta, and Aboriginal Worldviews and Education, by the University of Toronto; I am planning to audit at least one of them (both start this month).

TED-Ed makes a great contribution to education by offering high-quality animation videos on a wide variety of topics. The videos are short and easy to understand.

I have been an educator for more than 20 years now, and I have never used someone else’s lesson in full with my students since I strongly believe we need to develop lessons to meet OUR students’ needs. Thus, I am not sure if someone will use a full TED-Ed Lesson in a classroom without any modification, but they are available mostly as suggestions to educators and, maybe, as complete lessons for self-taught students willing to expand their knowledge.

This 3-part series on TED-Ed took me more than 12 hours of research and writing, but I’ve learned useful information beyond the TED-Ed Lessons. Since my #eci831 classmates are going to analyze other OERs, watch our blog hub for the upcoming blog posts.

Additional information:

Now, it is your turn. Let me know how you liked this 3-part series on TED-Ed. :)

Filed under: EC&I 831, Weekly Reflections

The Big “But”

Hi classmates,

As I reviewed the open educational resources this week (many of which are fantastic) I couldn’t help but think about the big “but.”


What is that big but? For me the big “but” or the big disclaimer is that we have access to open resources but will employers and/or universities recognize time spent studying these courses? If the answer to that question is no, then do open educational resources really offer a more competitive advantage to those who may not be advantaged enough to pay for a university education?

In adult education, researchers talk a lot about offering credit for lived experiences. Adults have a vast knowledge base for their work experiences and lived experiences that younger adults may not have. To me, the credit for lived experiences and credit for OE courses is a similar discussion. The student has acquired knowledge (albeit in a non-traditional way) but they still deserve to have that knowledge recognized. Going forward there are many implications for higher education (HE) to adapt to OE trends and policymakers will need to embrace these changes and create appropriate guidelines around credit for OE courses. If not, then I believe that the HE institutions will have a difficult time remaining competitive.

Moving to the review of an OE platform, I looked at OpenLearn with OpenUniversityOpenLearn

I had no trouble navigating this webpage. I was able to discover the large library of topics. I like that they had “Skills for Work” and “Skills for study. These are some of the skills for work topics that were available:

work skills .png

I was drawn to the work resources because they could be fantastic for PD opportunities (to save money) and they would also be great for those who are searching for jobs and trying to grow their professional skills.

In terms of learning based on your interests, there is a vast library of topics to explore. Furthermore, there are various mediums to explore the content in. For example, you can watch videos, listen to audio, tv. etc. See the full list to the right: types of resources

I took a look at the French content when I was exploring the personal interest learning section and I was quite impressed. I can definately see myself using these resources in the future. I really like that each subject has clearly defined learning objectives, reviews and an overview of the course content.


Overall, I consider this to be a fantastic resource. Having OE available is advantageous to HE as educators can tap into free online resources to augment learning opportunities, save money on resources and offer supplementary material. Furthermore, as mentioned in my previous post about intergenerational learning, I think this content would be excellent and easy to use for people of any generation. In addition, it could provide valuable and free PD opportunities for any organization looking to provide learning opportunities that don’t come with a huge price tag attached to them.

Has anyone ever received credit for an OE program?
Has anyone ever taken an OE course for PD?
Does anyone use an OE platform for personal interest exploration or personal learning?





Lessons with animated videos: TED-Ed (part 2)

[You can read part 1 of this series on TED-Ed here.]

Yesterday, we learned that TED-Ed is one branch of TED. We also learned that TED-Ed’s main goal is to offer animated video lessons for use by educators in the classrooms. Let’s explore this concept a bit further today.

Evaluating one TED-Ed Lesson as a learning resource

I chose the TED-Ed Lesson on how sleeping is important for our memory

I showed this video to my adult students (academically at risk) as part of a lesson on short and long-term memory, in Fall 2016. I only used the video as one of the resources for the lesson I developed.

The video is great especially because of the visual explanations of how the brain works. Neurological concepts are hard to explain, and I am sure the video made my class not only more interesting but also easier to understand.

At that time, I did not explore the other resources (THINK, DIG DEEPER, and DISCUSS) available within this lesson.

Let’s analyze each one of the resources of this lesson together:

THINK: It is a series of questions about the video. I read the first question, but when I clicked on my answer, I got a message saying that I need to Register or Log In to take this lesson.

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

I did not like to see that message at all. It decreased my motivation for taking the lesson. However, since I am analyzing the lesson, and the discussion tab also requests us to log in, let’s register! We can register/sign up with Facebook or email. I have a login for TED so I can use the same one. After logging in, TED-Ed asks me if I am a teacher, student, or other; what subjects I teach, and for what level I teach.

Okay, now I am ready to answer the questions!

There are five multiple-choice questions with five options each, and four short-answer questions. When choosing an answer to each question you can either save the answer or move to the next question. If you save each answer before moving to the next question, it tells you if it is right or wrong. If you move to the next question and save them all at the end, you get a “Thank you! All done.” message. So I don’t know if my answers were correct or incorrect, and it does not matter what I wrote on the short-answer questions, right? The lack of feedback made me not want to engage with those questions in future TED-Ed lessons. I felt that I wasted my time.

Image: iFanboy

Not happy with how the questionnaire ended, I went back to it and saved a wrong multiple-choice question. It shows me a video hint, the exact point in the video in which this is explained, and it allows me to try to answer it again. Great! However, the short-answer questions are not explained at all. Why include them, then? (Please, check the “customize this lesson” explanation below to understand the purpose of the THINK section. If you create a lesson, you can give feedback to your students, and this section will make more sense.)

DIG DEEPER: This section brings further information on the topic in the form of text with links to external sources such as Wikipedia, other TED-Ed lessons, news, TEDx talks, and scientific articles. To be honest, I wish I had taken the time to explore this section when I was developing my lesson on memory because it suggests great additional resources on the topic. Before Googling the topic, take a look at this section!

DISCUSS: In this lesson, there are three guided discussions and six seven open discussions (mine included). It is possible to answer the questions, flag the responses to the questions (as spam or inappropriate), or like them. It is also possible to write responses to comments. Beside your name, it will show if you completed the lesson already by the time you wrote a response or if it is still in progress. The guided questions were created by the lesson creator. The open questions can be created by anyone after login.

My overall opinion about this lesson:

  • The video itself is great for anybody, and it can be used in lessons about memory or about the importance of sleep.
  • The multiple-choice questions (THINK session) are good if you want your students to remember specific aspects of the video since they can watch again the exact part of the video that explains what they answered wrong. I would not ask my students to answer the short-answer questions on the website, but they could be used for group discussions in class.
  • The additional resources are great for teachers to learn more about the topic. I recommend exploring this section while developing your lesson.
  • The discussion section may give you extra suggestions on questions for in-class discussions on the topic. It can also be used if you want your students to engage in the conversation online.
  • It is not necessary to log in if you will only show the video to your students and if you don’t want to answer the questions or engage in the discussions. It is still possible to read everything without logging in.

To sum up, this is my opinion about each section of the TED-Ed lesson on The benefits of a good night’s sleep by Shai Marcu.


The best part of TED-Ed:

It is possible to customize the lessons. If you click on Customize This Lesson, you can change or crop the video, and change the title, description, questions, additional resources, and guided questions for discussion. In other words, you can change every single aspect of this lesson. When you publish the lesson, you get a link to share with your students; your customized lesson won’t be listed on the TED-Ed website. What is great about this is that you can monitor students’ responses and give them feedback.

Do you know what is even better? You can develop a lesson with any TED Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video using the TED-Ed website and lesson building tool. I will definitely use this tool for my classes!


Alright! Now we all know that we can use TED-Ed animated videos in our classes, but we can do much more with TED-Ed Lessons. We can learn more about the topics by clicking DIG DEEPER, find interesting questions for discussion through THINK, engage with other educators and share ideas at DISCUSS, and change a lesson or build our own at CUSTOMIZE THIS LESSON.

Tomorrow, we will wrap up this series on TED-Ed by discussing the usage policy of TED-Ed Lessons in our classrooms. See you tomorrow!

Filed under: EC&I 831, Weekly Reflections


Image via SCUS.EDU,

Open Educational resources (OER) are an exceptional way for educators to utilize digital content in classroom. Open Educational resources  are learning and teaching materials which are freely accessible for everyone online. As I discussed in my previous blog post  these material can be remixed, reorganized and revised and can be effectively used to deliver the knowledge to students. These collections of scrutinized, grade-level, content specific resources will be an asset for teachers and elevate our teaching standards and effectively use the digital content in our classrooms. New forms of communications are illuminating new opportunities for educators and students, this opportunity is why open education resources matter.

As a mathematics lecturer one of the big challenge is to keep our students engaged and excited about math. I must say that advances in technology has made our life easier and I must acknowledge that Open Educational resources has made math lessons fun in classroom and made my job as a teacher easier. It provides pre-made activities, options for distinguishing and even aiding with pre- and post- valuations, as well as grading.

In mathematical education , a manipulative is an object that is designed so that a student can perceive a mathematical concept by manipulating it, so its name. The use of manipulative provides a way for students to learn concepts through a practical experience appropriate to development. Manipulative ‘s aid learning math concepts

Image via Clip Art

exciting and engaging for students but for teachers buying these supplies for classroom can be expensive. OER provide us a free solution, by using it we can create manipulative’s ourselves.
Instead of investing a lot of time trying to format everything the resources below provide an excellent platform for teachers to get pre-made math goodies.

Black Line Masters , Provides a range of printable tools, materials and resources which is mainly focused for children’s in their Pre-K to ninth grade. The resources which are available here are extremely helpful for teachers, it provides an ocean of materials which can be easily downloaded and printed as per our needs and requirement.

SEN Teacher
 has a load full of printable materials which are focused towards elementary level. It has polygons, clocks, coins, Nets (3D Models), arithmetic makers, number squares, Mazes etc.


I   also offers ample of ready to use manipulative’s  and  tools which will help teachers for Pre-K to High school. It provides abundant resources for every student needs for different levels. We can print materials right from algebra tiles to cuisenaire style rods and fraction circles.
These Open educational resource repositories are very easy to access and extremely user friendly, the mathematical contents and material are very well organized and has high printing quality. It aids teachers prepare resourceful course contents for students and make mathematics fun.

Our classrooms today’s are embedded with remarkable technology and it has helped us deliver course content efficiently and has enhanced classroom learning. There are many resources especially for mathematics teachers by which we can eradicate the long standing math fear phobia from students. The web resources below have some great resources for math teachers and most of them are free, these sites offer best lesson plans videos and cover entire course.

Khan Academy  Is an excellent pit stop for teacher’s and it is completely free. It contains exceptional collections of videos presenting difficult mathematics topics in a way which can be easily understood. There are numerous drill questions which can be used in conjunction with the videos. The resources are very well organized and it also


easy to play around with the website. The grade level mathematics resources in Khan academy address all most all core mathematics standards and helps focused learning and the videos aid vibrant instruction.

Discovery Education  Provides a series of new and remarkable pre-made lesson plans for math teachers. It is regularly updated with new materials which covers levels from pre-K to K-12.

Where as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics   Showcases that the math lessons can be fun and more than just a “drill and kill!. It has the outstanding accumulation of lesson plans and activities. They are free and accelerated towards different levels, it works to aid us by collective access to quality standards-based resources for learning and teaching mathematics. It also provides collaborative tools for students and instructional support for educators.

Learn Zillion  is an excellent stop for math teachers if they are looking to improve classroom discussions with the help of videos and lesson plans complex mathematical subjects can be easy to understand in engaging way. The website has to offer math educational contents in fun and exciting way which is suitable for every level of students. Teachers can use these videos to start a lesson and introduce new ideas which is very important to engage students in math class.

With Mathalicious, Math can be fun and exciting, Using this resource Math teacher can spice up the middle and high school students by making math lesson a whole lot easier. These remarkable assortments of lessons will not only get the students thinking and problem solving, but they will have a lot fun while solving it ! The lessons are classically geared towards using math in practical applications, which really helps students see the significance of learning and understating math

Even though we were supposed to choose one major Open education resource repositories and evaluate its resource but mathematics has such a wide scope and enormous availability resources made me explore quite a few repositories. These resources are very well organized and is extremely user friendly and a great asset for educators to elevate their teaching practices.

The efficient use of these open educational resources embeds a new style to learning which can be implemented to every level of the education sector., letting learning and teaching materials to be produced and then used and reused, remixed by everyone. It will be a boon to novice educators to guide them into perfection. The mathematics teaching fraternity has been extremely enriched by these resources, it has simplified the instructional process and made math class fun and engaging for students. OER’S has increased flexibility in how we use the course content and emphasizes learning communities, learner engagement. The advantages of OER’s are bountiful yet it has some challenges to offer. If not properly trained and educated on using OER’s and finding the right course content teachers tend to invest a lot of time planning their lessons and selecting alternate readings and other materials for class.

With that being said finally it leaves me with questions on how many of us are efficient utilizing OER’s? and contributing to updated the current content? how do we deliver better learning experiences to more students? And How do we get the most up-to-date content when we want it? How to overcome the accessibility issues when file formats that are not always compatible with our computer’s software or version? What do you guy’s think?



Lessons with animated videos: TED-Ed (part 1)

This post is the first of a series on TED-Ed: an open learning resource:

PART 1 – TED, TEDx, and TED-Ed

PART 2 – Inside and out of a TED-Ed lesson

PART 2 – TED-Ed as an open resource for teaching

We use lots of TED Talks in our program to discuss academic success strategies with our adult students academically at risk. However, I rarely search for videos on the TED-Ed website; I remember using two TED-Ed videos only by now. I usually search for TED Talks by topic. So, I decided to take a better look at TED-Ed.

But before…

What is TED and how it started?

TED vs. TEDx:

Some facts and great things about TED conferences:

Now, TED-Ed:

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 10.01.39 AM.png
Image by

TED-Ed’s main page

It is colourful and beautiful. It is pretty simple to understand how to access the lessons there, by using the filter or by checking the series. And if you know TED, you know that TED-Ed follows the same high quality of its videos.

The “About” page tells us a little bit more about TED-Ed:

TED-Ed has a blog too:

The TED-Ed Blog discusses ideas and other projects for educators and for students, such as peer coaching, online groups for professional development, and tips to identify fake news. There are some interesting things on the TED-Ed blog; the TED-Ed’s first 360º animated video is a must see!

Great! We have learned the differences among TED, TEDx, and TED-Ed. Tomorrow, I am going to evaluate one TED-Ed lesson and let you know my opinion about each part of it.


Filed under: EC&I 831, Weekly Reflections

“The Air we Breathe is Sacred”

Tansi classmates,

Since my last post I have been inspired to learn more about the culture of the Plain’s Cree. My inspiration came on two different occasions: the first was walking around Wascana Lake and the second was at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

When I was walking around Wascana Lake I saw the Teepee outside of First Nation’s University. It had just snowed and it was such a peaceful and beautiful morning. I was reminded of the power of our history and the importance of the land to our First Nation’s   People.

Second of all, as my kids and I walked around the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, (don’t you guys love that place?) we stood looking over the exhibit that shows a buffalo jump with an incredible painting of the prairies in the background. The speaker described the land and traditions in both English and Cree and I, again, felt moved by the incredible history and culture that we are so fortunate to have in our province.

Something that I have discovered during my Cree learning journey is that there are not a tonne of resources to learn Cree. Furthermore, there are not a tonne of social media resources to help learn Cree and First Nation’s culture.

As I researched more about the culture of the Plain’s Cree, I found several resources that talked about the earth, the land and the creator. Check out this YouTube channel for Cree teachings. This one has Cree words of the day in addition to cultural resources. I really enjoyed watching the videos and hearing traditional teachings. Here is one video for you to see.This video shares a Cree teaching called “The Sound of the Universe and the Creation of Mother Earth”

Sylvia describes: “Even the very air is so sacred and so life-giving.” This is such a powerful statement to me as human beings are dependent on the air to survive. To the Plain’s Cree, the air is sacred and therefore human beings are filled and depended on “the very air of the creator.”

How does this relate to learning the Plain’s Cree language? As I was researching, I came across the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre website. When introducing the Cree language, the website reads as follows:

“Today, First Nation people believe that language is their identity and it is what keeps the culture strong. When there is no First Nation language, there is no First Nation culture. Language is the lifeblood that feeds the striving identity of First Nation people. Once the language is lost, there is no hope of retrieving it. The plain and simple reality is that there is no motherland where First Nation people can go to retrace and relearn their language, for this is our motherland.”

As a non-FN person, I believe this journey will help me to be an ally with FN people who are working to preserve their language. With a better understanding of language and culture, I can support and be aware of the issues related to language preservation.

Finally, I will leave you with an update of my vocabulary that I have been working on. Here are the numbers from 1-20:

IMG_7895.JPGDoes anyone else find that they have to write things our to learn them?

Look at those numbers guys. Super long! Not easy to learn. I had to write them down.

Does anyone have good cultural resources that they use in their classroom? I would love to hear about them!


The beauty of open education

This video made me remember a conversation I had with my husband about encyclopedias, two nights ago. In the 80s, encyclopedias were sold door to door in Brazil as well as in other parts of the world. Textbooks and encyclopedias were the main sources of knowledge available at the time. Encyclopedias were outdated mainly because families would rarely buy a new collection if they owned a full set. There were no encyclopedias in my house. So, I had to go to the school library to borrow an encyclopedia for my research papers. I never took them home though since they were super heavy, and I usually needed less than 1/4 of a page for my homework. As with many companies, Britannica also had to adapt to new technologies and no longer sells encyclopedias door to door.

Last weekend, my nephew, who is in grade 10, was telling us about his sociology class. His professor gives students the topic, and students need to find the content online and answer some questions on the topic to discuss in their next class.

Image by WestportWiki

Wait! I had to go to the library and borrow one of those heavy books to do my homework, and my nephew is not only allowed but required to use the Internet to do his homework? My young self would say, this is not fair!

Let’s do something together! Let’s pretend we do not have access to the Internet, but we all have encyclopedias on our home shelf, and our professor, Dr. Couros, asks us to do some research on “open education.” We all would open volume XVII of our encyclopedia collection (or another volume, if you have a collection older or newer than mine), look for the term “open education,” and COPY the definition. After little effort and little knowledge acquired, our homework is ready.

I was going to link the definition for “open education” through the online Encyclopedia Britannica, but, to my surprise, I can’t find the reference for this term there! What? What is the goal of an online encyclopedia if it does not include current and important words and terms? Not satisfied with this, I tried to find a definition for “digital identity.” Okay, forget the online encyclopedia. At least they know that Trump is the 45th president of the United States. :|

Now, back to our reality. Dr. Couros gave us some web links to videos on open education and the culture of sharing. Some of us will watch all the videos, others will watch some of the videos, and few students will search for extra sources on the topic. We will all write about this on our blogs, read and comment on each other’s understandings of the topic, and be ready for the discussion on the topic in our next class. This activity will be possible through access to interesting and diverse resources, more knowledge will be acquired (if compared to the knowledge found in encyclopedias), and the beauty of learning and sharing through collaboration will happen. As the Brazilian singer, Gilberto Gil, said, “collaboration is the nature of creation; [and] creation is a chain reaction”. My blog post is a creation based on my reaction to all the sources I read and watched before writing it.

My #eci831 classmates and I collaborate to online conversations and the creation of knowledge through our course blogs. The chain reaction is created when we link previous work to our posts, and when we read and comment on each other’s blogs. Do you remember when we were asked to disable comment moderation on our blogs? I thought about this when I was watching Lawrence Lessig’s TED talk and his explanation about the trespass law. Is comment moderation a way to try to protect our land (blog)? If we cannot control “who flies over our land” (reads our blogs), why do we think we can control what people do with the content we share online? We better learn what, how, and when to share.

And if you are like me, still learning to navigate this open education world and sometimes unsure about the repercussion of your blog posts or tweets, don’t worry; we will learn how to stop being passive consumers and start being the collaborators. As Ze Frank and lots of other people collaboratively sang, we’ll be fine; just breathe.

Just an update: this is Britannica’s response to my tweet:

Do you think my tweet was a way to collaborate with Britannica? Hopefully, after my public tweet, there will be a definition of “open education” on their website. :D

Filed under: EC&I 831, Weekly Reflections

So Many Questions!

Tansi classmates,

I love the idea of open education. The idea that quality education could be open and available to all? Who doesn’t love that idea? It all sounds idyllic but, for me, it has so many more questions attached to it.

As I was preparing to write this post I did some reading on Open Ed. This is one quote that seemed to best describe my sentiments as I was preparing:

“Does “open” mean openly licensed content or code? And, again, which license is really “open”? Does “open” mean “made public”? Does “open” mean shared? Does “open” mean “accessible”? Accessible how? To whom? Does “open” mean editable? Negotiable? Does “open” mean “free”? Does “open” mean “open- ended”? Does “open” mean transparent? Does “open” mean “open- minded”? “Open” to new ideas and to intellectual exchange? Open to interpretation? Does “open” mean open to participation — by everyone equally?”(Farrow, 2017)


Via Gipy

Thinking about open education makes me think of Paulo Friere. He wrote: “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world”  (Freire, 1970).

I believe that traditional education, such as a university education, that is only accessible to a certain percentage of the population can bring conformity to the dominant discourses of power as it does not emancipate or bring freedom to marginalized groups. Farrow (2017) argues that through the creation, adaptation and localization of open educational resources we can facilitate new ways of perceiving, categorizing, mapping, and connecting the relationship between theory and practice of education. Farrow states: “By democratizing the processes through which educational materials and processes are designed and delivered, open education allows a greater plurality of voices to be heard and to contribute, and the experiences of groups who are often marginalized may be better heard”

Larry Lessig and the other content we reviewed, emphasize that the law restricts us from creating and generating accessible resources as large amount of content is borrowed/adapted from other material. As Larry Lessig states: we need to be able to live life without breaking the law! Farrow (2017) argues: “Openness has a close association with freedom – giving permissions to join a course, to remix resources, to read a journal, and so on – and arguing that commercial providers must adopt certain licences or practices is anathema to this core element of openness.”



Considering the way that we use technology today,  there is potential for education expand to marginalized groups that may never had access in the past. Furthermore, it offers a the opportunity to hear more voices and perspectives. However, in order for this to happen, there must be pressure from the people to challenge the dominant discourses of power to allow for common sense in the law, as Larry Lessig argues.

Do you think copyright laws are going to be less restrictive in the future?

How have copyright laws affected you in your classroom? Do you find them to be very restrictive?

Have you every taken advantage of an open educational opportunity such as a MOOC? Do you believe this is the future of education? Will a university degree be obsolete in the future?

Like I said, so many questions! 🙂



Image via Wikiversity

As the famous Quote states “Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions.” Therefore, I feel that a well-educated individual has one of the life’s most valuable possessions that too as a result of one’s own hard work. Education is the only companion who will be by your side at all times and will never let you down. That is why; a concrete foundation is indispensable in shaping one’s future.   

An educated and qualified person has always something to fall back upon. I strongly believe that one cannot perform better in any other field beside the field that deeply fascinates and captures one’s interest. Determination and persistent hard work follow one’s decision in undertaking a challenging task, there was a time where one was supposed to get this education/knowledge by enrolling to the educational institutions by meeting their academic requirement, it was reachable for only privileged class, but today the whole arena has changed ,the concept of open education has revolutionized the field of education it has replaced the traditional class room and made education free and accessible to all. 

Web-based educative platforms have allowed us to remotely replace or facilitate many interactive processes such as purchases, booking appointments, and banking activities, buying flight tickets etc. Getting an education online is the next frontier for web-based convenience, and there are a number of reasons why this is an effective and attractive platform. Some of them are,

Accessibility: Open Education allows students to take courses at their own convenience, on their own time and place. Open learning systems are very effective and importantly Accessible when compared to its traditional counterparts. The rich resources in online communities help students to overcome hurdles. Open education has attracted many students who were very unlikely to gain higher education.

Affordability: The word free attracts everyone and in my view the concept of free education is best served by open education. There are hundreds of lecture hours which are available for free in reputed universities websites such as MIT, these are free and open for anyone and there are many online learning platform which are also cheap and affordable for students.

Flexibility: Open education offers students flexibility to choose what to learn and when to learn and how much to learn, in return putting them in control. It provides ocean of resources for students in-comparison with the traditional classrooms.     

This week’s concept and videos were very interesting and covered the concept of open education and knowledge sharing. As a mathematics major I had a strong mathematical knowledge but teaching was something very new to me in my initial days of my teaching career. As Ashley mentions in her blog post We are not responsible for creating the material that we provide to students, I think I have exploited most of the resources online which helped me to effectively deliver knowledge to students and thanks to all those who believed in the concept of sharing culture , it made my initial days a lot easier. The resources like Karnataka education ,Open Educational Resources for Mathematics has helped me a lot in developing material to facilitate my course. It has improved my teaching material and delivery.

And Finally, as an educator I believe that the ultimate goal of teaching is to promote learning and education takes place in different circumstances and contexts. I totally agree with message of Kirby Ferguson  in his video series that we are all leaders of remix

Kirby Ferguson’s  popular videos illustrates that everything is remix and everything we have created takes motivation from something which is already in existence. The video showcases number of evidences that supports his claims. I was convinced and it kept me thinking that most of things I do in my teaching practices might be exactly the same.

I believe that in order to lay a strong foundation of knowledge we need to copy and when we relate this to our profession we take ideas, material, technic’s from resources and effectively deliver knowledge to students and I think it has made our life as a teacher much easier and effective. Just Imagine the amount of time required if we had to create everything original ..??

After reading the blog post of Joe Marine his question kept me thinking and I wanted to share the same with everyone , Is there a need to reform intellectual property laws to better represent how ideas actually spread? Is it possible to have original work, or is everything truly a remix?

What do you guys think?



My lesson plan on digital identity

Learning about the importance of developing a positive digital identity was the most valuable subject of this class to me. After reading what Eric Stoller said about the Student Affairs’ role in “developing intentional learning spaces about digital identity” at universities, I collected some great open resources and developed a lesson on digital identity for my students (adult learners attending higher education).

This is what we did together: 

  1. Ask your students who their audience is. Discuss who they think could read/see what they post online.


2. In small groups, ask students to analyze the four situations presented on this activity (I gave a hard copy of the activity to my students, but it is very important to show them the pictures found in the online version). Students will discuss how the four groups of people would react to their sharing on social media.


3. Give your students 10-15 minutes to Google themselves. They need to log out of the apps on their cell phones/laptops to see what everybody can see on their profiles regardless of any permission received (settings). Ask students to use this worksheet as a guide. The worksheet is from this lesson plan, and you can read more about this lesson plan here.

4. After giving some time for your students to find what is “out there” about them, discuss how the following aspects connect to what they found about themselves:


5. Post the following web links on the platform you use in class. You can add/delete these sources as you find others that better serve what your students need to discuss.

1. Netiquette, Online Presence & Professionalism

2. Oversharing vs Being Authentic

3. Brain Hacking

4. Technology is hijacking our minds

5. Keep your digital identity short and sweet

6. Digital identity development is a process

7. How to market yourself online (video)

8. Top 8 tips for staying safe online (video)

9. Be social-network smart (video)

10. Brain Hacking (video)

6. Give a number from 1-10 to each student in your class and ask them to read/watch the open resource that follows their number. For example, students who got the number three must read resource #3 on the list above. Even though two or three students will get the same number, according to how many students are in your class, they will read/watch the source individually.


7. After 6-10 minutes, ask the students who got number 1 to share the main idea and the tips suggested by the author in the blog post/article #1. Do the same thing for sources #2 to #10.

8. Since October is National Bullying/Cyberbullying Awareness month, I decided to end our class watching this video with my students:

The whole class seemed interested in the discussions. A few of my students were very surprised at what is possible to find online about them that they were not aware of. One of my students (a woman) found a news article stating that a person (a man) with the same name as hers is facing drug trafficking charges. Even though it is clear that she was not involved in this event, we discussed what could be done if she believes this could affect her reputation.

Some of the strategies/tips shared during the short presentations about the ten open resources on digital identity were unknown by the majority of my students. Many students verbalized that they will Google themselves carefully again in another opportunity to clear some of the stuff they left behind as they used the Internet in the past. Three of my students (out of 58) did not find anything related to their name online but expressed interested in building a positive digital identity from now on.

I believe that it is our role, as educators, to not only develop a positive digital identity for ourselves but also bring this awareness to our classrooms through discussions like these ones I had with my students. I have to thank Dr. Couros for developing and facilitating this course on Social Media and Open Resources because I would not discuss this with my students otherwise.

Feel free to use these resources and to adapt the lesson for your students. Please share in the comments if you have suggestions on how to make this lesson better. Do you know other blog posts or videos that could be added to the list of open resources? It is my goal to have this conversation with my students every semester from now on, so new materials are appreciated!

Filed under: Weekly Reflections