I was asked about my thoughts on creative commons concepts:
“free resources that are available to users but that also come with the pretense that by sharing the material openly, users will be able to perhaps improve upon the original”
This is an interesting question, and it got me thinking about shared editing. Increasingly, it’s about representations. I use diagrams, but am trying to be more visual and include photos in my presentations, and of course I’ve been textual (life as an academic). Others are looking to video. Someone recently had a presentation at the Institute For The Future (which I missed, unfortunately) on how it’s media literacy that’s important, not just traditional textual literacy, and I have to fully agree.
So, increasingly it’s going to be about using web-based tools for creation and sharing. Rip/mix/burn! Wikis are important, but so are things like Google’s tools: open spreadsheets & documents, and diagrams (e.g. Gliffy. where BTW no one’s taken me up on collaborating, well that’s a learning too). Newer representations are possible, including 3D in Second Life, audiocasts, videocasts, photos, it’s all fair game via Flick’r, YouTube, etc.
However, I don’t believe in the teaching of particular applications. For instance, if you learned PowerPoint, the new version’s rearrangement could throw you for a loop unless you’ve used lots of apps and know your, so you can figure it out. But what if you’d learned it by rote (as at least one teacher at our elementary is doing)?
So, instead, I want to teach the principles of goal-oriented collaboration, the notion of finding important questions, gathering data, creating hypotheses, conducting experiments, writing up results, and sharing. With interim question, post thoughts, share, reflect, review, at every stage. Then, have them use different tools at different times with the same goals, so they abstract the principles and can carry them forward regardless of the latest tool du jour.
What are your thoughts?