Open Source Education is an idea that I came up with a few years ago as part of an English class at BYU. It was a Shakespeare class and the professor was very into digital media and social media and new technologies in the classroom. Instead of writing a research paper that would only ever get read by a peer-reviewer and the professor, we wrote research blogs instead. (Mine is still getting page views, years after the last post)
This was a fun project, it was great to progressively work towards a thesis, post by post, rather than developing a thesis up front and finding supporting material for that thesis. With this research blog, I chose a theme that I was interested in, German and Shakespeare, and then started researching different aspects of that theme in different posts. With posts building upon older posts, I eventually found that I had developed quite a focus and was able to write a thesis post, using previous posts as my supporting evidence of my thesis.
I titled that blog Open Source Education: Shakespeare, with the vision that I would eventually create several blogs, all with this Open Source Education moniker, each blog dealing with some aspect of Education, being a place where I could post not just my thoughts and ideas on Education, but lesson plans as well. I see the internet as being a place where Education can also be open source, with everyone collaborating with everyone, sharing what knowledge they have so that others looking to learn only have to search and read and learn whatever they want.
With this vision, and as I am currently searching for a job where I can have opportunity to use my German language skills, I have started a new blog : Open Source Education: German. I will post my thoughts and ideas about teaching German and I will post lessons teaching German language principles. I want to use this as a showcase or portfolio of my knowledge of German and my teaching ability and method. I have been posting for about a week already and have a few other posts scheduled through the next week and I am excited to use this to help me develop my teaching skills and explain German to others.
If you’ve got a minute and fancy learning a bit of German, please stop by and take a look.
In the future I am thinking about adding a blog about Open Source Education: English where I would plan a high school English class, with literature discussions and writing prompts and grammar lessons. I would also like to add Open Source Education: Theatre where I talk about different aspects of theatre, including some literary analysis of plays, but also practical how-tos for operating an amateur theatre company, with descriptions and tips for the different jobs involved in theatre. I just hope I don’t overwhelm myself with 17 blogs that I am trying to post to every day. Realistically, I would probably only post to each 2-3 times a week. But, for now, I just have the this blog with my personal thoughts on everything, and the Open Source Education: German. I may also revive my Open Source Education: Shakespeare blog, though with less of a focus on Shakespeare in Germany, and more of a general approach to Shakespeare. That would probably correspond with my Open Source Education: English blog nicely.