I have often utilized open education technology as a student. My first graduate degree was earned utilizing open technology. Five years later, I am now earning my second graduate degree utilizing the same technology. I have discovered technology has changed exponantially over the course of five years. What saved me from lost and confused was my new experience utilizing open technology as a teacher. I have become most familiar using the open technology Moodle.
I teach courses each semester for students who have earned a Bachelors degree and are returning to complete requirements for teacher licensure. Most of these students have full-time jobs and families. By utilizing Moodle, the students will complete what is typically a sixten week course in eight weeks. The students meet once a week and spend time completing the rest of their work using Moodle. The students are able to continue working, taking care of their families, and stdying, while completing the course. I have found my students to be most engaged when I ask questions that can have many different answers. Additionally, I have to participate in the Moodle discussions frequently. I continually guide the conversations and lead the students to new learning. I give the students the tools they need to learn without necessarily being taught.
Wikis were alien to me until the last class I took. I was scared and intimidated by them. What I found is Wikis can morph with the users and offer comfort to people like me who are not fond of anything that are black and white. Wikis offer an alternative to textbooks which are frequently outdated and soon as they are published. The Wikis can be updated when new information emerges. Students are more engaged with the Wiki because they can add to the learning. Traditionally, the information comes from the teacher and is delivered to the students. With Wikis, information is shared by all parties. Lastly, I like that Wikis stay around for as long as the server allows. The assignments are not merely thrown away. Future students could have the opportunity to learn from prior class work.