Talking about COOCs in ‘COOCs Talk’


Getting involved is all there is to it

Getting involved is all there is to it

Here is the opening to a new space on COOCs, a ‘course’ in as much as it has that name – in essence, it is a place to share any thought about learning, sharing, creating and anything at all about COOCs.

The course is HERE and all are welcome.

Hi, I am Peter and I have created the opening stages of COOCs based on my belief that we are all able to learn, and that we are also all able to teach. I have learned form many people in my life, and for the most part this learning has not been in institutions (although lots of it has). The people that have been the most compelling teachers are not necessarily those that have had an official role of ‘teacher’.

What I have learned has also been wide and varied, some of it painful, some exciting, some of lifelong relevance and some that lasted only a short time – how much do we learn and forget!

What started my interest in COOCs was the growing awareness that what I needed to learn, and who would be able to learn it from, could not be confined to purely institutional courses, set curricula and a focus on accreditation/ certificates/ qualifications. As I look back over many experiences it was the development of my self, through books (and film, and poetry, and TV and theatre and comics and newspapers, magazines, graffiti, letters, blogs!!!), discussion, experiences, demonstration and instruction, challenges, opportunities and many other forms of engagement that have kept me interested in learning.

But where does this go? I think many people are left to sugar their experiences with a relatively small group of friends and acquaintances. So much of what we know and have to share is left unsaid or isolated. While institutions are making use of the internet and new networks to spread the knowledge of the experts in those places, what about everyone else? What about the beekeepers, the outsider artists, the poets and the gardeners, the writers and the philosophers, the builders, makers, thinkers outside the university? Where do all those skills and ideas go to?

It is clear that much of the internet is being built up by groups of people that are interested in a whole range of things. These smaller (even high) communities are exciting and have huge potential. What i hoped COOCs could do is create a space where we can do something similar to that but also share amongst us the ways that we can use technology, create online spaces and begin to develop new ideas about who teaches, what they teach and how they do it. The internet is a free space (for now!) and COOCs is an attempt to continue to create free as an aspect of education, a key feature that encourages engagement and play, experimentation and creativity. Without institutional involvement there are fewer issues around what should be included, how long things last, what entry criteria exists, who is invited and who is not.

You can design the whole leaning space based on your interests and ideas.

What I would like to do is ask you to make some comments on your view of COOCs. These may be positive, they may be unsure or even negative. What i would like is an opportunity to create a place to learn from you, for all of us to learn from each other. COOCs is not a finished article, it is very much a becoming, something not finished. I want to invite you to take part, add your ideas and help shape what our become will be. We have made sure that the content and access can come in public spaces, libraries and community venues where they exist, and as much as possible we have tried to avoid any hidden costs related to broadband and device ownership. I know this is reliant on the situation where you live and any ideas on how we could help advance that, make us more accessible, would be great to hear.

This section is a forum, a simple drop in and talk/ type/ post place. I look forward to speaking together and hope you will join in and help us make COOCs something that works for you.

See you there (well, HERE!)

October 30, 2015 Blog

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