This week in learning innovation

I’ve been known to bemoan the state of #highered Twitter from time-to-time. Mostly, I decry the seemingly endless negativity about #highered among those within #highered. Many of the issues raised are serious issues, no doubt. And, maybe I just follow a decidedly negative group of folks. But, it leads me to tweet things like this.

So, rather than complaining about the complainers and imagining a bizarro world, I figure I’ll try to do something productive. I’m going to try to blog weekly about innovative learning experiences that come across my radar screen in the week prior. I (usually) bookmark these in the #VCUALTLab Diigo group and/or favorite these on Twitter. So, I know I can automate this weekly update somehow. As soon as I figure that out, I will. For now, a manually-created post…



CopyrightX is a twelve-week networked course, offered from January to May each year under the auspices of Harvard Law School, the HarvardXdistance-learning initiative, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society… Three types of courses make up the CopyrightX Community:
– a residential course on Copyright Law, taught by Prof. William Fisher to approximately 100 Harvard Law School students;
– an online course divided into sections of 25 students, each section taught by a Harvard Teaching Fellow;
– a set of affiliated courses based in countries other than the United States, each taught by an expert in copyright law.

As if the combination of a residential course, an online course and a set of international, affiliate courses isn’t innovative enough, here’s the kicker:

The lectures, reading materials, maps, and recordings that have been developed for CopyrightX are also available for use by teachers and students in other settings. All of these materials are licensed under a Creative Commons License, the terms of which are available on the Permission page.



Solving Public Problems with Technology

Solving Public Problems with Technology is a hands-on learning and mentoring program designed to help you design and implement solutions to public interest problems using civic technology. The course enables you to take advantage of the latest innovations in open and participatory problem-solving, including the application of open data, crowdsourcing, expert networks, expert systems, challenges, and prizes. Geared to the purpose-driven participant (both individuals and teams, whether in grad school or on the job) passionate about a public problem, Solving Public Problems helps you develop a project from idea to implementation.

The program is available for credit at NYU, MIT Media Lab, and Arizona State University. Non-credit online participants who complete the program receive an authenticated Certificate and Badge. For successful participants the program will serve as a gateway to opportunities to compete for a range of Fellowship and funding opportunities, including from the Knight Foundation, the D-Prize, GovLab and more.

I’m still wrapping my head around this one. I certainly like that it’s open to non-credit, online participants, and I love this line: “Geared to the purpose-driven participant (both individuals and teams, whether in grad school or on the job) passionate about a public problem.”  Connected Learning, FTW.

It’s noteworthy, as well, that the program site is not on Blackboard, or Canvas, or even WordPress. It’s on Github.


Networked Scholars open course #scholar14

In this course we will examine the tools and practices associated with networked, open, and digital scholarship. In particular we will investigate the emergent practice of scholars’ use of social media and online social networks for sharing, critiquing, improving, furthering, and reflecting upon their scholarship. 

I’m a fan of George Veletsianos. I’m a fan of open, online learning. And, anything we can do to help scholars explore the affordances of the open Web for their work is cool by me. This is a timely topic and I think George et. al could probably use the case of Steven Salaita for the whole learning experience.  I joked with George that I wouldn’t have time to participate in his course, but I do now see that he’s using the Canvas Network as the platform. I’ve not had cause to see how that platform works, so I may dip my toes in from time-to-time to get a feel for the Canvas Network.


Journalism + Design

Journalism + Design, the latest program at the The New School in New York City is teaching journalists how to think like designers, and designers how to think like journalists. With a curriculum co-developed by Ideo, the undergraduate program kicked off this semester teaching students how to harness design and design thinking in news.

We are ALL ABOUT interdisciplinary learning opportunities in #VCUALTLab. We also have some fantastic professors in our Robertson School of Media and Culture as well as the top-ranked public School of the Arts in the nation. I’ve already been in touch with a couple of folks to sow some seeds around a local option based on the Journalism + Design program. I don’t yet know what would come of a collaboration between these two faculties at VCU, but I’m eager to see what emerges!

1 thought on “This week in learning innovation”

  1. David Croteau says:

    Excellent idea that speaks directly to the often-heard request for more examples to inspire creativity.

    That interesting “Solving Public Problems…” course has some applicability for service-learning efforts, I think.

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