Open Pedagogy has always been closely associated with the creation, use, and sharing of open educational resources or OERs (Wiley and Hilton, 2018). It is for this reason that when it comes to Open Pedagogy, educators should be knowledgeable enough when it comes to various tools that they can utilize to promote student-centered learning. These tools, according to Hodgkinson-Williams and Gray (2009) are enabled by Web 2.0 technologies (cited in Wiley and Hilton, 2018). Educators do not necessarily have to look hard to search for tools that can enable the creation, use, and sharing of open educational resources (OERs). In fact, educators can actually use sites that most students are already familiar with like Twitter. Twitter can support Open Education through allowing students to co-create artifacts with their teachers and enabling peer-to-peer learning.
Twitter is a ‘micro-blogging’ service where users are only allowed to post 280 characters (Madland, 2020). Twitter’s ‘micro-blogging’ service could be used to enable students to co-create artifacts with their teachers. For instance, one can host the discussion and ask various questions. In response, the students could either reblog the question to invite other learners or they could reply to the thread. With this kind of set-up, the learners’ voices are amplified because they take control of what content to share. Even if Twitter is only limited to 280 characters, learners can share resources of various formats. Learners can share videos, podcasts, forum, and articles by just posting the link of their desired content. In sharing the link, the learners just have to make sure to provide a context or label to give other users an idea on what the link is about. By sharing the link, the learners help other learners discover other resources which can they find valuable for future use. In the discussion between the students and the teachers, both the students and the teachers actively contributed. This shows that the discussion between the students and learners is an example of an artifact co-created by students and learners.
In addition to enabling students and learners to co-create artifacts, twitter can also be used to enable peer-to-peer learning. According to Schoder and Fischbach (2003), peer-to-peer pertains to a network of equals (peers) where one or two individuals spontaneously collaborate without a need for central coordination (cited in Schmidt et al., 2009). Open platforms like Twitter help learners and educators create a community of people who shares the passion for learning. With this kind of community, the members will be able to interact, learn together, and develop a shared repertoire of resources (Schmidt et al., 2009). Hence, with peer-to-peer learning, everyone would be able to teach and learn from each other and life-long learning would be a reality.
Even if the incorporation of social media is relatively new in the field of Open Pedagogy, there has been various institutions that tried utilizing social media to enable Open Pedagogy. For instance, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is using a platform that comes with student registration management system, a full-pledged forum for multiple threads, a module to receive audio via phone, a learning analytic module, a document repository for reading materials, and a module to produce a variety of tests. What makes this platform interesting is that it is integrated in Facebook and Twitter. This means that students access the discussions via Twitter or Facebook. Additionally, students can also post their comments and questions directly from their social media accounts (McGreal, Anderson, and Conrad, 2015). Thus, it is possible for open education to incorporate social media in Open Pedagogy.
In conclusion, common sites like Twitter can enable Open Education for as long as it support the creation, sharing, and use of Open Education Resources (OERs). More so, a good tool for open education should also allow students and teachers to co-create artifacts and enable peer-to-peer learning. The tools used to support Open Education does not necessarily have to be complicated to be considered effective. In line with this, educators should also explore other social media sites to use for Open Pedagogy in order to cater more learners. Currently, institutions like Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has attempted to incorporate the use of social media like facebook and twitter in their platforms. This only means that it is really a possibility that social media can be used for learning as well.
Madland, C. (2020). Topic 4 (July 22-28). opened.ca. https://teaching.madland.ca/edci339-july20/home/topic-04
McGreal, R., Anderson, T., & Conrad, D. (2015). Open educational resources in Canada 2015. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(5). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v16i5.2404
Schmidt, J. P., Geith, C., Håklev, S., & Thierstein, J. (2009). Peer-to-peer recognition of learning in open education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v10i5.641
Wiley, D., & Hilton III, J. L. (2018). Defining OER-enabled pedagogy. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(4). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v19i4.3601