Designing a New Learning Environment

Welcome to the new shellbook blog. I’ll be posting the ‘About’ and other pages next week with more details on the purpose, etc, but I had to get the site launched today. The Stanford Online course described below begins on Monday.
But here’s the skinny on what you need to know about this site for now….

  1. If you are not enrolled in the course: I’ll be posting important info here from the “Localization Alliance” team I’m forming in the course. There are hundreds (thousands?) of you out there who already know we formed the Alliance last month, so think of this site as your ‘window’ into ‘Alliance development’ going on in the course.
  2. If you are enrolled in the course: I’ll assume you’re here because you found out about The Localization Alliance from me or Dr Kim, and your team is working on an ‘Alliance related’ innovation in the area of your expertise. If so, I’ll try to get you connected here with stakeholders who will be interested in what you are doing but aren’t in the course.
  3. If you have a belly-button and are involved or interested in localization and the impact it has on integral human development — especially among the most marginalized — you can connect with the rest of us via this site after the course.

Designing a New Learning Environment is a MOOC (‘massive open online course’) which means there will be thousands of participants. The instructor is Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean, School of Education, Stanford University — which means there might be tens of thousands participating — from all over the world — before all is said and done.
The course begins on Monday and will run for the next 10 weeks (Oct 15 – Dec 20), and it’s free. I’m not sure when registration closes, but if you use Shellbooks to localize any type of education or development material in your programme, try to register if you can. I’ve already poked around on the course website, read the introductions from dozens of participants, and… this course is almost too good to be true!

FYI, I found out about the course from Dr Kim and Pat Brogan, who were members of the panel Lou August (World Vision International) and I organized to present Diversity Deeper than the Digital Divide at the 2012 International mEducation Alliance Symposium last month, on the same day (Sept 6) The Localization Alliance for Integral Human Development was incorporated.

Everyone in the course will join a small, self-formed project team. During the course, each team will design a new learning model and develop an application or system based on it. Each team must also “create and defend a business model (non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid) for the launch and scale up their solution.”

I will be forming a ‘core’ team to work on the overall business/system model the Alliance will need to implement & sustain localization. That team will coordinate with those of you — and others in the course we haven’t met yet — who will be forming teams to work on the various component systems in your areas of expertise. The ‘talent pool’ looks promising in that regard. Pamela Levine, Lead TA for the course, wrote,

“So far we have software developers, IT development and computer professionals, business leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs, engineers, undergraduate and graduate students, former teachers, people involved in education leadership, policy, and governance, instructional designers, teachers, ‘learnaholics,’ ‘MOOCaholics,’ and future open online course designers and instructors.”

This appears to cover nearly every skill set required to get The Localization Alliance for Integral Human Development moving toward the goal:

All people – regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, creed, tongue, education, disability, or social status – have the right to be dynamically involved in the processes of their own development, and should have access to life-crucial information in the language, cultural perspective, and forms of communication that serve them best.