Why do we need open education?
“Open education can be defined as the [educational policy] effort to enable all people to participate in good education. In the Enlightenment tradition, ‘good education’ is defined as maturity: every person should be able to participate in society with his or her own mind and in an active way”  . So how must educational processes be designed in order to achieve this goal?
Vocational school teacher Astrid Wittenberg begins her input with this question. As an experienced expert in open education, she is an enrichment for the round of the weekly input lunch in April 2020, especially because of the current challenges posed by Corona. She points out the need for a change in teaching and learning based on digital development: Knowledge and ideas always exist, but the ways to disseminate, implement, and develop them are changing. The Internet makes it possible to exchange information worldwide and simultaneously. This also changes the nature and understanding of education away from a society that learns by heart from books to a digital transfer of knowledge. This also requires new competencies; in this context, Wittenberg introduces the 4Cs : Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking. On this basis, a discussion ensues about how these competencies can be learned and what opportunities and difficulties they entail. The participants in the discussion agree that the restrictions, not only, but especially, in state institutions such as schools and universities are often a hindrance. Certain guidelines on which programs to use, time and money as limited resources, and the lack of motivation to explore meaningful alternatives inhibit the move towards more open education. The conclusion of the discussion: much is still (or already) open. This is in part tedious, but for the most part gratifying, because there is much to be shaped. Therefore, it is important for the future to promote an awareness of open education and to conduct corresponding research.
The presentation on the input can be found here. We thank Astrid Wittenberg for her inspiring input.