AP English Literature and Composition
1 June 2014
As I entered a classroom with graffiti on one wall and CD cases on another, I had no idea what to expect. “What is Open Source Learning?” was the question that ran through my mind repeatedly. “We would have the freedom to do what?” We get to decide what we want to learn?"
With the freedom of deciding what we wanted to learn, trust played a major role in the concept of Open Source Learning. At the very beginning of the course, Dr. Preston immediately trusted every student. Although I feel like trust isn't meant to be given out freely, his ability to trust only illustrated how passionate he truly is about learning.
Like the characters in Brave New World, Hamlet,and The Poisonwood Bible, I had to ultimately put myself in an atmosphere in which I did not feel comfortable in; in a classroom where I was not accustomed to the style of learning. At the beginning of the course, I was not comfortable with the concept of Open Source Learning. The idea of posting my work on the Internet, which would later serve as resources for future students was incredibly difficult to wrap my head around. I've never been the type of individual to share my thoughts or ideas with others, and the thought of everyone being able to view my work frightened me. However, through the course of the year, I learned how to open up to others. I learned to work outside of my comfort zone not only through collaboration, but through working on the internet, which was something I've never done before. I learned about myself and what I'm truly capable of accomplishing, but most importantly I learned about the importance of collaboration. With all that I was taught through the course of the year, I can truly say that the course has opened my eyes and has changed me for the better.
This course helped me discover what it meant to learn independently as well as what my classmates were passionate about. During the masterpiece presentations, the themes of finding yourself and living life to the fullest seemed to come up quite a bit. Lesther demonstrated that acts of compassion can lead to discovering oneself. Miranda created a video of life experiences and illustrated the importance of discovering one's meaning in life. Taylor, Bailey, and Meghan displayed how important it is to enjoy life through documenting their last months of high school. While Breanna, Eli, and Whitney illustrated the significance of enjoying life and living everyday as if it were the last.
I believe that successfully completing this course as well as reaching the end of my senior year of high school are considered a hero's journey. Although I do not personally consider myself a hero, I feel like the course, Open Source Learning, my peers, and Dr. Preston were all my heroes. As a student enrolled in the course, I was given the opportunity to work freely and discover myself along the way. With the help of the course as well as my peers, I came to realize the importance of Open Source Learning. The way I see it, Open Source Learning saved me; it helped me discover myself as well as helped me develop collaboration skills along the way.