What is “Open”?
Now that my dissertation is wrapped up, I’ve been increasingly active online. I shared and interacted while a student, but now I feel free to connect, learn, and share with others. I got this blog up and running again, and don’t have a problem sharing and connecting with others I meet on Twitter, Google+, and in the real-world. Most of this sharing and posting happens “openly.” In working with educators, and with my colleagues, I advocate for them working and sharing openly as well. To me, this means that we post openly to our blogs, and classroom websites to allow people and other learners outside of our given context the opportunity to learn and engage. Obviously this is often modified to protect the identity and work of our students. But, my thinking is that if I put out a blog post to help my students understand how to use Google Presenter…why can’t/don’t I just share it publicly for all read? To that end, all of the materials on this blog are free to use and share, and “protected” using CC-licensing. People might want to read and use this information…people might not care at all, but at least it is openly available.
Open is an attitude
Even as I continue to write, share, and advocate for the sharing of content openly online, I know that there is a much broader, grander notion of what it means to be “open.” In one of the community calls for the Mozilla Web Literacy Standards someone brought up the idea of sharing openly online, or CC-licensing as a way to “define” open and include it in the weblitstd. To that Doug Belshaw stated that “open is an attitude” and that it wasn’t just these characteristics. I was struck by this statement and have continued to try and understand the complexity of it. What else could I do to try and be more “open” online? How can I advocate for others to work, share, and think openly online? Most importantly…how do we do this while protecting educators, students, and ourselves while working and sharing online?
To help unpack some of these questions I have a series of episodes of Digitally Literate planned. The very first step is that we need to begin the discussion and identify exactly what do we mean by “open.” What is meant by “open ed resources” (OER)? How do we empower educators and students to authentically, effectively, and safely negotiate these decisions?
Once again, I’m motivated by the informed, thoughtful, strategic use of the Internet focusing on three tenets: educate, empower, and advocate. This is especially true as events warrant online that can affect our privacy and safety.
This episode of Digitally Literate will tackle these issues as we try to better understand what it means to embed literacy-based practices online. You can watch live today at 12 PM (EST) and ask questions. Please feel free to visit the TitanPad during the show to view notes and add your own materials. The Hangout-on-Air and my reflection will be posted here on this blog.
Image CC by wikipedia