Why Open Still Matters: Reflections on Day 2

I have spent most of this afternoon mulling over tweets, google+ postings, personal blogs and web pages, trying to make my own way through  the “Why Open Matters” materials. I have found the twitter stream really useful – I’ve used it to see where other people are up to, follow fellow OCL4Ed participants and share thoughts. Google+ has just annoyed me – too much of the conversation is hidden behind “More…” buttons and profiles of the poster keep popping up. Everything is tagged so that you can track it. It is clear that some people are using OCL4Ed and others #OCL4Ed. I’m not sure if it matters everywhere, but as you’ll have noticed from this blog, I decided to use both just to be on the safe side 🙂

Whereas Day 1 used some pretty inspirational speakers in the video clips, Day 2 has deployed some more controversial ones, some of whom I didn’t really take to personally. I have struggled at times to separate their personality from their point of view – something I didn’t expect to be doing on a MOOC! The perspectives were heavily weighted towards US examples and terminology – a bit of a shame given the international spread of the particpants (only 16% of the respondents to the course Fair & Reasonable Practice Survey are from North America).

One of the key take-away points for me has been the two facets to the word “open” used in the sense of OERs. (As an aside some would rather have us use “libre” but I’m not going there today – you can if you want to). The first sense is open as in free (no cost). That bit I was already pretty happy with. The second bit was open as in free to create with, to re-use, re-mix, revise, redistribute. That takes a bit more thinking about and opens up all sorts of other issues – e.g. what software was the OER created with (is it free/open too?), is the source distributed or just the final product, etc., etc.

Keen to get us adopting OERs in our institutions we were then asked to think about the barriers we face. One of the tasks was to retweet our favourite example from this open textbook. That made me realise that I didn’t know much about open textbooks – time to chat to someone in the Library I think.

Image source: http://wikieducator.org/File:Recyclethis-185807557.jpg

2 thoughts on “Why Open Still Matters: Reflections on Day 2”

  1. Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure that the US is a leader in this field, in the sense that they have the greatest relative creation or adoption of OERs, but certainly some of the key developments (such as Creative Commons) has come out of the US. Many of the similar open software licenses – e.g. GNU, MIT, Berkeley come from the US too. I think one field where the US does take a lead (and this is probably no co-incidence with the former statements) is in the density of lawyers and appetite for litigation 🙂

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