Why Open Matters

So it begins

This week wraps up the first week of the Introduction to Open Education MOOC offered through UT-Arlington’s LINK Lab.

One of the reasons why I am taking this course is to connect with others (already saw a fellow MN educator in the group), to compile additional resources for my lit review, and to find out about the fantastic open initiatives taking place all over the world. It will also be fun to blog again 🙂

The first week kicked off with overview videos from the course facilitators, George Siemens and David Wiley. As someone who finds the history of disciplines and academic fields endlessly fascinating, I enjoyed hearing about the genesis of the open movement, which as they note, is in its second decade. Both facilitators shared their stories about how they became interested in and got started with open education. I was familiar with Wiley’s history in terms of being inspired by the open source movement and his work with Lumen Learning. I was less familiar with Siemen’s background – he was part of the first 1:1 laptop programs in higher ed in Canada and views learning as open – as in transparent. When he talked about his current interests with learning analytics and data, this stood out to me:

How we make decisions with that data needs to be as transparent as the content

Additional names mentioned during their conversations include: Stephen Downes, Darcy Norman, Alan Levine, Bryan Alexander, and Dave Cormier. Supplemental resources mentioned include The cathedral and the bazaar and Open education: International perspectives in higher education…and many more in the ‘articles to read’ section.

From there we moved through a series of videos about why open matters: from the perspectives of librarians, students, Paul Bond, Bryan Mathers, and Stephen Downes! What I particularly appreciated about his video was his emphasis on people: “it’s not about what you do with stuff, it’s about what you did with each other.”

At this point, I am starting to wonder about other voices in this space….and then we came to the link to Jenny Mackness’ post. I echo her comments about this course, in that we collectively engage in “a critical approach, encourage diverse perspectives and be willing to surface and challenge assumptions.”

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