Open Culture, Open Education, Open Questions


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Keynote at #OER16 Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland - 19 April 2016

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  • Good morning!
    Warm thanks to all of you & especially to Lorna Campbell, Melissa Highton & OER16 team who invited me to be here.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’m in a room (physically & virtually) filled with many of the scholars I most admire, and from whom I have learned & continue to learn so much.
    I look forward to so much of what are bringing here for these 2 days, I’m honoured to be able to share my work here also.
  • One more thanks: Edinburgh = city of Art & Architecture; Science & Technology; Literature & Poetry
    We’ll hear from the wonderful Open GLAM folks here at OER16

    Mary Somerville –eminent mathematician & scientist, Scotland 1780; widely honoured in her day– although not in many science history texts.
    She will appear on a new 10 bank note in 2017 - do check out her Wikipedia page, enormous contributions by Melissa
    And her portrait, THIS portrait, hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen St.

    @Scottish Poetry Library – even closer! They have the most wonderful web site & Twitter account daily dose of poetry (one of 1st accounts I followed 2009)
    Line is from Patrick Geddes – pioneering work on city planning, much of it here in Edinburgh
  • Highlight these 2 definitions… hopefully describing us today (those participating here & virtually)

    In that spirit of connecting & bridge building, and because we’re at the start of our 2-day programme.
    I’m going to take a leaf out of Jonathan Worth’s book & ask you to say hello to someone near you – ideally someone you don’t know already.
    You don’t need to get up, particularly if you’re all settled in, but please feel free to get up & move around & say hello to someone.
    If you are online (livestream or Twitter), please say hello 

    2 MINUTES!!
     I’m going to make my way to openness & open education via Participatory Culture…
  • One year ago today, this mural appeared on a gable wall on one of the busiest streets in Dublin, South Georges Street.

    Created by Joe Caslin, artist & activist – in support of the referendum for Marriage Equality which took place in Ireland last May.
    A 3-month campaign led up to the referendum, which was eventually passed.

    This particular image garnered much attention – shared widely on social media.
    So much so that it appeared then on front page of NY Times…
  • … the mural became the subject of other artwork, also shared online, particularly via social media.
  • Not only in urban spaces – a 2nd Joe Caslin mural was created on a castle in rural Galway.
  • More guerilla artwork happened as well in small spaces, particularly around Dublin…. blank walls, shop windows, etc.
  • Ivor Crotty, an Irish journalist, shared social media analytics – like this one from the day of the vote, to visualise those communications
  • We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions right now with the REFUGEE CRISIS.
    I’ve spent time recently exploring how open practices & social media are being used – not just in liking or sharing, which is common – but where individuals are acting together to try to effect positive change
    >> NGOs, small companies, non-profit, collectives, etc.

    Participation is the driving force in social change!
  • PC characterised by 5 features.
  • HOW successful are our educational institutions in meeting this goal?
     HOW can we help every learner to develop their own voice & agency so they can contribute to the shared production of KNOWLEDGE & CULTURE ?

    (Jenkins, Ito, boyd, 29)
  • Image that I have used for a couple of years to illustrate this…if ALL our teaching occurs in 1st 2 spaces, then we lose the opportunity to engage with students in openly networked spaces.

    This is not simply a matter of ”going where students are”, i.e. let’s teach on Facebook. Much more fundamental. It’s about recognising the ubiquity of knowledge & networks– but also the imperative to facilitate not only LEARNING but empowerment, civic participation and capacity building.

    >> Ascribed, role – institutional structures
    >> Chosen, created – networked culture
  • Openness is a complex phenomenon… it is Technical, Social, Cultural, Economic

    2 ways to think about OPENNESS IN EDUCATION in order to engage in any conversation about openness.
  • OEP = transform practice, i.e. the “live practice” of open education
    changes the relationship between T’s & L’s; dialogic; K is co-created & facilitated through mutual interaction & reflection
    (i.e. preparation for participation in networked, participatory culture)

    2-way arrow! Little use of OER in my study!

    OEP = OER-focused (Conole & Ehlers, 2010 and Armellini & Nie, 2013)
    OEP = OER + inc access to K; develop/strengthen CoP; promote innovative pedagogies (Andrade et al, 2011 in Havemann et al 2014)
    OEP = OER + promote innovative pedagogies; respect & empower L’s as co-producers (Ehlers, 2011)
    OEP = OER + open pedagogies; open learning; open scholarship; open sharing of teaching; open technologies (Beetham et al, JISC, 2012)
  • Your answers to the question “Why Open”…
  • Asked this question on Twitter & in my blog – got 29 comments.

    Your answers to the question “Why Open”… depend on your vantage point, your values, your goals.

  • RESOURCES – Get access for self & provide access for students
    PRACTICES – How to be a better educator, researcher, teacher… and help students/staff to develop open practices as well
    VALUES – Equity or Social Justice vision of education… (what Paul Prinsloo calls “designing hope”)
    DEFINITION – How is open defined? Why isn’t open the default?!

    Obviously some people touched on more than one aspect, or even all 4.
    Much depends on your vantage point – both individually & institutionally:
    Most of my respondents were in education sector – responding as educator, researcher, manager, etc.
    What might responses by from cultural sector? From libraries?
  • Section on MAPPING METHODOLOGIES… tools that people have used to work with groups, within institutions,
    To explore openness, determine the current level of open practice, see what’s possible re: going further.
  • We know very much about the potential advantages of openness, and we are good at communicating these.

    Potential for openness to do just the opposite of what may be intended – and to create inequalities.
    Students and staff who are already marginalised… structurally or otherwise… can feel pressured to take on open scholarship, but may be disadvantaged by it.

    It is clear that OPEN is not a binary: open/closed.
    Neither it is a binary OPEN = GOOD; closed = bad.
  • OPEN tends to bias those already privileged. This can be hard to SEE, first of all -- and takes effort to address.
    But having a critical, reflexive approach – and listening to those who are doing work in this vein – are two ways forward.
  • sava is here to discuss this work! Please look for her in the programme.
    I note that there is a strong strand of critical work in the OER16 programme this year:
    Other scholars: Jeremy Knox, Vivien Rolfe, Suzan Koseoglu, Sheila MacNeill, Christian Friedrich, Leo Havemann & Javiera Atenas; Andrew Midleton & Kathrine Jensen

    We need critical research! We also need empirical research.
    Qualitative research study of academic staff practices at one HE institution without any Open Education policies.
    I interviewed 19 academic staff across all disciplines– full-time & part-time; permanent, temporary, no contracts.
    >> little use of OER… OER & OEP use was emergent
    >> great tension between Privacy & Openness
    >> primacy of identity

    Individual – Complex – Contextual
  •  Individual – Complex – Contextual

    Some academic staff have a fierce attachment to privacy. Open practitioners & researchers can be quite critical of such individuals at times.
    Some staff described prior experiences of bullying, harassment & stalking – personally or in families.
    Openness entails negotiating new forms of risk. Anyone can have a voice/contribute: new kinds of boundaries & status hierarchies (“new elite”)
    Some staff perceived greater risks: (1) surveillance culture; (2) female staff, for example, or those marginalised in other ways – with regard to online shaming & abuse,

    “If we truly value participatory culture & openness, we must recognize the right of individuals to choose to not participate.” (Jenkins)
    We need to be sensitive to the needs of others

  • What is the role for the University here?

    Digital Identities / Literacies / Capability
  • We mustn’t shy away from critical discourse
    We must hold ourselves, our peers, our students to high ethical standards
    Support one another
    Work collaboratively & cooperatively on the ongoing project of open education, open & participatory culture
  • Open Culture, Open Education, Open Questions

    1. 1. #OER16 Catherine Cronin @catherinecronin NUI Galway 19 April 2016 Image: CC BY 2.0 woodleywonderworks Open Culture, Open Education, Open Questions
    2. 2. Mary Somerville @NatGalleriesScot …and Wikipedia, of course @ByLeavesWeLive Scottish Poetry Library All Hail Edinburgh! Image:CCBY2.0kumaravel
    3. 3. open Allowing access or view Not closed, blocked, or covered Freely available or accessible; unrestricted Unfolded or spread out Not concealing one’s thoughts or feelings Not finally settled; still admitting of debate Admitting customers or visitors (business) Allowed to vibrate along its whole length (musical string)
    4. 4. @joecaslin 
    5. 5. @hendinarts
    6. 6. @joecaslin 
    7. 7. #marref
    8. 8. #refugeecrisis
    9. 9. Participatory Culture: low barriers to artistic expression & civic engagement strong support for creating & sharing informal mentorship members believe their contributions matter social connection Henry Jenkins, et al (2007) Confronting the Challenges of a Participatory Culture
    10. 10. multimodal multimedia ✓ voice / choice networked ✓ topic / content social ✓ genre / tone purposeful ✓ space / place collaborative ✓ time / duration agentic Participatory Culture literacy practices
    11. 11. networked educators networked students Physical Spaces Bounded Online Spaces Open Online Spaces Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 Catherine Cronin, built on original Networked Teacher image by Alec Couros
    12. 12. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 Marcel Oosterwijk …’open’ signals a broad, de-centralized constellation of practices that skirt the institutional structures and roles by which formal learning has been organized for generations. – Bonnie Stewart (2015)
    13. 13. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 Marcel Oosterwijk OEP (Open Educational Practices) OER (Open Educational Resources) Free Open Admission (e.g. Open Universities) INTERPRETATIONS of ‘OPEN’ OER-focused definitions: produce, use, reuse OER Broader definitions: produce, use, reuse OER + open pedagogies; open learning; open sharing of teaching ideas Licensed for reuse: for use, adaptation & redistribution by others
    14. 14. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 Marcel Oosterwijk INTERPRETATIONS of ‘OPEN’ Policy/ Culture Values Practices Activities LEVELS of OPENNESS OEP (Open Educational Practices) OER (Open Educational Resources) Free Open Admission (e.g. Open Universities) IndividualInstitutional
    15. 15. “If open is the answer… what is the question?” Public domain image: New York Public Library
    16. 16. Ontology Practices Values • Access text books • Access publicly-funded resources • Learn, develop, reflect & share • Connect, collaborate & debate • Build & support digital capability • Empower learners & educators in building digital identities • Serve the democratic purpose of knowledge construction • Temper effects of commercialisation • Maintain academic identity & integrity • Consider ethics, power, reflexivity, humanity Resources • What is ‘open’? • Why not open?
    17. 17.
    18. 18. Ehlers (2011) Hodgkinson- Williams (2014)
    19. 19. a critical, reflexive approach openness:
    20. 20. Openness is not the opposite of closed-ness, nor is there simply a continuum between the two… An important question becomes not simply whether education is more or less open, but what forms of openness are worthwhile and for whom; openness alone is not an educational virtue. Richard Edwards (2015) @RichardEd1 “
    21. 21. The people calling for open are often in positions of privilege, or have reaped the benefits of being open early on – when the platform wasn’t as easily used for abuse, and when we were privileged to create the kinds of networks that included others like us. sava saheli singh (2015) @savasavasava “
    22. 22. Balancing privacy & openness Image: CC BY 2.0 woodleywonderworks
    23. 23. Openness: it’s personal Will I share / blog / tweet…? Who will I share with? Who will I share as? Will I share this? MACRO MESO MICRO NANO digital identity  context collapse “You’re negotiating all the time.”
    24. 24. Roadmap for Building Digital Capacity @ForumTL Digital Capability Model @Jisc @helenbeetham
    25. 25. The barrier to participation is not the technology but the kinds of privilege that are often ignored in meritocratic discourse. dana boyd @zephoria Jenkins, Ito & boyd (2016) Participatory Culture in a Networked Era “
    26. 26. open Not universally experienced Complex & contextual Requires digital capability & agency Both descriptive & aspirational Critical discourse is essential “Move from access to equity & justice” (McMillan Cottom, 2015)
    27. 27. Thank you! Catherine Cronin @catherinecronin Image: CC BY 2.0 visualpanic
    28. 28. References & Bibliography (1 of 2) Beetham, Helen (2015) Revisiting digital capability for 2015. Jisc. Beetham, Helen, I. Falconer, L. McGill, A. Littlejohn (2012) Open Practices: Briefing Paper. Jisc. Cottom, Tressie McMillan (2015) Open and Accessible to What and for Whom? Blog. Czerniewicz, L. (2015) Confronting inequitable power dynamics of global knowledge production and exchange. Water Wheel 14(5), pp. 26-28. Edwards, Richard (2015) Knowledge infrastructures and the inscrutability of openness in education. Learning, Media and Technology 40(3), pp. 251-264. Ehlers, U.-D. (2011). Extending the territory: From open educational resources to open educational practices. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 15(2), pp. 1–10. Hodgkinson-Williams, C. (2014) Degrees of ease: Adoption of OER, open textbooks and MOOCs in the Global South. OER Asia Symposium. Jenkins, Henry, et al. (2007). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago: MacArthur Foundation.
    29. 29. References & Bibliography (2 of 2) Jenkins, Henry, Mizuko Ito & danah boyd (2016) Participatory Culture in a Networked Era. Cambridge: Polity Press. National Forum for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (2015) Developing a Roadmap for Building Digital Capacity. National Forum Report. sing, sava saheli (2015) The Fallacy of “Open”. savasavasava blog. Stewart, Bonnie (2015) Open to influence: What counts as academic influence in scholarly networked Twitter participation. Learning, Media and Technology 40(3), pp. 1-23. Veletsianos, George & Kimmons, Royce (2012) Networked participatory scholarship: Emergent techno-cultural pressures toward open and digital scholarship in online networks. Computers & Education, 58(2), pp. 766–774.