In this talk I want to cover a broad range of issues, which hopefully sets tone for the course,
I’m going to look at the rise of open approaches, and then some of the pros and cons. Lots of books and articles seem to be either overly enthusiastic, or paint a dystopian picture of a ruined society. What I feel this course is about is equipiig you with the knolwedge and skills to understand what open approaches can do for you, but also to be aware of the issues they raise. I want to then quickly look at some lessons from recent history and end with some points for discussion. Throughout the talk is this thread about why it’s relevant by identifying a number of “arguments” that can be proposed for engaging with openness
You’ll cover these in detail in the course, so won’t go into them here, But the addition of ‘open’ in front of almost any term has become a thing, and in higher education, this has moved into mainstream practice eg open access
So, the first argument for engaging with open practice is “it’s happening whether you like it or not, get on the bus” I’m not very keen on this argument, it’s vaguely threatening, but there is something to it
Now going to look at the pros of open approaches I used to only give these, because early in a movement people are looking for reasons to ignore it, so I think we have a tendency to ignore any downsides. However, as we’ve seen openness has gained sufficient momentum now, and I think it behoves us to highiglight issues it raises also
We work in universities, colleges, libraries etc – sharing is really at the heart of what we do. Openness – whether it’s open access publications, blogging ideas openly, releasing data under an open license, or creating shareable teaching content – promotes sharing, with the internet in a way we never could before. This is great for us
In a social media world, publishing an article for instance behind a paywall is just an archaic practice – you can’t share it online. Lots of studies have found the open access citation advantage. But also just for you as an individual, establishing an online identity, or you project or institution
You sometimes see commercial companies engage in the open world but when venture capitalists want their money back, openness is the first thing to go. In terms of our function, skill set and values – sharing open resources is something we are well placed to do and increases our relevancy in society
It can be cost effective Eg MOUs aren’t required, just share open licence Student recruitment
Eg translating stuff, finding new partners, communication coming from individuals as part of what they do rather than centralised
People find you through what you share, and can real world benefits, eg projestc or ‘lite’ forms of collaboration eg we took your resources and reworked them for our students, do your students want to come in on a joint webinar, etc
So my second argument, which I prefer, is that actually open approaches are beneficial in lots of ways.
But, as I mentioned, there are downsides. It’s important to keep these in perspective, we often don’t see the negatives in current practice just because it’s what we do and then over-emphasise the negatives in a new approach (example of online conference?)
One of the good things about sharing is that unexpected things happen – your material might be used in ways you’d never expect. But this can also be a negative also, and this surredering of control is often something people find difficult. With open licenses you can still retain ownership, but it is undoubtedly a less controlled environment than inside the universty walls
This is actually less common than people fear. With a creative common lcience you do have rights, but it does happen. Two prominent bloggers I know have their photos used by fake romance scammers, with facebook accounts etc.
When I first went online, twitter and the blogosphere was undoubtedly a nicer, more supportive place. It still remains that way to a large extent, but it has become darker. This is an area, where as a white, middle aged man it is easy to say “I have only had great friends online” but I know women who write about technology or race or gender issues who have had death threats and horrible abuse. I think particularly if we’re encouraging students to go online we need to acknowledge this exists. It isn’t common and the issue is we shouldn’t surrender this space to idiots, but when it happens the effects can be very damaging.
As soon as we start creating resources, we push ourselves online. Much of the benefits come from establishing an identity that is based around your personal identity. The data our phones give off, our access to institutional systems, our public messages – all leave a data trail. These can be formally monitored, through analytics, or just socially monitired – we see what each other are doing
Competution Blurring boundaries between personal and private is often key to establishing a good online identity, but by doing so we blur boundaries between work and home.
Even with the negatives though I think there is a strong argument for understanding how these can impact, particularly for students
Quickly going to look at a couple of examples from recent history and what they can tell us about open approches
The VLE was a stepping stone, it quickly allowed us to get far with elearning quickly But we created a lot of institutional process around it, which built up like sediment. It became difficult to do any innovatoon outside of the VLE. Instead of the VLE becoming a route to engaging with elearning the VLE became elearning.
With publishing we outsourced the university press to commercial publishers and ended up in a very negative relationship – we provide the goods and services for free and then buy back our own product. They make millions and increasingly unis are finding they can’t afford access to journals
MOOCS started as experimental and then gained the interest of silicon valley venture capitalist. They got lots of media attention, and universities signed away content. But
Openness will happen, and the lessons suggest that what it means will be changed.
Why open knowledge
Why "open knowledge"?
• Openness everywhere?
• Lessons from history
Openness is everywhere
• Open knowledge
• Open access
• Open practice
• Open data
• Open licenses
• Open research
• Open citizenship
The “Get on the bus” argument
• Openness is like digital was in
• You’re going to have to engage
with it whether you like it or not