This week is open education week. Every year I try to do something to mark the week. I usually try to organise something at work, or try to ensure we release some open resources. However this year, up to last night (Friday) I had failed to promote or engage the week.
This isn’t because I have had a change of heart about open education, or that I don’t see the value of this global week celebrating the movement. It’s much more basic than that. I just haven’t made the time. Partly this is because I have been busy with other things at work and also in my non work life (buying and selling houses takes up a lot of time).
Hwever last night I did manage to take part in a slow (running throughout the day) tweet chat organised by Laura Pasquini, which is part of a series of open, collaborative opportunities for discussion Laura has instigated under the #HEdigID hashtag.
You can see a full list of the questions, and contribute to the discussion on twitter or here
In terms of question 1, the energy, affirmation and joy I got from connecting with a group of like minded, international colleagues pretty sums up a huge part of the benefits I have got from being an open practitioner.
- What are some of the benefits for being an open educator, scholar, and/or practitioner in higher education?
I do try to encourage my colleagues to be as open as possible, however my opening paragraph to this post I think starts to answer a bit of question 2.
- What issues do academics and practitioners face, when being “open” in higher education? What challenges emerge when your teaching, research, or practice is open?
Sometimes I just don’t have anything to share or say. Like most people I have peaks and troughs of activity. I am also very fortunate in that I have been doing lots of “stuff’ openly online for a while now so have an established network I can tap into (and out of) pretty easily. That is still a challenge for many.
But as Sue said
A2 Through being an open educator you can develop a valuable network with other open educators, within which you can co-learn and develop ideas, get feedback or indeed go on to collaborate. #HEdigID
— Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) 9 March 2018
But that does take time. Again I have been incredibly fortunate to have been sort of forced to blog and engage with online networking from over a decade now. Through that I have found a voice, probably been able to punch way above my weight and been able to be a small part of a very large global conversation around open educational practice.
So in terms of Q7
- How does being “open” influence graduate preparation (masters, doctoral, etc.) or early career professionals in your field or discipline? This might be related to digital scholarship and open practices on the social web (e.g. blogs, Twitter, etc.
Open-ness has given my voice, my opinions a space, given me freedom to be heard outwith the confines of traditional academic publishing. Open has also allowed me to engage with “proper’ scholars/researchers (Catherine, Chrissi and many, many others) and allowed me and other to gain access to their research almost instantly and without additional costs. (NB there is a shoutout to another inspirational open educator, Lorna in this para too. )
Like any form of practice, open educational practice is an evolving state of being. It is my personal commitment that keeps me pushing on, and conversely it is that personal commitment that makes me worry at times that I don’t do enough, that I’m not visible enough.
Last night was like a getting a little recharge of my open batteries, getting a shot of the open juice. People connecting and sharing is at the heart of education (and life for that matter), open education allows me to do that in a much broader, collaborative, supportive way. So thank you Laura for organising and everyone I connected with last night for once again reassuring, challenging, inspiring and motivating me once more.