Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English) (Alice in Wonderland)
I have to confess to feeling a bit like that during last nights #YearofOpen hangout on Open Pedagogy. There was such a great line up of people in the hangout space, and an even greater line up joining via YouTube and Twitter, that every time I spoke I think I ended up forgetting what I really wanted to say.
Since the end of the chat and most of today I have been having the reflective, “I wish I’d said that” thoughts.
One thing that we touched on which really resonated with me is the importance of open (support) networks, open collaboration, and open communities which was raised by Mike Caulfield
— Catherine Cronin (@catherinecronin) April 24, 2017
David Wiley proposed that the open pedagogy was somehow seen as more exciting than OER and he felt quite sad about that. Open pedagogy and practice was in some way the new “shiny” thing was sparking peoples interest. OERs are just boring now.
I don’t think it’s that binary. But people do get bored with things. If you have been at the cutting edge of innovation once whatever the shiny thing is becomes mainstream it can lose some of its sparkle. There are lost of people who like to be at the cutting edge all the time. For me the loss of that initial sparkle is actually the most exciting part of any innovation. Helping people see the potential of new “stuff”, and watching them go off in directions I couldn’t have thought of is one of the best parts of my job.
What I think is happening is now that OERs are becoming mainstream we need to explore how they are actually being used and created. That naturally leads to open practice. The reflection and articulation of that practice through pedagogical frameworks in HE is a natural evolution imho. However pedagogy brings with it a set of assumptions and privileges, particularly in relation to higher education. Exploring practice then is perhaps a more equitable and meaningful starting point.
During the hang out, Robin de Rosa made some really excellent points about the need to leverage open in terms of infrastructure to ensure access to public education in the US context. I think we have the same concerns here in the UK. Open infrastructure isn’t just about technology though undoubtedly that is a very important part. It’s also about people and practice, the sharing of the where, what, why, when and how we use that infrastructure in our practice.
The conversations and bonds that open (as in open in the web) networks forge are hugely important and for me. They form a significant part of my open practice and my open infrastructure. As we all struggle with increasingly closed political environments we need to fight for open conversations and sharing of ideas and practice. These are things that don’t need to be openly licensed but form an increasingly important layer around, above, below, alongside licensed OERs.
This morning I did an interview with another open education researcher Helen Crump. It was very timely happening just after the hangout. Helen’s areas of research is around the notion of self OER and we discussed how I felt that manifested in my interactions with open scholarship, education, practice and networks. I truly believe that people are educational resources, and the some of the best resources that we have. We can’t forget that.
I have really struggled with open this year as I shared in this post. Being able to tap into my network (which is full of some fantastic open researchers and practitioners) has helped keep me sane; allowed me to be able to be part of a workshop session at #oer17; kept me informed about new work, and examples of practice – all of which I can store until I can find a way to (re)use.
Open pedagogy, practice, OERs are equally boring. It’s the connections, confidence, increased access to, and extension of knowledge that open education and open networks create that are exciting.
Many thanks again to Maha Bali and the #YearofOpen for organising the hangout which you can view below. Maha has also started curating a really useful collection of recent blogs posts and conversations around this issue of open pedagogy – well worth exploring and bookmarking if you are at all interested in this evolving discussion.