On the “value” of Open

For this year’s ETUG workshop in Nelson the skookum (look it up) organizing committee did a call for videos discussing the Value of Openness. The submissions, from happy mutants all over the network, were fantastic.

The complete finished version (about 30 minutes long) is well worth the watch (I can’t find the embed code, but watch it here – http://etug.ca/2011/06/02/2011-etug-spring-workshop-open-keynote/)

Here’s my little contribution, didactic and heartless as usual ;-( Anyways, for what it is worth


4 thoughts on “On the “value” of Open”

  1. Hi Scott, good to actually see you again. You make the very good point – why are we justifying ‘open’ ffs? As if closed is the desirable norm? David Wiley is doing an OLNet fellowship this summer where he wants to answer this question in very real terms. I toyed with it in my book where I argue that openness is an effective way of working. But maybe we should say, tell me why it isn’t effective? I’ve argued elsewhere that in higher ed we can afford to be disruptive & we’re not in the same position as say the music industry.
    Anyway this clip reminded me of the big lebowski & that can’t be a bad thing

  2. Hi Scott

    Nice bit of musing. Maybe we *are* at that magical point in which we can stop asking ‘what is the value of openness?’ & turn it around; maybe we are at that point in which educators who routinely practise closed-ness will have to start justifying (or not) their position. A tipping point.

    I think part of the reason why educators have been able to justify keeping their work so closed for so long is that we have been sold a bill of goods with this whole ‘education is a business’ paradigm.

    Hm, perhaps that’s a bad — or at least ironic — choice of metaphor 😉

    Education is NOT a business. There are business opportunities within education, some of them even morally legitimate. But as a product, education is the ultimate non-consumable, non-scarce, replenishable, even enzymatic item. Closing it for the purposes of monetization — as if that were the default way of using it — is morally outrageous.

    It’s wonderful that people like you & Martin (above) & David Wiley & lots of others are able to speak so clearly & eloquently about this.

  3. Gina, thanks, too high praise I think to be lumped in with the likes of Martin and David, but I’ll take what I can get.

    I personally agree with the idea that education is not a business, but I think we are in the minority, increasingly so as we witness the right-wing-ification of Canada unfold post-election. I personally hold little hope of stopping that slide at any sort of grand level, but continue to focus my individual efforts on moving away from relating to others as simply mechanisms of exchange or stores of value.

  4. @martin p.s. I forgot to thank you for the Big Liebowski compliment – funnily enough I just received an email last week that reminded me I was still an ordained Dudeist Priest in The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. I mean, you never know when being a member of the clergy could come in handy…

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