The Must Read Newsletter Sharing Reflections and Research on Open Content

Educause has long been a pioneer in disseminating leading information on the changes in educational technology, particularly at the post secondary level.

They've just released their Educause Review Magazine online and there are some great articles.

The Newsletter opens with an overview of the “open” movement where David Wiley shares about “The Open Future: Openness as Catalyst for an Educational Reformation.”  I love his blunt, “in your face” writing style that hits at the core issues but also share a call challenging higher institutions of learning to begin to wake up to the transformation that is happening with or without it: David says:

“For the authors of content, resources, courseware, or textbooks, being open is about overcoming the inner two-year-old who constantly screams: “Mine! You can't have it! It's MINE!” Unfortunately, modern law and college/university policy tend to enable this bad behavior, allowing us to shout “Mine!” ever more loudly, to stomp our feet with ever less self-control, and to hit each other with ever harder and sharper toys. Throughout our tantrums, society soothingly whispers that unbridled selfishness is a natural and therefore appropriate feeling. Regrettably, some educators and administrators have allowed themselves to be swayed by the siren song: “It's OK. Be stingy with your lecture notes. Don't share your slides. They're yours. Sue those students who posted their class notes online. It's legal. Go ahead.” By contrast, the idea of openness reminds us of what we knew intuitively before society gave us permission to act monstrously toward one another.”

Great words.

I have written an article about the Open Student. Questioning the future of the Open Student asks the questions we must grapple with because truly the answers aren't here yet but also profiling what a typical student looks like in my class. What will the open student look like?

Also in the issue:
The Open Course:  Through the Open Door – Open Courses as Research, Learning, and Engagement by Dave Cormier and George Siemens

The Open Faculty: To Share or Not to Share: Is that the Question? by Maria Andersen

The Open Ed Tech: Never Mind the Edupunks; or, The Great Web 2.0 Swindle by Brian Lamb and Jim Groom  — This article has a great quote I love:

“It's premature to publish an obituary for openness in educational technology just yet. But it's also foolish to assume there will be a happy ending to this story.”

The Open World: Access to Knowledge as a Foundation for An Open World by Carolina Rossini

 Even if I wasn't in this edition, this is a great one that will make great discussions when preservice, Masters, and PhD level educators convene in classrooms in the fall.

For so many of us, myself included, we say “Yes, I'm open but…”  and it is the “but” that tells us how really open we are.

For me, the moments that made me add the “but” were when people abused the creative commons license I was using and took my work – relabeling as their own. Or the conference that slipped in a paragraph that they would own all of the intellectual property of the content of what I presented (I deleted and initialed that paragraph.)   The bottom line is that as free as we want to be, when dealing with publishers and conferences you'd better have a good intellectual property lawyer. Period.

I don't think we should be free fools, but I do think that we should advocate for changes at the institutional level that will allow more intellectual property to flow and to blow the whistle on organizations who put “fine print” in their documents claiming the rights to work that educators THINK they are sharing freely but in the course of sharing are becoming “free fools” and giving up the rights to their work.

Remember this – blogger, speaker — often the most important contract is the first one you sign.

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