One could argue that Audrey Watters’ dismissal of today’s announcement is a little harsh, somewhat cynical. Maybe insistence on open code and open content as necessary conditions for “open education” is a case of ‘zeal over pragmatism’.
But if proprietary content and platforms in service of for-profit enterprises counts as “open education”, just what is the “open” part supposed to be? Audrey’s subsequent tweets offer a clue.
Open as in doors. Open as in hearts. Open as in “for business”. And give them credit, the venture capitalized open education movers have proven tireless in making deals and spewing triumphant press releases. The Open Education Alliance represents the latest landmark in this glorious history.
In any event, while a concept such as open source carries certain obligatory qualities, when we talk about education the application of “open” is more closely related to how ‘All Natural!’ or ‘New and Improved!’ are used on our supermarket shelves. It’s gotten to the point where I find myself hesitant to use a term like “open education” when I speak with people. And I wonder if I still want to be called an open educator.
Reading stuff like this is a massive open online bummer. But truthfully, I’m actually not so Abject these days. I’m plenty busy working with people here and elsewhere on approaches to using online technologies to extend, enhance and energize learning. We share a dedication to working in ways that exploit network effects to inform, amplify and augment our practice. We share what we do because it feels good, because it makes what we do better, because it represents a human-scale way of being, one with global reach.
I’ll strive to adjust my bloggage accordingly.