Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

Why #WhyOpen?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

So I just signed up for the #whyopen MOOC (I think I signed up, I actually just entered info onto a google form, or is this the old course, and this the new one? In which case i signed up when I signed up for discourse on p2pu). Thanks to Penny for suggesting it, and I am really excited that one of my favorite open educators, Christine Hendricks, is facilitating it, with a group of others from around the world (so cool to not have a Western-centric MOOC, reminds me of #nwoer, another great one on openness.

I don’t have time to talk tooo much here about why I signed up, but I’ll just say quickly this: I discovered as I was returning from maternity leave and finishing my PhD (about a year ago ) that a lot of my seemingly unorthodox beliefs about education and research stem from an open stance. I know this is not a monolithic things, there are shades of openness. I recently wrote a poem comparing people who are open v shut (along the spectrum of course) but soon after I had an incident that made me question whether I am as open as I thought I was, where my “lines” are, whether all openness can be considered benign.

I was involved last semester in organizing an open access event at my institution. I blogged about how conversations there made me reflect on crowdsourcing, and of some of my frustrations with being misunderstood, particularly about the issues of quality of open access journals and why the heck people expect them to be lower quality!!! I still don’t get it! I admit to still being confused about what some of the CC licenses mean! I remember a really inspiring post by Christina Hendricks and reading a string of really interesting blogposts about problematic ways in which openness can be abused, etc. i thought I had blogged about this, but apparently not! I can’t find the links now 🙁 My blog is almost my curation point, but I like that WhyOpen have plans to have a google doc where we all post resources, so that should help me find them again 🙂 hopefully

I also teach a teacher education course on ethics in ed tech and I like to infuse it with discussion of open access rather than just focus on copyright/plagiarism in the traditional sense.

This post does not directly tackle the “what does open mean?” prompt for week 1, but all of the links in it about things I have written remind me of different ways I have thought of openness in the past few months.

Looking forward to learning from other open educators WhyOpen! Starts August 10th inshallah

4 thoughts on “Why #WhyOpen?

  1. Hi Maha: So glad you’ll be joining us! You’re one of my favourite open educators too. Should be lots of fun!

    The registration can indeed be confusing. There is the course from last year, which had the blog hub sign up, and there’s the course for this year (, which doesn’t have a blog hub. How you sign up for this year’s course is indeed to set up an account for Discourse, but you should also go to the bottom left of the course page and click “start course.” That puts you on the official list of participants that we will be emailing information to each week!

    I’d better go clarify that on the “About” page, and make it clear on last year’s course that it’s not the current one and point people to the current one!

  2. Hi Maha,

    Using open in a teacher ed course on ethics in edtech is a great way to help teachers think more broadly and positively about fair use beyond copyright and plagiarism. It might encourage educators to develop a philosophy about licenses. I posted a David Wiley TEDxNY talk using #WhyOpen where he connects the open movement to the long history of attempts to control content. It might be useful for you as you put together your course.


    1. hiya Jeannette, thanks for your comment. I already taught the course, and the last time I taught it I used some content that David Wiley had done in his open course on OER. I didn’t require that particular video, but maybe I will in future runs 😉 Thanks

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