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Paul Bond

The impossible triangle connection

2 min read

True openness

The Twitterverse brought this article to my attention today. I like the idea of openness as an attitude and a state of mind. But the author raises an interesting question:

So does open scholarship require access to technology and basic digital literacies as a prerequisite for practice? I don’t think so… That would limit the potential and sustainability of open education; openness should be a worldview for an educator more than a technological possibility (although I love the possibilities).

I read that as seeing tech and literacy as a gateway to openness, a gate that's not necessarily open for everyone. So there's a closed-ness as well - a contradiction. I had been thinking about how there is a contradiction in open course too - a course, by definition, has a start and an end. When it becomes open-ended, like Cormier's Rhizo thing, does it stop being a course? If so, what do you call it? Or maybe we need to redefine it.

The post brought me back to Steve Wheeler's post on Open scholarship from a few months ago. I'm sure I must have seen it before, but I must have had other demands on my attention so I missed the impossible triangle connection. I agree with Goodfellow's assessment of the inherent tensions in online openness and open scholarship. Literacy and economics are barriers. Maybe we don't always see them when they're behind us, but they are there nonetheless.

And Goodfellow's article led me to his book, as if I really needed more to read. Every day an adventure...