An offhand, only half-serious comment I made in the Creative Commons open education slack channel in response to a very worthy question from BCCampus’ Amanda Coolidge led to a new (?) metaphor to help explain the different open-licensing implications between collecting and redistributing a group of works with different open licenses versus actually remixing several works to form a new, derivative work: hereafter known as the TV dinner vs the smoothie.
1: Don’t do it
Not everyone celebrates your holidays. Statistics show that the majority of people on the planet live in other countries that don’t necessarily celebrate the same holidays you do. Even your close neighbors may view your hallowed tradition as the commemoration of when your people showed up to make everything worse.
I’ve been working with open resources for some time and have recently wanted to make a profound shift in the way I think about open permissions, or “the 5Rs” (Retain, Reuse, Remix, Revise, Redistribute) as they are known. TL;DR: Let’s move away from thinking of the 5Rs as qualities of artifacts and instead think of them as tools we use in the activities of opening knowledge practices.
While every Open Education conference I’ve attended has been fantastic, #OpenEd17 was by far the best yet for me. It wasn’t just that there were great presentations (there were), and it wasn’t just that so many great people were there (they were, tho some were missing), nor was it the way we connected beyond the event (we did) via Virtually Connecting, the remote participation during the How can we destroy the open education movement? session, or what we hope is a way to keep the conversations going annotating together. What made #OpenEd17 so great was the way that the conference, some fortuitous conversations, and my own thinking came together so powerfully in a way they never have before.
As a part of participating in the #OpenEdMOOC, we’ve been asked to reflect on copyright, the public domain, and the commons and I’m inspired to link these topics to the thinking I’ve been doing on opening knowledge practices (OKP).
One of the fundamental assumptions I’ve been making is that OKP must be centered in public institutions like schools, colleges, universities, research groups, libraries, and maybe in some cases, nonprofits. Why? Because — at least in the US — only public institutions have both the track records to house persistent practices and are mostly aligned with the values that infuse OKP — in their missions if not always in their practices. For-profit, commercial organizations may certainly make invaluable contributions to OKP, but have not shown themselves to have the lifespans nor sufficient alignment with OKP values to be primary stewards.
There are many efforts to “open” education and scholarship: open access, open data, open educational resources, open licensing, open pedagogy, open scholarship, open science, open source, and more. But why are we opening all these things?