Is “Open” Becoming The New Secret Society?

14 03 2011

More so over the past few years the talks about open and the use of open content in schools and institutions is continuing to move steadily. There is so much talk about making “Open” – Open, and sharing.  Some institutions are coming off the 10 year high of swimming in resources  and some are just starting new efforts based on new technology and tools to finally help realize the impact Open can have.  Together with teachers, institutions have been creating wonderful resources and are actually starting to change their practice.  Some are struggling to get teachers to change and adopt to new classroom and school culture on the basis of Open. The most interesting piece to me though is regardless of school, college or university, there seems to be reluctance to sharing!  Don’t ask me why… reluctance to be “Open with Open”??  Where did that all come from?  Is it that the purpose of “being open” was a global branding strategy for some, or is it that in the competitive field of where we can no longer protect IP under the content license anymore, we refuse to share the method on how we get it done and if asked for share of mind, we will let you access our content but we will not help and engage in seeing best practice in motion so there can be benefit for others too.

With new and many old faces attempting new ventures in education, nationally and internationally, isn’t it time we stop finally creating another effort and another rework of something we all know about and have, and we start uniting people together in a united effort to create Open?  Again, I still don’t get the protectionism of some high ranking institutions and the unwillingness of their faculty to share what other may benefit from in a highly critical and essential needed manner.  Isnt education a RIGHT?

Groups like the OpenCourseware Consortium are seemingly more interested in feeding member institutions best practice exchanges and ideas of collaboration with each other, so for others to speak of building a walled garden even further,  is boggling and inactive.  As I have said many times, the U.S.’ greatest gift to the world is in sharing the tremendous package of higher ed resources.

With all the grant money being doled out and everyone competing with each other around that, we finally need to come to an understanding that private public partnership is a model we need to embrace, so much so in the K-12 space in the U.S.  For some reason there is still a reluctance. Looking at the economy of schools and districts, isn’t it time we start shifting senseless dollars spent on text books, which become irrelevant the moment they hit the desk of the school, into infrastructure development which sets our children up for learning dynamics compliant and appropriate to their contemporary learning style?  I keep wondering how long there will be spectators standing on the sidelines and who will jump in and drive the change.  Lots of talk still, little done… but for the life of it, if you as a school have the chance to make a change, the chance to contribute to help, if private or public, drive innovation in school, then stop asking for the benefit of your own credit in terms of impact as you have already created and share to contribute to OPEN.  Isn’t that also the principle of all the grants you all took in to create a scalable model which provides a “TQM model for repeat”?

weekend of April 14th -15-16-17 which is Baisakhi festival and Mahavir jayanti occuring together so that may mean a lot of people will take off a