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What ‘open’ means to me

September 11, 2012

As I start into the new #oped12 mooc this week, it seems fitting to reflect on what #open means to me.

I perceive openness primarily as a state of mind.  I am open to risk and to failure.  I am open to change and, quite often, find myself running towards it rather than away from it, especially when I am advocating for changes in my profession that are long overdue.

I am wildly open to learning: the messy, loud and silent, chaotic, frustrating, enjoyable, life-affirming, time-consuming effort of learning.

I am open to sharing by default rather than withholding.

I am definitely open to connections and networks, with considerable thanks to mooc pioneers George, Stephen and Dave.

I am more open than ever about technology and to tinkering around with what works and what doesn’t, for me.

I am openly advocating for the interests of introverts in learning, with thanks to Susan Cain.

I am open to differences in opinion and not shy about offering mine.  I am open to speaking truth to power and I wish that those in power were more open about their priorities and processes, their own struggles with learning and their answers to they ‘why’ questions.

To a considerable degree, I am open to being visible and transparent in my work.  The times when I am less open have to do with politics and work culture and repercussions, all of which I despise but am hard-pressed to ignore.  Sometimes I have to stay a little bit off the radar so as not to jeopardize what I value.  It’s not always safe to be radically open so I remain cautious at times.  Something about strength in growing numbers makes it easier to be more open now than I was even five years ago, for I am no longer a lone voice demanding and expecting change.

I have not yet worked in an organization where open resources were welcomed.  Perhaps that will limit how much I am able to apply what I’m about to learn in this course.  However, I am certainly open to hearing about what others are experiencing and I am open to figuring out how to apply the spirit of open education to my daily work.

What does ‘open’ mean to you?

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