Reach to Open the Door

As I stated in my post from last week, I was aware of open source licensing models and the Creative Commons licenses over the span of most of my years as an educator. I would like to use this post to think about reach and highlight what I have learned in recent years, how open licensing has had a direct impact on my work as well as questions that I have that I still am searching for answers to.

My Reach for you

Over the past few years I have been working with educators via workshops and my own cMOOC on the topics of flipped learning, open educational resources and innovation in education. In all of these spaces I have encouraged them (or pushed them in the case of the cMOOC) to start and continue to write in their personal space. While reflecting on the writing of this post I realize that only in that single workshop in Quer├ętaro did I specifically talk about the advantages to using an open license for their blogging.

I want to say that my answer is that I do try to reduce the load of “too many new things/tools” that I can run into while working with teachers. I’ve been a computing nerd since the early 80s and I learned (quite recently) to be aware that not all teachers adapt to new technology as quick as I do. Open licensing is more philosophy than technology but getting into the details of Creative Commons licensing can definitely add to teacher’s cognitive load during my work with them.

So when it comes to my reach working with other teachers, I need to re-evaluate how and when I insert the discussion of open during our conversations. I believe that open practices are core to my andragogy and pedagogy and perhaps I can make that more visible in my upcoming sessions.

My Reach for me

I have actually spoke on this before that anecdotally I believe that invitations to work with others as well as invitations to speak internationally are a product of my working in the open. I have not (yet) published a book or even a journal article. I have some academic publishing in the area of software engineering that has generated a small number of references but none of it in the academic areas that I am being invited to participate in.

So I ask myself why I have been noticed? I don’t particularly think my work is novel nor well written. When I get contacted by researchers who admire my work I am at first dismissive and the few times that I have pushed these colleagues about why they say nice words their answers are about how I share my practices, work and opinions of my students in the open. Feel free to dig for more on my blog but I will take this opportunity to point out two posts in particular that I feel speak to this:

* Teaching Evaluation Comments: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
* Giving Students an Authentic Voice.

So this gets me thinking on the conversation between David and George about the craziness of the academic publishing mess we have and the point that David drove home (I am paraphrasing here): “Open work has more impact since it by definition removes the traditional barriers to access it (the paywall)”.

So my publishing in the open on my blog as well as having discussions in the open on Twitter and other social media platforms must have some impact on my personal reach. Perhaps this is some sort of open and organic Klout score. Whatever happened to Klout? I haven’t checked on my “score” in ages.

Reach of my Employer

I wonder what the stance of my employer is on ownership and rights to my work while at my desk as a professor at the Tecnol├│gico de Monterrey. Henry Trotter talks of this in the ROER4D video “OER creation and the policy landscape: what questions to ask“. I believe that I have the right to put licenses on my work without need to pass this through the legal department and machinations of my system but I have a few open tasks and questions:
* Am I right with my assertion that academics (and other workers) at my institution control their works?
* How can I become more active educating and promoting open processes in my institution?
* At a national level, what is the status of the Creative Commons community and how can I help there?

Feature Image Credit

A picture of a young boy stretching out his arm across a crate of Coca Cola to reach a bottle.
Reach flickr photo by Daniel Bachhuber shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

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