Next week is open education week. I can see signs of people gearing up do things in the spirit of open education and in the spirit of openness I’m going to post in the wrong week. A friend of mine while getting ready for some work during said week posted the following tweet:

This is an intriguing question and looking forward to whatever Sheila is cooking up with next week. In answer to the question I would say Sheila is a very open practitioner. I’ve worked with Sheila in the past and to be honest hadn’t really been able to keep up with her working practices. In fact, I don’t think it was until Sheila left Cetis that I really understood and missed her take on open working practices.You should check out her blog.

Knowing how Sheila works, my instant thought was to Tweet back “Hell Yes!”, then I thought about it for a little bit, and the medium I was saying it on. I’ve recently been reflecting on how we are all stuck in a game with services that are harming our open working practices. They are closed because their value is in the data and they are deploying mechanisms to generate the data they need to be viable.

As I sit at my desk pondering my reply to Sheila’s Tweet, listening to a band named Anti-Flag though a music service that requires a log in through my Facebook account something seems wrong. I wonder about Amazon, Google, the NSA and my University both influencing our interactions with each other through technology and mining the data to control markets, society even education. I believe that education is they key to understanding what these organisations are doing to us, but there is a worry for me around the content and the feedback being delivered through an organisation or infrastructure that influence the message. My hope for open education is that it opens up opportunities to fight back against that and set the player free from the game. But while I think of my reply to Sheila’s tweet I am worried about the footprint I’ll leave. Will my employer see this, what will Twitter do with this information, how many characters am I allowed again?

Now that I’ve posted a week early in the hope the search engines have time to index it before then, edited the post after it had already gone live and waited until the optimum time to Tweet it, Maybe I’ll have time to think about how technology has had an effect on my open working practices and write a post during it’s proper week.

Categories: Education


Sheila MacNeill · March 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

Thanks David – a very interesting take on my question, and as ever some even more thoughtful questions in return. I hadn’t thought about the data aspect of this but you have given me more to think about. I was more thinking about network connections and the positive impact they can have. I am intrigued though what you now see as my open practice – was it the blogging?

Thanks again for this post

    David Sherlock · March 6, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Hi Sheila, still groggy as the morning brew hasn’t gone down yet, but here goes.

    Firstly, I bump in to your work all over the place. That must be a sign of an open practitioner! Putting your practice online through your blog, youtube etc is partially the reason for that, but to be honest I bump in to it more through the conversations that surround it.

    Secondly, I’m much more relaxed about putting up thoughts to share, talk about and think through. I used to be really worried about being made to defend them, but I know that I am just exploring things and thinking as I type and thats ok, I think that’s what I took away from your practices. Perhaps from the way you interact with my work? I guess being an open practitioner isn’t just about the way you display your own work, but more so how you treat fellow practitioners?

    I have a book somewhere on the core principles of education, chapter one is all about fallibilism and allowing critique, which is important I’m sure, but the way we go about critiquing someones work to encourage them rather then hurt them is missing from the book.

      Sheila MacNeill · March 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Thanks David – I was kind of hoping you’s say something along those lines. So important to keep discussions going and start them in the first place.

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[…] Yesterday I was having a little worry around communication methods and the effect of such controlling society and education. […]

Guest Post: Why the Opposite of Open isn’t Necessarily Broken « UK Web Focus · March 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

[…] practitioner (this storify collates a few responses). My former Cetis colleague David Sherlock in this response to a tweet from me point out another side to why people might not be open, that of who controls our […]

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