We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go. — The Cape Town Open Education Declaration, 2007
The OER and open education movements were built on optimistic assumptions about the internet. A decade ago it seemed inconceivable that a medium that fostered virtually cost-free sharing of knowledge and the ability to connect people around the world could be anything but lead to a more informed, educated and enlightened world.
Today, such arguments are problematic at best. Recent elections in the United Kingdom and the United States have demonstrated a sense where ignorance is perpetuated, factuality is defined by political orientation. The open web has declined in prominence, proprietary profit-driven spaces shape our information flows and evidently warp our sense of reality. (Caulfield 2016)
Higher education in North America and Europe has done little to address these trends. It has largely retreated to managed online spaces designed to reduce risk or friction. The boldest and most prominent higher education “innovation” has been defined by the values of Silicon Valley. (Watters 2015) While the open education movement cannot be described in universal terms, the prevailing energy of its most recognised efforts have been focused on content provision and policy. (Croom 2016)
Can higher education and open education shape the spaces and modes of online interaction, or will it remain to content to work within existing structures? Do we feel a sense of urgency to promote technological literacies as part of what it means to be educated?
This session will frame a discussion of these issues in the context of the British Columbia Open Ed Tech Collaborative, a collection of educators and technologists who are working together to enhance the effects of the open web in their practices. The BCOETC works on a pragmatic level of pooling resources, developing shared services, practices and strategies. It also collaborates on investigation and advocacy of alternative models such as Platform Cooperativism (Scholz and Schneider, 2016).
BC Open Ed Tech Collaborative. (2016) https://edtech.bccampus.ca/bc-open-educational-technology-collaborative/
The Cape Town Open Education Declaration. (2007) http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/read-the-declaration
Caulfield, M. “Despite Zuckerberg’s Protests, Fake News Does Better on Facebook Than Real News. Here’s Data to Prove It.” (2016) https://hapgood.us/2016/11/13/fake-news-does-better-on-facebook-than-real-news/
Croom, A. “What “open” will we get at #OpenEd16?” (2016) http://adamcroom.com/2016/11/what-open-will-we-get-at-opened16/
Scholz, T., and Schneider, N., Platform Cooperativism. (2016) http://platformcoop.net/book
Watters, A. “Technology Imperialism, the Californian Ideology, and the Future of Higher Education.” (2015) http://hackeducation.com/2015/10/15/technoimperialism