1. What does open mean? (Aug. 5-11)

During the first week of the course, August 5-11, we will discuss our own views of openness, as well as some definitions provided by people in various fields and contexts. Even if you can't do everything suggested for this week, please be sure to at least do the things listed under "A," as we will return to this initial blog post at the end of the course!

Please go ahead and start working on the things below starting August 5, even though we won't have our first synchronous session until Aug. 7.

There will be a synchronous Google Hangout session on August 7, 10am Pacific time (N. America). Please sign up for this session on the course etherpad, here: http://pad.p2pu.org/p/Why_open_course_pad If you're not sure how to connect to Google Hangouts, please see the "About" section at the left, and scroll down to the Google Hangouts section. Here is the recording of that session that you can watch anytime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1E5t7CKcCA

We will also have a one hour Twitter chat using the #whyopen hashtag during this week. A poll sent out via email led to unanimous decision on Aug. 8, 3pm EDT/7pm UTC (you could use http://www.worldtimebuddy.com or http://time.is to check when this is for you). All Twitter chat times will be posted here, after being decided by web polls sent out via email: http://pad.p2pu.org/p/Why_open_course_pad Here is a record of our first Twitter chat on Aug. 8, 2013: http://storify.com/clhendricksbc/whyopen-twitter-chat-aug-8-2013

At our first Google Hangout session, we decided to create a couple of collaborative documents. Please contribute to them if you'd like!

A. What does "openness" mean to you?

We will start by reflecting on and writing down our own views of openness, and commenting on those given by other participants.

1. Reflective blog post on openness

In your blog, respond to the following: What do you think "openness" is? Focusing on your own field or context (if you wish), describe what it means to do work openly, or to make one's activity or artifacts open. Alternatively, you could talk about what you think "openness" means generally, what sort of definition might fit all open activities or works.

It's okay if you are completely new to the idea of openness, and are not sure how to answer these questions. Just say whatever makes sense to you at this point, not worrying at all about whether it's "right" or not--as we'll see, there are a lot of different views on openness, and no clear consensus on whether there is one "right" one!

2. Commenting on each others' blogs

Choose at least one or two other participants' blog posts (in answer to #1, above) to read and comment on. Remember that you can find others' blog posts on our blog hub, at http://www.whyopencourse.org/bloghub/

In your comments, you could, for example, discuss what you agree with or disagree with, or what struck you as surprising, or made you think in some way differently than you did before, or something else of your choosing. Of course, as in all things in this course, please make sure any critical comments (which are certainly welcome) are respectful and constructive!

B. What have others said about openness?

In this section, we will look at some definitions of openness given by people in different fields, doing different sort of activities. The point here is not to see if our views discussed in our blog posts are correct, but rather to get a sense of the range of views on openness.

1. Meaning of "open," from others

Please read at least five of the following definitions of openness from others, being sure to read definitions from people in several different professions or who do a few different kinds of things.


Then, please comment on what you've read in the discussion area. You could do one of the following in your comments, or something else related to what you've read. Please feel free to reply to comments made by others as well!

  • You might compare these views on openness to your own view or those you read from other participants, considering similarities and differences. Or whether there is anything new or surprising to you in this list of meanings of openness.

  • Another thing you could think about is whether there is any sort of significant relationship between what people do, and/or their profession, and their view of what openness means. Perhaps some people in similar lines of work agree on some aspects of openness?

2. Mind map on "everything open and free"

Here is a mind map you might take a look at, if you have time. It has quite a few links on open and/or free practices, movements, products and more. It doesn't include everything that could be under each of the "branches," but it has quite a bit.

You don't need to read through everything here, but it's nice to take a look to get a general overview of many aspects of openness. Click on any link(s) that look interesting!



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