2. Meaning of open (cont'd), and open practices (Aug 12-18)

During week 2 (August 12-18), we will look a bit further at the meaning of "open," by taking a quick look at Creative Commons licenses, and considering the difference between "open" and "free." We will then start the process of doing some open activities, engaging in open practices, which will continue into next week.

We are going to work in small groups for part of this week and next week; please fill out this survey so we can put you in a small group, as soon as possible! We'll be making the small groups during the first part of this week. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IcgzAQnQsvK-AYox972jmRcxjSGh7hE1l50k7icTWkE/viewform

We will have a Google Hangout this week on Thursday, 15th August at 20:00 EAT (GMT +3), facilitated by Simeon Oriko. Please sign up for this here, if you haven't already: http://pad.p2pu.org/p/Why_open_course_pad Here's the link to the recording from this week's Hangout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--GefrIULjc

We will also have a Twitter chat this week, using the #whyopen hashtag on Tuesday Aug. 13, 13:00-14:00 Pacific Time (N. America)/20:00 UTC/6:00 Eastern Australia Time/8:00 NZST Here's a record this week's Twitter chat: http://storify.com/jeannettemelee/archive-of-week-2-why-open-twitter-chat

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

A. Creative Commons licenses

Looking at Creative Commons licenses is another way we can think about some of the meanings of openness; further, before we get started doing open practices, it's important that we understand some open licenses for created works such as images, texts, videos and more. There are actually numerous kinds of open licenses, but one kind that you'll see around a lot, most likely, are Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

You may already be familiar with the idea of open licenses and the various kinds of CC licenses, but if not, please do the following brief course on P2PU (should take no more than 30 minutes), called "Get CC Savvy": https://p2pu.org/en/groups/get-cc-savvy/

Note also that there is also a relatively new option called the CC0 waiver, which lets you express that you would like your work to be considered to be in the public domain as much as that is possible under current laws. See here for a brief summary, and links to more information: https://creativecommons.org/about/cc0

B. "Open" vs. "Free"

1. Reading about "open" and "free"

Sometimes we may think of something being open as similar to (or the same thing as) something being free. But there are some important differences, as you can see by reading some of the things below.

Please read at least two of the following, to get a sense of what others have said about the difference between "open" and "free."







2. Reflective blog post

Please write a blog post in which you discuss either "open" and "free" and/or something about Creative Commons licenses (or other open licenses, if you're aware of others). You could address one or more of the following questions, or anything else of your choosing that's relevant to what we've looked at so far this week.

  • Do the Creative Commons licenses seem to cover most options you think are important for opening up created works? Is there anything missing?

  • If you were to choose a CC license for your blog, or for something else you create, which one do you think you might choose, and why? Of course, it may differ according to what sort of thing you're applying it to, so choose a particular example to discuss (such as a photo, a piece of writing, a video, or something else).

  • Are there any problems you can imagine with using one or more of the Creative Commons licenses for something you create?

  • Did the readings help you get a better sense of the differences between "open" and "free?"

  • How do you understand their similarities and differences between "open" and "free" at this point?

  • Do you still have questions about "open" and "free," and/or comments or concerns you'd like to share?

  • You might consider doing a Venn diagram showing how "open" and "free" overlap and how they are different, if you wish.

3. Comments on others' blog posts

As in week 1, please choose two other blog posts from this week to comment on, and consider reading posts by people you didn't read during the first week. The blog hub on which you can find the posts for the course is here: http://www.whyopencourse.org/bloghub/

In your comments, you might note and explain what you agree or disagree with, remark on something that strikes you as especially interesting or important, offer and answer to one or more questions if the person asks any in their post, suggest other resources the person might look at, or anything else that comes to mind.

C. Brainstorm open activities in groups

We will arrange all participants into small groups of 3-4 people, after everyone has registered, and let you know via email which group you're in, and who the other participants are in your group. You could work together via email, Twitter, or Google+, whatever your group decides to do.

In your group, brainstorm some ideas for what kinds of activities might be "open" ones. Then, in the discussion area below, one member of the group please list at least two activities you think could count as "open." Everyone is welcome to discuss (in the discussion area) what has been posted there!


Try to think of activities that you or someone else could actually engage in during the course. Because next week your group will be choosing an activity to do, out of this list and some other options we provide. So, it's best if you can come up with ideas for things you have some notion of how to do, or have someone in mind you could ask for help if you don't. The course facilitators may be able to help, but maybe not, depending on what you're suggesting!

Try not to look at the list of suggested activities for next week, but see what your group can come up with on its own! If you are stuck, of course you can use the list posted in next week's section of the course to help you think of something.


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