”Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.” (The Open Education Consortium)

My path of understanding topic 2 starts from this very broad definition of what open education is.  

Is it a philosophical discussion about what openness means? Or is it a political discussion in how open the educational system should be, both nationally and globally? Or is it a question of equality, where my openness might exclude somenone else?

The definition is broad and I can´t decide on which aspect to focus on so I continue on my path to find definitions of Open Educational Practices (OEP) and Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational practices and Open educational resources

Open educational resources are resources that you can use and reuse thanks to open licenses given by the author/creator. Open education practices often involve the use of open educational resources, but it encompasses more than just the use of OER. OEP consists also of the institutional practices, the pedagogical models that enable the making, usage and remaking of OER and the pedagogical practices that empower the student and enhance lifelong learning (Cronin, 2018)

Cronin (2017) finds four dimensions of values, practices and strategies, that are shared by users of OEP. The dimensions are; valuing social learning, developing digital literacies, challenging traditional teacher roles and balancing between privacy and openness.

Valuing social learning and challenging traditional teacher roles, those dimensions I have absolutely no problems with, in the Campus context though. But when talking about open as in being open in a digital world, towards an unknown public, there I see my barriers rise high.

Cronin sees that balancing between openness and privacy online is done on different levels. On the macro level the question is on whether or not to engage in sharing and networking openly. Those who decide to engage into digital open sharing has to consider privacy-openness on the three following levels. At the meso level decisions are made who to share with, at the micro level consideration is to be made as to the digital identity, who am I to share as?  At the nano level the question is to what to share, do I want to tweet, post, like, retweet.

Balancing privacy and openness in different online communities is the dimension I have most issues with. My limitations lie in the aspect of sharing my professional thoughts openly. My professional role is perhaps still under construction and this makes me uneasy to share professional thoughts and insights. I feel uncomfortable with the academic context.

Bali states that openness is also an attitude which includes being vulnerable and sharing incomplete scholarship openly (Bali, Cronin, Jhangiani, 2020). Is it perhaps this attitude I lack?

The other issue with the dimension of privacy and openness has to do with time. Even privately I avoid using Facebook since I find it extremely time consuming. I do find that by this I also opt out from connecting professionally and sharing interesting ideas.

Standing now at a crossroad on my path, more online openness and sharing ideas or continuing on the same path as before?

Photo by James Wheeler on

Bali, M., Cronin, C. and Jhangiani, R.S., 2020. Framing Open Educational Practices from a Social Justice Perspective. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2020(1), p.10. DOI:

Cronin, Catherine, 2018. Openness and praxis: A situated study of academic staff meaning-making and decision-making with respect to openness and use of open educational practices in higher education. NUI Galway. Downloaded 2022-05-31

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