In my function as learning technologist I support academic staff of the department of Social Work using education technology. Although many of our teachers are inquisitive and open to new innovative teaching methods, social work practitioners are rather sceptical towards digitalisation and online networked practices (Taylor, 2017). Not surprisingly therefore, concepts of open education, open scholarship or open publishing are not always embraced with enthusiasm. Therefore we need to create opportunities for academic staff to openly discuss their experiences with digital tools, be they positive or negative. In my experience, this is often the first step towards a “digital, networked and open” identity of digital scholarship (Weller, 2011).

Openness in our PBL group

Discussing opportunities and challenges of openness in education as well as related tools, platforms, skills and competences has been as a revealing experience over the last two weeks of Open Networked Learning. Like in the first two weeks, our group has found a good balance between openness for contributions from all members and guidance from the topic leaders. This time we could already rely on the problem based learning methodology FISh and have been able to explore the mindmapping tool Coggle. Coogle was a straightforward tool to collaboratively document our thoughts and discussions about open learning, openness and sharing:


Open Learning – Openness and Sharing

Next to new insights and ideas about openness, experiencing openness in the PBL group was a highlight for me. Although I have not been able to participate all the time over the last two weeks, I have tried to keep up with the progressing work and was able to contribute at various stages. This was only possible because the group has already developed a collaboration culture that I experience as very inclusive and motivational. For me, this experience owes a lot to the concept of openness and certainly has contributed to my understanding of opportunities of open education, open scholarship and open publication.

Lane, A. (2009). The Impact of Openness on Bridging Educational Digital Divides. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(5).

Taylor, A. (2017). Social work and digitalisation: bridging the knowledge gaps. Social Work Education, 36(8), 869–879.

Weller, M. (2011). Digital, Networked and Open. In The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice (pp. 1–13). London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved October 27, 2018, from

Open Learning – Sharing and Openness