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What is openness for students and educators?

Week 2 topic is open learning- sharing and openness. We are exploring the benefits and challenges of openness in education and learning. The topic seems to be a little simpler than it is in the real world. And I am also interested to understand, what openness means from a student’s perspective. If a teacher uses open sources as a part of course material, poor students may be able to save money, as the literature might be found openly. The students could also build their own digital database and share that with their student collaborators. Catherine Cronin is reflecting this in her post Open Education Open Questions. Catherine also mentions that this is not that simple content, as we also need to support not only our students learning but all the students over the world, who do not have equal rights to education.

Catherine uses Bonnie Stewarts illustration of three different pedagogical interaction spaces: Physical spaces bounded online spaces and open online spaces. All these three spaces support openness and learning. However, Catherine lifts up how openness has also social, political, technical, and economic aspects, leading to inequality, and that’s why openness requires also a critical approach.

Networked educators, networked students and open online space is also an individual challenge, to how to find a balance between privacy and openness. I guess the students are dealing with the same issue as well. Openness is something which is highly complex, and institutions and educators should put efforts to support the students to developing digital literacies and balancing between open and private.

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