For this final project I'm working on in the class I T.A. for, I'm taking a look at some valuable resources and influential people in the openness movement, particularly in the realm of open educational resources (OER).
"The Economy of Ideas" by John Perry Barlow
This 1994 essay in Wired Magazine presents an eloquent overview of the shift from physical to intellectual property in the Information Age and an argument for companies and institutions to adapt to that shift: an important document in the ideology of the openness movement. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.03/economy.ideas_pr.html
"Giving Knowledge for Free: the Emergence of Open Educational Resources" by the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation
According to the description on Amazon.com, "This study, building on previous OECD work on e-learning, asks why this is happening, who is involved and what the most important implications of this development are. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the rapidly changing phenomenon of Open Educational Resources and the challenges it poses for higher education. It examines reasons for individuals and institutions to share resources for free, and looks at copyright issues, sustainability and business models as well as policy implications." http://browse.oecdbookshop.org/oecd/pdfs/free/9607041E.PDF
A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources prepared by Neil Butcher for the Commonwealth of Learning and UNESCO
This guide is composed of three sections: first, a general overview of key issues concerning Open Educational Resources; second, a more in-depth analysis of the issues; and third, appendices that explain more thoroughly different areas of interest for those who wish to do a detailed study of a specific area. http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/Basic-Guide-To-OER.pdf
Open source software advocate, self-proclaimed geek, and author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar and The New Hacker's Dictionary. He was for a long time considered to be the spokesperson for the open source movement. Because the open movement began with the open source movement, it is good to have an understanding of Eric Raymond's ideologies.
Home page: http://www.catb.org/~esr/
This is a post in process: Enter if you dare. It's a little crazy right now, but hopefully some of it will make sense and it's not just the product of a frenzied mind. Continual revision forthcoming.
In the class I'm a teacher's assistant for, we have begun work on our final project, the main manifestation of which is an e-book. And even though I don't have much time as it is, I am making a contribution to the chapter on openness. Why? 'Cause it matters and I care enough to do something about it, that's why. Our group has been trying to hone in on the focus of our chapter, and considering the subject, that has been a challenge thus far.
A friend of mine told me recently that he thinks one of the strengths of my personal scholarship is that I am able to ask the right questions. So I'm hoping that as we make an effort to answer these questions we will be able to strike at the heart of what openness means, why we need it, what its shortcomings are, and what we propose to do about it all.
Part of it could be mid-semester slump, it's true. When I (and I'm sure pretty much every other student) am up to my eyeballs in things I have to do, it's easy to get overwhelmed and go into non-functioning mode. That's what happened last week, I think. Stress levels spiked, and I really didn't want to do much of anything, frankly. Two jobs, a full credit load, and outside stressors can do that to ya. Yep.
But I don't think that's the entire explanation for my lack of motivation in some of my classes nowadays. You see, I have come to realize the value of authentic learning tasks--things that actually matter in the real world, things that go above and beyond arbitrary things like essays that will get read once and thrown away, or worksheets that I'll probably never look at again. Lately I've been feeling stifled, mired down in minutia and unable to pull free and devote my time to things I actually care about. It gets frustrating. On my Facebook status the other day, I posted, "Sometimes I feel like college gets in the way of my education, and it irritates me." I think that's at the heart of my feelings of restlessness as of late.