Openness has the power to build capacity among our higher education institutions/organizations and empower professionals to enhance what we do each day. For me, personally, sharing is not just caring. Being an open educator has afforded me the opportunity to cross-train, meet interesting colleagues working on creative projects, discover new ideas or insights for teaching, collaborate on practice and scholarship, and shape how I support/advise my learners. There are a number of benefits for being open, as either an academic or professional in higher ed; however, I am not naive to some of the problems, issues, and challenges with openness within the field.
With openness also comes tension for individuals and organizations. Sometimes your philosophy of being “open” and connected may not always align with your discipline, department, or institution. Being a digital, open educator might not be the cultural norm. Also, you might not be sure of the implications (positive or negative) might be for being open with teaching, scholarship, or practice. Researchers might be concerned with sharing findings before the publication is complete. Practitioners may be concerned with someone else stealing their idea/project and seeing it misused or misrepresented by another peer. In networked spaces, other concerns arise as our public intellectual selves are often entwined with our digital lives:
- academic trolling and online attacks against
- faculty dismissals for speaking out on Twitter
- identity management concerns, such as catphishing and identity theft
- understanding what academic freedoms are in digital spaces
- openness about academic failures in a CV are rarely shared online
- resolving the digital social divide between scholarly camps
To come to terms with some of tension between the affordances and challenges of being open, this month’s Higher Ed Digital Identity (#HEdigID) Chat on Friday, March 9th is organized to discuss this TOPIC: “Openness in Higher Education”
What does it mean to be “open” as a professional in higher education? There is an increasing expectation to share and publicize our research, practice, and work beyond the bubble of academe. “The result: We are all of us dipping our toes into the role of the public intellectual. And there are dangers lurking in those virtual waters — dangers that we all need to keep in mind when we respond to our Facebook friends and Twitter followers.” Perhaps, I have let some of the plot lines of Black Mirror creep into my thoughts on being open and public in academia. I cannot deny that openness has offered me support and introduced me to a thoughtful community I value both personally and professionally. As you can see, I’m still working this one out. So, why not have a bit of a chat about this very topic?
How does being an open educator, open scholar, and/or open practitioner in higher education impact your work? What does it mean to be a public, open intellectual online today?
Here are some of the QUESTIONS I will be tweeting out over the course of the Friday (March 9th) ALL-DAY #HEdigID Twitter chat:
- Share how you are “open” with your work in higher ed. How do you share open knowledge, research, teaching, learning or practices?
- What are some of the benefits for being an open educator, scholar, and/or practitioner in higher education?
- Do you think open scholarship or open practice WILL/CAN shift how we WORK in higher education? How does being OPEN influence how we research, advise, teach, and support learners in #highered?
- What issues do academics and practitioners face, when being “open” in higher education? What challenges emerge when your teaching, research, or practice is OPEN?
- How do you think openness will or could shape tenure, promotion, and career advancement in higher ed? (e.g. Open Education Resources, Open Access, Open Data, etc.)
- For those higher ed professionals who are just getting started with being OPEN, what RESOURCES are available? Please list and share (e.g. articles, websites, blogs, etc.).
- How does being “open” influence graduate preparation (masters, doctoral, etc.) or early career professionals in your field or discipline? This might be related to digital scholarship and open practices on the social web (e.g. blogs, Twitter, etc.)
- Final Thought (FT): What aspects of “OPEN” would you like to learn more about or have more training with to improve your open practice in higher ed?
What questions or assumptions do you have about openness, in terms of your own digital identity and work practice in higher ed? Feel free to answer any of these questions, as these will roll out my Thursday, March 8 evening until the afternoon of March 9, 2018. This SLOW style Twitter chat is designed to allow more higher ed colleagues and friends to join in the conversation to account for different geographic regions, multiple time zones, busy schedules, and more