Open Source, Open Content, Open Access

Thanks to Glenn, Rob, Lisa, Rick, Dan, and Peter who offered great perspectives to my recent post about the polarization of open source and proprietary software. Not everyone sees open source as the only way to support technology-enabled learning. There is room to explore the range of options and still be advancing a belief in open education.

So what happens if Microsoft buys Yahoo? Google has set the benchmark for open collaborative tools, and recently announced Google Apps Team Edition which will find its way into the enterprise. How will we selectively secure these spaces? When do we need to secure them?

Open source is an option for the learning delivery platform – either hosted or in-house. Open content is critical if we believe that what is important is having access to knowledge and a space to create or co-create meaning or knowledge. Open access is the third leg of the stool, and a potentially dangerous one. Not everything should be public. We have a responsibility to protect confidential information about our students. Where is the line between open access for knowledge and closed access for personal information? Who gets to decide?

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One Response

  1. I really like that you raise these issues Cindy. You make a nice stool analogy with open source, open content and open access. We need to develop new systems that allow our students to be participatory and engaged in collaborative participatory projects and maintain privacy and rights of individuals. As we go forward we need to evaluate which information merits strict confidentiality and create systems which maintain high integrity that individuals expect. There is a more in depth conversation required here to actually start scratching the line of open vs closed information. Through communication I hope that we all have a voice in creation of trusted privacy policies that protect our valued information.

    Perhaps we can encourage the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to weigh in on this http://blog.privcom.gc.ca/

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