TTT#367 Why Open Matters When We Share Curriculum - Connected Educator Month Series (2 of 5) 10.9.13

On this episode of TTT, recorded on 10.9.13 as part of our series of Connected Educator Month shows, we explore why open matters when we share curriculum.

We are joined by:

Greg Mcverry's profile photo Greg McVerry Christina Cantrill's profile photo Christina Cantrill Johanna Paraiso's profile photo Johanna Paraiso
Karen Fasimpaur's profile photo Karen Fasimpaur Joann Boettcher's profile photo Joann Boettcher Sheri Edwards's profile photo Sheri Edwards

Here's a Digital Is resource on this topic, written by one of our frequent (and always welcomed) guests on TTT, Karen Fasimpaur:

Why does "open" matter?

Creative Commons Licence

There is a lot of talk about "open" these days. It's the new black. It's cool and hip, and marketeers are calling their products "open," whether they are or not.

But what does "open" really mean? And why should we care?

For the purposes of this discussion, "open" refers to content that can be remixed, modified, and redistributed by anyone.

There's an endless supply of free content on the Internet. How is open different from everything else that is free? In the United States, any content that is not public domain (by virtue of its age or designation as such by the creator) is copyrighted, whether or not it is indicated as such. Subject to certain excpeptions such as fair use, the copyright owner has exclusive rights to reproduce, prepare derivatives, and distribute the copyrighted work (section 107 of the copyright law).*

Open-licensed content, though, can be reused and redistributed without prior permission.

The most common open licenses are those provided by Creative Commons. An attachment below summarizes the various licenses and gives more info about open resources.

As educators, why should we care about open? Some of the reasons include economics, remixability, and promoting a culture of sharing. We'll explore each of these in the chapters that follow.


- See more at:

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast.

Chat from October 9, 2013

20:48Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: hello
20:49Paul Allison: Hi! Please join us if you can.
20:56Sheri Edwards: Hello!
20:57Peggy George: Hi Sheri, Paul and Greg :-)
20:58Sheri Edwards: Hi Peggy!
20:58Peggy George: Teacher Voice sounds like a great topic!
21:00Peggy George: Just started following you Greg :-)
21:00Peggy George: Hi Karen!!
21:00Peggy George: Karen what is the view outside your window?
21:01Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: Hello
21:01Christina: Hi Sheri and Peggy!
21:01Peggy George: Hi Joann! hearing you great
21:01Peggy George: Hi Christina :-) love meeting you here every week!
21:02karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi, everyone.
21:02Peggy George: Hi Karen :-)
21:02karen (@kfasimpaur): Would anyone like to join us in the hangout?
21:03karen (@kfasimpaur): There's room.
21:03Christina: you too Peggy!
21:03Peggy George: so many terrific things happening on Connected Educator Month!!
21:04Darren Cambridge: Quick hello, everyone. Great topic. Sorry I can't stay long.
21:04karen (@kfasimpaur): HI, Darren.
21:04karen (@kfasimpaur): Join us in the hangout if you can/would like (link above)
21:05Peggy George: I took the opportunity to share Youth Voices in Anne Mirtschin's TechTalkTuesday this week. They were talking about student blogging and the importance of student voice. Perfect fit!
21:05Peggy George: Hi Darren! Welcome!
21:06Sheri Edwards: I will pop out if others want to join the hangout.
21:06Christina: Hi Darren ... want to share a little about Connected Educator Month!
21:06Peggy George: hooray Sheri! :-) always love hearing from you!
21:06Darren Cambridge: Hi everyone!
21:06Peggy George: woo hoo!! shoutout to Darren!
21:07Darren Cambridge: You really don't want to see what I look like right now.
21:07Christina: :)
21:07Christina: well, welcome anyway. chat is perfect for the bedraggled!
21:08Peggy George: I can definitely relate Darren!
21:09karen (@kfasimpaur): Peggy, that's our water tower #rural
21:09Peggy George: when I was completing my doctorate back in the early 70's my focus was teacher education and open education. At that time open really meant breaking down walls but was before all of the developments of internet and social media :-)
21:10karen (@kfasimpaur): I think open still means that too
21:10Peggy George: I thought I recognized the water tower :-) grew up near one of those in MT (also rural)
21:11Peggy George: integrated day/open education were tied together for me at that time.
21:12Peggy George: many districts say that if the work was done with school materials/equipment on school time it belongs to the district
21:13chadsansing: I wonder about making "school" a more open platform. How do you get a school borad behind open resources when systems are not particularly open organisms? Lots of ways, I'm sure, to find -
21:14chadsansing: "board" -
21:14karen (@kfasimpaur): hey chad
21:14chadsansing: Hey, All :)
21:15karen (@kfasimpaur): good point chad
21:15Sheri Edwards: chad, please join the hangout
21:15karen (@kfasimpaur): Open can mean less (or less restrictive) "curriculum"
21:16Peggy George: most teachers I know just create it and take it with them--they don't ask permission
21:16chadsansing: In VA, you sign something saying you understand that your license can be taken if you talk openly about end-of-year test content. If we want materials that are aligned and whatnot, the only sources able to offer such materials are those w/ access to the tests and profiting from'em. Tough situation.
21:20Peggy George: Hi Chad :-)
21:20chadsansing: Paul Allison, you Hulkwise scallywag!
21:20Peggy George: hahahaha!
21:21karen (@kfasimpaur): Funny..."open curriculum" (open licensed) can be open or closed in the broader sense
21:22Christina: I tend to think the there is always a curriculum around us ...
21:23Peggy George: is open just being transparent or much more--shared decisionmaking, open dialogue among diverse people or ???
21:23chadsansing: Maybe open "curriculum" can be described as the sum total of what's learned in open communities using open pedagogies and platforms (or some combination thereof). Maybe it's symptomatic or an output of intentional interpersonal practices more than a packaged something or other.
21:24karen (@kfasimpaur): open can mean many things
21:24Peggy George: definitely more than a packaged something :-)
21:25karen (@kfasimpaur): I like open as not "packaged"
21:25karen (@kfasimpaur): Chad, Monika has asked me to beg you to join the hangout :)
21:25karen (@kfasimpaur): You can leave video off
21:25chadsansing: Gotta slink away, but will ponder openess. Also expecting a fun #TTT from Boston, Paul -
21:26Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: chas see you in Boston
21:26karen (@kfasimpaur): hate to see you go... maybe you can join us in the next couple wks
21:27Peggy George: glad you could join us Chad
21:27karen (@kfasimpaur): Why is it hard to share? Fear of failure?
21:28Peggy George: sharing means taking risks
21:28karen (@kfasimpaur): yes
21:29Peggy George: fear of criticism and being challenged too
21:29karen (@kfasimpaur): I think many folks find sharing f2f as hard as sharing online, no?
21:30karen (@kfasimpaur): (for me sometimes harder...depending on the context)
21:30Peggy George: I agree Karen
21:30Peggy George: but written word published online or recorded in a hangout like this are there forever
21:30karen (@kfasimpaur): ugh ;)
21:31Peggy George: that's a really big risk for lots of teachers and administrators too
21:31karen (@kfasimpaur): yes, now more than ever
21:31karen (@kfasimpaur): I think right now many are pulling back on sharing and being open
21:32karen (@kfasimpaur): it's a scarey time
21:32karen (@kfasimpaur): schools and in society
21:32Peggy George: I agree
21:32karen (@kfasimpaur): (This is reminding me of Steve's keynote for K-12 Online)
21:32Peggy George: but I have found when you sourround yourself with other educators who want to share openly you gain courage to share yourself
21:33Peggy George: definitely :-)
21:34karen (@kfasimpaur): very true peggy
21:35karen (@kfasimpaur): It should be the student's choice to share their work not ours
21:35Peggy George: most of my university colleagues were not that interested in publicly, openly sharing their work. Probaly because of tenure-track requirements for publish/perish and ownership of their work was important.
21:36Peggy George: I wasn't on a tenure track by choice and I didn't feel those restrictions but I also didn't share that philosophy.
21:36karen (@kfasimpaur): There were some folks trying to get tenure publishing credit for open licensed publishing
21:36Peggy George: that's a big challenge!
21:36karen (@kfasimpaur): It really is a philosophy
21:38Peggy George: we had some very interesting conversations on our ISTE SIGTE planning team wanting to change our award from a research award to a teacher educator award. Univ. folks were used to rewarding peer-reviewed articles published in journals
21:38Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: Peggy I think there can be a balance
21:38Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: If we look at engaged scholarship
21:38Peggy George: we now have an award that recognizes teacher educators doing the work in schools/districts and online but not in universities--huge positive change I believe
21:39Peggy George: there can definitely be a balance
21:39Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: nice Peggy
21:39Peggy George: and should be
21:39karen (@kfasimpaur): interesting... One thing I found out for myself this summer was that I could never really be happy in the higher ed environment
21:39Peggy George: :-) I'm not in it any more either Karen
21:39karen (@kfasimpaur): lack of openness is a part of that, but many other factors
21:39karen (@kfasimpaur): :)
21:40Peggy George: I grew tired of everything being based on accountability, grading, evaluating and not learning and authentic timely feedback to support the learning
21:41karen (@kfasimpaur): Wow, surprised it took 40 minutes for NSA to come up
21:41Peggy George: :-)
21:41Sheri Edwards: Our students love Google Apps. So easy.
21:42Peggy George: google apps are much more open than Moodle
21:42karen (@kfasimpaur): not from every standpoint
21:42Peggy George: you can't take your Moodle documents/portfolios with you once you leave the institution
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): yes, you can...not easy, but you can
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): Also, google can do whatever they want with your stuff tomorrow...not the case with moodle
21:43Peggy George: it isn't easy
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): true
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): But "we" as a community could alter Moodle code to make this easy
21:43karen (@kfasimpaur): not the case with Google
21:44Peggy George: but schools choose it because it can be controlled
21:44karen (@kfasimpaur): CONTROL - key point
21:44Peggy George: true about open doesn't mean free
21:44karen (@kfasimpaur): control is why many folks aren't open
21:45Peggy George: yes
21:48karen (@kfasimpaur): I think hte NSA just sensored my last comment :)
21:48karen (@kfasimpaur): I'll try again...
21:48Peggy George: connection froze up :-( had to refresh
21:48karen (@kfasimpaur): adult conrol over kids, admin control over teachers, govt control over everything
21:49Peggy George: :-) no wonder my connection froze up!
21:49karen (@kfasimpaur): :)
21:49karen (@kfasimpaur): that's ok, i'm sure i'm already on many govt lists
21:50Peggy George: :-)
21:50Peggy George: I probably am too
21:51karen (@kfasimpaur): most thoughtful people probably are
21:51karen (@kfasimpaur): thoughtful = thinking
21:51Peggy George: and I'm not really worried about that
21:51karen (@kfasimpaur): yep
21:52Peggy George: I love hearing teachers talk about getting started with Youth Voices!! so exciting and energizing!
21:54Peggy George: speaking of openness... Greg is live blogging this conversation :-)
21:54karen (@kfasimpaur): I wondered what in the heck he was writing :)
21:55Peggy George: :-)
21:55Peggy George: want to take back anything you said :-)
21:56karen (@kfasimpaur): that wouldn't be very "open" of me...still, I reserve the right to take back everything :)
21:56Peggy George: just sayin'...
21:56Peggy George: that's what I don't worry about
21:56karen (@kfasimpaur): and he's reading our chat too. good multitaking skills.
21:57Peggy George: ultimate multi-tasker!
21:57karen (@kfasimpaur): we need to get him on the k-12 online team
21:57Peggy George: good idea!
21:58Peggy George: welcome back Greg! we were talking about you while you were away
21:59Greg McVerry @jgmac1106: yeah etherpad disconnected me
22:00Peggy George: me too Greg!
22:00Peggy George: we have no conrol over what NSA does
22:01karen (@kfasimpaur): Of course we do! longer term...
22:01Peggy George: I won't live that long
22:01karen (@kfasimpaur): My last plug - support EFF, the ACLU and other relevant orgs
22:01Peggy George: good point Karen. having these conversations is really important
22:02karen (@kfasimpaur): Enjoyed the conversation tonight! Thanks.
22:02Peggy George: me too! thanks
22:02Peggy George: good night everyone