What Open means to me

I have started a P2P Course today called “Why Open?”.
We were asked to write a short blog post on what we consider open to be.
To me it is about the freedom and potential to share and create knowledge that the digital world has provided for us.
I believe that knowledge is everyone’s birthright and that the best phrase I ever came across summed it up the best “what we know is not enough and what we don’t know will probably kill us”.
We live in a world of huge problems where everyone needs to get to their fullest potential and cooperate with others in creating, revising and sharing knowledge. I hope that on this course I will interact with like-minded people and learn more about the means to promote and use our open digital environment.


4 thoughts on “What Open means to me

  1. Hi Malcom:

    I completely agree that sharing knowledge is one of the keys to openness, and to living well together!

    The internet has made sharing knowledge easier in many ways, though I’ve lately come to start to think about how we might try to share with people who don’t have a good and stable internet connection. A lot of discussion of openness these days centres around what we do on the web, whether we license things so that others can use them, etc. But though that’s being open for those who can easily access the web, it’s still leaving out a lot of people. So perhaps we shouldn’t forget some of the older technologies and how they can contribute to openness? I don’t know…just something I’ve been thinking about lately.

    1. Hi Christina,
      I agree with you. I think we have a huge equity problem in relation to the availability of the internet.
      I am of the opinion that we may have the next great ideas breakthrough from some young girl who at the moment faces a future of no education and early marriage.
      I feel “openness” needs to stand for the rights of any human being to gain knowledge and contribute to our future knowledge.
      The internet is a powerful means to do this but not the only one. There have been campaigns to get schools built in developing countries as well as books and essential learning resources distributed.
      The key thing is to promote the need to have an open learning environment for all.

    2. To delve deeper into the topic of digital divide in the field of education, I recommend this book chapter that I came across today via @fgraver:


      Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:
      “The digital divide is not simply a question of whether an individual can physically access a computer and the Internet. Instead, it references a process in which old and new interrelated factors of social division combine to intensify various levels of unequal access to technology and participation in society. Thus, when we discuss participation in education—be it in the form of open learning communities, open course ware, or some other mode—it is important to question the limitations of supposedly “open” participation. As we continue to explore ways to design for inclusion, we must repeatedly ask ourselves: “open for whom?”

      1. Many thanks for your comment. I read the chapter with interest.
        You are right, access to technology is key.
        I was interested in the references to the work that has been done on the “digital divide”. The point made about it being multilayered and more like a matrix was very true.
        Just look at the situation in the U.S.A. where there is huge ownership and use age of technology but access to some groups is poor and this covers even basic equipment.
        An interesting reference given in the chapter was to an article about Tim Berners-Lee on internet access as a human right: http://idg.com/www/home.nsf/docs/berners-lee_web_access

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