Open mind, open eyes, open heart, can't loose

It's time again. To allow ourselves the time to indulge in the activity of opening our minds and hearts up to learning together in another ONL iteration.

I've had some time to think about what we did last semester, and I believe the course gave me more than I first imagined. Confident as I was that I knew everything about being open (as I've been working with Open Access publishing for several years), but there was another dimension to it.

Open Education seems like the next natural step to opening up access to academic information on a greater scale. However, there are probably several (good?) reasons to why educators are cautious when opening up their courses and access to material to anyone, but the main argument to do so might be a democratic one. I mean, shouldn't all people be given a chance by having equal access to information and also given the opportunity to gain knowledge from it?

Humans and Cats for democracy? Image by The U.S. National Archives [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
From our first PBL group meeting today, I take it that my confusion during the first meetings was not a unique feature. Getting together with strangers to work together towards an unknown goal is hard, and for some, the challenge of dealing with lots of technology during this first confusing period can add another level of difficulty. There are video links, chat rooms, shared folders, numerous instruction documents and community pages to visit. And they all look different!

So for me, giving equal opportunities to education are not only about opening up the access to information and course packages, but it is also to work more with supporting digital literacy and mastering of online tools to ensure that we can spend time on what is most important to us: Learning!

I'm looking forward to another semester together with fellow online learners. This time my role is to be a co-facilitator of one of the PBL groups, and I'm looking forward to getting another chance to get to know more colleagues around the world and to learn from their experiences in meeting each other as well as the technology that facilitates these meetings. But now with a different perspective, which I hope will be useful for me as well as for them.

See you online soon! 👋🏼