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iterating toward openness

pragmatism over zeal - aut inveniam viam aut faciam

Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:13:38 +0000


Open, Values, and Thinking Beyond the 5Rs

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:03:45 +0000

There were lots of amazing takeaways from #OpenEd17 for me. One set of takeaways has to do with opportunities to make the conference a more effective vehicle for advancing the work of open education. I wrote about that yesterday. Over the coming days and weeks I’ll post more thoughts prompted by conversations at the conference, […]

Improving the Open Education Conference

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:25:32 +0000

This morning I sent the following email to the 2,253 subscribers to the Open Education Conference mailing list. I extend the same invitation to you. My apologies in advance for the length of this email, but I hope you’ll agree the subject warrants it. The work of the open education community is so important that […]

Contribute a Short Video for #OpenEdMOOC

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 15:57:45 +0000

As you may have heard, my fellow rabble-rouser George Siemens and I are doing a MOOC on open education that launches later this month on edX. Before you ask, let me preemptively answer a few questions. Yes, this MOOC actually is open – all the content will be viewable outside the edX platform and downloadable […]

“Open” Through the Lens of Negative and Positive Liberty

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 17:46:45 +0000

Reading through and pondering the reactions to what was apparently a wonderful ALTC keynote by Bonnie Stewart (UPDATE: here are her slides), I find myself reflecting on the ways my thinking about “open” is influenced by the ideas of negative liberty and positive liberty. This is certainly not the only lens through which I see […]

Information Underload and OER Leverage

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:28:32 +0000

I started to post this as a comment on Mike’s amazing essay Information Underload, but I’m going to put it here instead. Read Mike’s whole piece – it’s worth it. He writes: Endless thinkpieces have been written about the Netflix matching algorithm [including in education], but for many years that algorithm could only match you with […]

What Difference Does It Make?

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 17:42:00 +0000

Last week I shared a little of my thinking about the problems inherent in the way people in the field talk about OER. Primary among those problems is our bewildering refusal to talk about the permissions necessary to engage in the 5R activities. These permissions are a critical part of the definition of what it […]

The Sleight of Hand of “Free” vs “Affordable”

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 18:42:12 +0000

In a recent webinar about OER, organized by one of the major textbook publishers, there was a lot of conversation about whether OER are “free” or “affordable.” This conversation was problematic in two ways. Before I begin though, just to be clear, allow me to reaffirm that OER are free, plain and simple, full stop, […]


Wed, 24 May 2017 18:27:14 +0000

This is just a quick note to say that if you’re following the work being done on JSON feeds (as a compliment to – or potential replacement for – RSS), I’ve activated JSON feeds on If you want to try reading Iterating Toward Openness that way, you can access this new feed at

TULIP: the Theoretical Upper Limit of Impact of Products

Wed, 03 May 2017 20:23:56 +0000

Today and tomorrow I’m at the EdTech Efficacy Research Academic Symposium in Washington, DC. The conversations here have been wonderful and have reminded me of something… For many years, several friends and I have argued about the following question: After accounting for all other differences – differences in a student’s age, race, gender, income, and […]

OER-Enabled Pedagogy

Tue, 02 May 2017 17:16:10 +0000

Over the last several weeks there has been an incredible amount of writing about open pedagogy and open educational practices (samples collected here by Maha). There have been dozens of blog posts. Countless tweets. There was a well-attended (and well-viewed) conversation via Google Hangout. At the Hewlett OER Meeting last week over a dozen people […]