Learning about openness, the “cloud” and other topics

Back in June, I co-taught a WordPress for Teaching and Learning workshop at the annual SUNY Instructional Technology Conference held in Stony Brook, NY. I attended this conference in Plattsburgh, NY a few years ago. It IS an exceptionally good conference — my colleagues at SUNY put on a great program, the facilities at Stony Brook were great. I had the opportunity to speak with Patrick Masson from UMassOnline. We’d been in touch back in the Spring when he found himself SIGMaster of a SIG on openness. A speaker was needed at the last minute… He sent out an email to the EDUCAUSE Openness Constituent Group listserv. I offered to present on my casual and informal experiences as a MOOCster, having participated on-and-off in various MOOCs last year. While the SIG was cancelled due to low enrollment, here’s a brief description of the presentation: “Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) seek to establish open and cost-free learning environments and may push online learning and professional development to the next frontier. What is it like to experience distance learning for the first-time as an open online student? What are the opportunities and challenges of being an open lifelong learner in MOOCs? I will share my observations as a casual observer and ³MOOCster² in 3 different MOOCs taken simultaneously in Spring 2012.”

And here’s a description of the actual meeting:

A culture of openness has begun taking root in the core of academia.
Universities around the world are embracing values of transparency,
collaboration, and open innovation as they move to adopt open source
software, make use of open educational resources and scholarly content and begin to explore open models of governance. Is a comprehensive shift towards openness in higher education a positive trend? What does this shift portend for institutional and educational transformation? How can universities in this area best leverage the opportunities this movement presents and mitigate some of the inherent challenges it poses?

This SIG will present a panel of individuals representing different open
initiatives underway throughout higher education, discuss their evolution
and potential impact, identify common challenges or issues posed, and
introduce consortia focused on promoting awareness, assessment and adoption in this area and opportunities to participate.

Participants should expect to come away with a broader understanding of the following questions:

– What is openness – (e.g. What are the essential values or components).
– How have open communities (open source as well as OCW, OER consortia)
organized themselves differently to deliver quality products and/or
– How can institutions orient themselves to both participate in and partake
of open source communities, products and processes?

Michael Feldstein and others planned to present as well. It would have been a great SIG. Next time.

So back to the SUNY conference, Patrick and I had some good conversations before and after the Chancellor’s keynote. I asked him for book/article recommendations to learn more about openness as it applies to software design and management. Of course, I’m interested in “the Cloud” and “the Crowd” as in crowdsourcing, too. So, I’d like to share that list here as a reminder to me what I plan to read and blog about in the future.

Rosalyn Metz’s Educause Quarterly article, “Cloud Computing Explained”
The Cathedral and the Bazaar
The Success of Open Source
The Wisdom of Crowds
Agile Project Management

Have you read any of these works? Do you have other recommendations?

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