Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Developing a Culture of Sharing #SXSWedu

Notes from SXSWedu 2012 panel discussion/concurrent session.

Philip Schmidt, P2PU

We live in a time where because of digital technology we are able to share in ways we've never been able to share before.

If you are in education and you are not interested in sharing, maybe you are not in the right space. Maybe this isn't the career for you.

Opening Question: What does the culture of sharing and learning really mean?

Karen Fasimpaur, K12 Open Ed

Member of P2PU community. Works in K12 with tech integration - stand and deliver drive by pd which she does not feel is the most effective because there is not enough sharing going on. Has been working for about three years to look for models to promote sharing. She finds in K12 it is hard to promote sharing. She is interested in talking about the vibrant communities we are already in but exploring the 95% of teachers who aren't in that community and how to bring them in .

Jim Groom, Instructional Technology Director at University of Mary Washington

Working with ways to promote open sharing models across disciplines and across the university. What they did not calculate was how far and wide it was going to go. He sees amazing possibilities with the power to share openly. Now, what do we do with it?

Alan Levine, CogDog It

Confused by the title of the session. Who is not sharing in some capacity? (Fasimpaur says people are in environments that prohibit them from sharing.) Levine finds it baffling that there are people not sharing. He holds no professional certifications and has had to depend on the sharing of others to prepare himself for what he does every day.

General Conversation:

There is a notion of sharing that is under attack.

Publishers are taking what we share openly and turning it around to us at horrendous markups.

A lot of learning is locked up in LMS systems.

What does it mean to take control and manage your own data? You can't have these kinds of conversations around LMS systems. Systems like Twitter and Google Apps for Edu are using and selling your data. How do we have these conversations in closed systems?

There are concerns about sharing on behalf of others as opposed to sharing just our own stuff.

It would be nice to think of public learning as a park where everything is open.

There is a phenomenon of lurkers. They are gaining tremendously from others who share. How do we move them to the next level to become sharers themselves.

People new to this might need protected spaces/comfort zones first. Like a closed ning environment.

A course Levine and Groom are involved in is DS106. They created a community in an open framework that encourages sharing. Students create and turn in assignments and create and post tutorials of how to do the assignments.

For some students, getting the first blog comment from a stranger is a huge eye opener. For others, it's using Creative Commons content and then starting to contribute their own content to the open spaces.

Fasimpaur finds teachers are open to sharing when it is presented to them up front. "Everything here is  open for others to use."

How much time are we spending asking students to explore the space where they exist online? Do we let them know people are not going to come find them, that they have to advertise their existence? Being critical about this existence is what we need to do as educators. We are living in cool times.

This could be the golden age of the Internet right now. Don't miss it!

We also have to get out of our little sector box.

Smart sharing can actually save you time and make your life better. Think of how much time we spend re-inventing the wheel when we could be saving time and making things richer.

I made it to the mic and shared the following thoughts from the K-12 space.

  • Culture of sharing not promoted in K-12. We are used to staying in our classrooms
  • Teachers share their personal lives on Facebook; we need to encourage them to share professionally as well.
  • We need more courses like DS106 for pre-service teachers. Train them up in a culture of sharing that will continue with them in their careers and also influence how they teach their students.
@historydoc followed up my comments with the need for practitioners in higher ed to be encouraged to put content out there even if it isn't vetted while not having to worry about it negatively impacting their pursuit of tenure.

Moocs are something to look at for moving more toward a culture of sharing.