All kinds of open

It’s open access week this week, so time to celebrate open access in our research communities. Now in its 6th year, the event in growing and there a lots of events happening all over the world. For more information check out the Open Access Week website, and/or follow the #OAweek hashtag.  Quite a few events are being lived streamed so even if they aren’t local to you, you may still be able to join in.

Continuing the openness theme there were a couple of open things I spied last week and didn’t have time to blog about so it makes sense to include them in this post.

Glasgow’s Future Cities demonstrator dashboard continues to grow and now has 81 datasets available including data on gritting to  film sets. Hopefully they’ll reach over 100 sets soon.

Whilst I’m all in favour of opening up data,  there are some very serious considerations for education. “Data is the new oil” is being seen and quoted more and more often, as well as the promise of big data approaches being able to “fix” education.   Audrey Watters shared her views and slides from a talk she gave last week at Columbia University titled “(Student) data is the new oil, MOOCs, Metaphor and Money”.  An excellent critique of the underlying tensions around “opening up” student data, who and where the drivers are coming from.  Well worth a read.

When you are involved and aware of openness, in all its guises, it is easy to forget that not everyone is aware of the open movement. I’m finding that now I’m based in an institution, I can’t (and I did try not to anyway ) assume that people are aware of open access or open education in general. So it’s great to see that  the OER Research Hub have pulled together a useful “understanding OER in 10 videos” playlist.  I know this is going to be a really useful resource for me and many of my colleagues, and is in itself a great example of the power of open, reusable, educational resources.

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