Negatives of open

Vulnerability.

Making mistakes in public.

Asking “dumb” questions.

Asking provocative questions.

In ds106, there is nothing that I can do that some of the students can’t do better. It may not be good to admit to that, because they probably want to have confidence in me. Or maybe there is an advantage to being a low bar, in that it’s less likely to intimidate anyone creatively. I don’t know. But within the framework of the course, I try to challenge people to push themselves, and to share what they’re doing and how they’re doing it and what they’re learning from it, so that we can all learn from each other. Open has risks, but there are also rewards.

But as Martin Weller pointed out, some of us are in better positions to take risks. I can afford to embarrass myself here in OpenEdMOOC, or in ds106, because I’ll still have my day job. I’ll still be in an affluent and relatively safe society, and one that looks favorably upon people who look like me.  If I learn from my mistakes in public, I’ll probably be okay. I may even be rewarded for taking a risk and showing my growth. I don’t think we give everyone that same benefit. Does open exacerbate inequality? Perhaps. I don’t know if there is any way around that though.

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