Monday, 9 September 2013

Freedom should be free!

Video of Stephen Downes

Video of Desmond Tutu

A reflection on learning from these videos.

As part of my OCL4Ed course I am required, and happy, to reflect on what I have learnt from these videos.

I found the Tutu video the most challenging.  I enjoyed it and, in writing this reflection, I had to go and re-view Downes video, getting much more out of it the second time through.

What was challenging about Tutu was I had thought that intellectual property rights were only fair and proper and that the creators of knowledge had a right to make money out of that.  I am not so sure now, but I'm also not ready to through the baby out with the bath water.

'Locking up the fruits' was a crucial phrase that Tutu used for me. He says that the poor can't afford the metered out knowledge and this is where Downes comes in , for me, when he talks about cost. I am reminded of the poetry of Yeats "I being poor have only my dreams/tread carefully because you tread on my dreams". Although Yeats' poem was a love poem the words help me empathise with Tutu's "our people".

Of course there's more to it than that and Downes' video was, on the second viewing, enlightening and inspiring as he lyrically talks about the talking back, the laughter, the way we WANT to learn, the "Learning out loud" as he calls it.

 Sharing is the core of learning and that sharing defines Open Content Licensing and also defines true education, Downes would have us believe

I now need to review what I think of intellectual property and find out more about how Open Learning Content Licensing deals with it.  I am inspired to share learning but I doubt that I personally have anything worth sharing. Perhaps that is a big challenge for me personally.

All in all a surprising start to a course that I wanted to do because I thought that I needed to do some e-learning to be a better e-teacher.  While that is undeniably sill true it also is true that I am surprised and empowered by what I have learnt today.

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