Towards Openness: Can we be safe in online learning?

About the workshop

‘Towards Openness - how can we be safe in online learning?’ is a collaborative workshop that will take place locally at OEB16 with Christian Friedrich and virtually on Twitter with me.

You can find the workshop description on Online Educa's website

This workshop is designed as a collaborative session where you are invited to consider the opportunities and risks of open online teaching and learning catalysed by provocations that revolve around openness, ownership, digital identity, privacy and security.

Conversations will take place locally at OEB16 facilitated by Christian and online with me. Key moments from the discussions will be captured to help Towards Openness build cases to policy makers to support openness in 21st century learning.

Workshop structure/toolkit

1. Provocations
Listen to the provocations and ask yourself, what are your initial thoughts when thinking about openness, ownership and safety in online learning?

2. Campfire Discussion
Discuss thoughts and reflections of the provocations around campfire materials and select an area of focus

3. Audience
Organise and phrase your collective thoughts to communicate with a certain group of stakeholders.

4. Design
Collaboratively design an 'intervention' to communicate your message to help us strive towards open and safe futures

5. Feedback
Sharing is caring!

Image from page 440 of "Bell telephone magazine" (1922)
Image from page 440 of "Bell telephone magazine" (1922), Internet Archive, No Copyright Restrictions

Towards Openness

Towards Openness is a research driven knowledge base that seeks to provoke conversations and to advise decision makers towards building social and technological infrastructure for connected learning.In pursuit of Towards Openness’ vision, there are three activity strands that:

  • curate research practices and learnings invested in building connected open learning infrastructure at global, regional, national, and local level to make it accessible and relevant to connected learning actors. (Knowledge production and accessibility)
  • initiate need-based interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, original research conversations to build new priorities and agenda for connected learning through distributed and collaborative research. (agenda setting)
  • translate and mediate different research learnings for decision makers and those who work at advising and influencing them in open and transparent consultations and workshops. (educational material)

Read more here..

The workshop

Video Intro from Kate Green on Vimeo.

transparency | Accessibility | Equity | Individual | collectives | publics | control | freedom | pervasive technologies | intrinsic values | safety, privacy

1. Listen to the Provocations

Safety and openness are both seemingly subjective terms and so we thought that it would be appropriate to ask others from around the world with different concerns to prepare short statements on the issues and concerns that they face. The provocateurs are Maha Bali (Egypt), Robin DeRosa (USA), Nishant Shah (Netherlands) and me* (UK).

*I have provided a provocation for regretfully not being able to be at the workshop!





2. Join the Campfire Discussion

Discuss thoughts and reflections of the provocations, you can use multimodal ‘campfire’ materials as ‘ignition’ for conversation either in the room (local) or online**. There are a few examples below, but find many more here:

** online participants share your thoughts (and ignition materials if you like) with the online group using #TowardsOpenness

After about five minutes of conversation in your group (local or online), chose a topic that you want to focus on:

  • learning analytics
  • big data in education
  • open pedagogy
  • anything related to ownership, safety or privacy in learning goes!


"Freedom depends on the information environment that those individuals and societies occupy. Information underlies the very possibility of individual self-direction” (Benkler, 2006)


@actualham:Yes! "Opening the algorithms: Could we use open analytics?" … via @Lawrie






4. Design...

With a specific topic or field and your audience in mind, design an intervention, an agenda or a set of principles. This intervention can be both a tool used by your audience or something that is directed at your audience. With this intervention, you could just make a brief but important point or actually consider applicability to your topic or field of choice. A short list of examples (that you are not at all limited to):

  • agendas or constituting documents like a manifesto
  • [digital] artefacts of any type
  • a social media campaign
  • phantastical prototypes (rapid feminist prototyping)*

5. Feedback, Share and Care

Give it a name and present your idea/prototype/intervention to the larger group or record (however you wish) and share on Twitter using #TowardsOpenness (1 minute max. for spoken delivery).


On Dec 1 at 6pm (CET), we will invite delegates at OEB as well as online participants of “Towards Openness” to join a VirtuallyConnecting session. Think of VirtuallyConnecting as a typical hallway conversation at a conference, which happens on Youtube live to include others as well. Please do join the conversation if you have the time!