Rethinking Learning
conversations about the future of teaching and learning
Barbara Bray
be creative, innovate, take risks, unlearn to learn
Oakland, CA

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Encouraging and Empowering Sharing
By Barbara Bray    June 16, 2009 -- 09:47 AM

The new web and social media encourages sharing. Should sharing be by default? When you upload something to Twitter,, or Facebook, you are sharing. But what about anything you post anywhere on the web? I read Wes Fryerís blog and it made me think about sharing.

Hereís a video from Creative Commons Wes shared:

If you use a Creative Commons license on anything you pose, then you are sharing and explaining how others can use your materials. You determine the type of license.

Is this enough for you? I encourage sharing, posting, collaboration. Yet, there still needs to be a secure place for confidential conversations and sharing safely proprietary materials. This will probably change also but, at this time, there are some conversations that just need to be private. There are some proprietary materials that need to be protected. Thatís why I created My eCoach. A larger area where everything is free and private teams that allow you to publish to the web but a secure place for collaboration. You can always invite people in.

On this free web, anything that has a fee, is not shared, or is behind closed walls seems to be frowned upon. This is usually from people who have jobs and are getting paid regularly. When they donít have work and cannot pay their bills, how will they feel about giving away everything? There are talks about Free and Freemium (free for limited versions and paying for premium). If you are okay about having ads everywhere, then maybe free is okay. If you want a safe place for your students to work, then maybe we need to think about free and what that means.

But on another hand, maybe sharing means taking risks and trusting that people will follow your license. It means that maybe you are not the expert on everything and that someone else can take your work and make it even better. Is there a way that we can have public and private areas that work for everyone? I know I couldnít go back to a world without Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. These are part of my personal learning network. I do like to have a private space while Iím designing content and have added co-authors. Would it be better to open my design area so everyone can see my mistakes? Maybe.

I believe that digital content should be free and shared. I also believe that many are not ready to open their planning, pre-design, mistakes, and some proprietary content to the world. This may change, but now, we need both public and private areas online and then need strategies for people to make a living in this free, sharing online environment that is not intrusive.

Categories: "Free" "Creative Commons" "Sharing" "Collaboration"

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