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Thursday, November 28 • 11:00 - 11:10
The Troubling Prevalence of Apple's Eye of Sauron at Open Education Meetings

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A specter is haunting the the open education world: the glowing image of
an apple with one bite taken from its rim -- representing perhaps the
cyanide-impregnated apple with which Alan Turing committed suicide -- which
leers from the backs of a multitude (perhaps a majority) of laptops and
smartphones used by the champions of an education that fosters personal
agency and autonomy. I would like to suggest, however, that it is more
appropriate to think of this symbol as the lidless Eye of Sauron, from the
Lord of the Rings fantasy books which some of us loved as children, where
it symbolized the implacable will to power of the enemy of the free
peoples of Middle Earth.

But if the free peoples of Open Education want an alternative, there is a
very robust one: free/libre/open-source software [FLOSS].

You may complain that FLOSS is surely not as convenient, nor as well-vetted
for quality, nor does it interoperate with your other tools as easily as do
the laptops, phones, and software of Mordor. But aren't these exactly the
arguments used against OER? And just as in that arena, there are many good
answers to these concerns.

In this short presentation I will work through some of the main ideas which
motivate the open education movement, and try to show how they all have
very strong analogies in the ideas behind the FLOSS movement.
Additionally, I will try to answer some of the practical concerns that
prevent the wider use of FLOSS.

Just as we in the open ed movement are often accused of fanaticism, a little
stubborn insistence on using FLOSS wherever it serves autonomy, agency, and
other values of both movements may end up with your abjuring the symbols of
Sauron on your devices!

avatar for Jonathan Poritz

Jonathan Poritz

Assoc. Prof of Math & OER Coordinator, Colorado State University-Pueblo
Talk to me about: open pedagogy, making OER the default, OER and student success, OER and academic freedom, FLOSS, OER and equity, JITERs, crypto (ask me about blockchains if you want to see someone's head explode in slow-motion), quantum computation, differential geometry, number... Read More →

Thursday November 28, 2019 11:00 - 11:10 CET
BL28 Carassa Dadda (plenary)