I am lucky to be involved with the steering committee for ETUG – it’s a fantastic team of 15 diverse, dedicated, fun ed tech professionals who volunteer loads of time to do great work to advance, share and celebrate ed tech in BC and the people who do it. We all work at different post-sec institutions across the province (i.e., that’s a key/intentional feature of the group, and it means we’re not on a common institutional system of any kind). So, we organize our stuff (lots of projects and plans and meetings and dates and stuff to keep track of) in a wiki.
Right now, we are deciding if our steering committee wiki should be open or closed.
- If open, we are practicing what many of us preach enthusiastically (open = good), and maybe (?) someone in the broader community of ed tech folks in BC (e.g., the people who attend our events, read our news, etc) would be interested in seeing all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes to plan and deliver the stuff we do. Maybe seeing how we work would make them want to get involved with ETUG. Or maybe just seeing how we use a wiki would be of interest or use to someone.
- If closed, we protect our privacy in ways that seem to matter (e.g., we write notes to each other like, “hey guys I am staying at X hotel during the upcoming conference, my cel number is ######, call me when you get into town and we can meet up at Y location at Z time to plan the bla bla”). Yes we could do this by email, but the point is to avoid that and do it all in the wiki: one stop shop. Another thing a colleague raised was the “reveal factor” – if it’s all open and we’ve planned this neato activity or experience for people at an event, we may diminish that by having it all out there (kind of like posting the punchline to a joke you’re going to tell later).
I guess if we go open, some questions are, do we leave it open but employ “security by obscurity”? Or do we PROMOTE it? and how/in what way? and will this change how we do things in a negative way? (there is a big part of me that can’t believe anyone cares to paw through our stuff, frankly)
I am all for open philosophically, but I guess I’m unsure there is value for it in this case. If it doesn’t matter, maybe keeping it closed makes more sense for the privacy reasons/to allow free sharing among our 15. But I feel like I’m betraying my commitment to openness somehow. And maybe missing an opportunity to explore this more, to experience unexpected benefits, and to walk the talk (lots of people thought MIT was mad, if you recall)
I find this question interesting because it’s not obvious to me that it’s good, and it hasn’t come up before. It’s not like the usual suspects of sharing completed things that someone might want to use (courses, code, texts, training materials, presentations, research, lesson plans, etc). It’s being open about planning and process. Messy stuff. I don’t have anything to hide (except my cel number), I just don’t know if there’s more value in sharing in this case than not.
We’ll see what the group decides.