This week, George provides some useful context for our thinking around openness – he says:
Openness is most often related to content. Transparency, in contrast, involves making our learning explicit through forums, blogs, presentations, podcasts, and videos. Throughout this course, I’ve made the statement that “when you are transparent in your learning, you are teaching others”. Most people, however, are uncomfortable taking the risk of posting half-baked ideas publicly. Trust and personal sense of security is important for learners. Learning is an act of vulnerability. Given the somewhat intense flame-wars that arise online or the rude level of discourse (have a look at the comments of any popular YouTube video) in forums, feelings of vulnerability trump participation.
After that, I came across something Alan Levine posted (or, rather, barked):
I am not uncomfortable posting my half-baked ideas publicly! What’s to lose? It’s just the internet, filled with half-baked ideas.
He’s right, of course; the internet is full of half-baked ideas. It’s a good reminder, and invitation (perhaps particularly in a context like cck09). We should relax and go for it – what’s the worst that could happen? I feel like this – what we’re doing in cck09 and our professional openness – is much lower-risk for those icky personal attacks than, say, posting a YouTube video of yourself lip synching in your basement.
I think fear about appearing half-baked can actually serve us and our learning (as long as it’s not out of control/to the point of paralysis, obvi). We might be a bit more careful, check a few facts, dig a little deeper, think a little harder, strive to present our ideas a little more clearly.
My mom insists that every act we perform, at its very base, is motivated by either fear or love. In the open/transparent stuff, it seems there can be fear of losing control of our “possessions” (content) or fear over looking like a moron (by making ourselves/our ideas visible to others). Where’s the love, man? 🙂