Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Openness is the only means of doing education

Open education, open educational resources, and open source software should be household names. I just finished watching David Wiley‘s TEDxNYED talk on YouTube via my iPad, and I am inspired as a result. I loved his image of the 2 year old having a tantrum, and comparing that to our tendency as educators and citizens to cry, “That’s mine! You can’t have it! I’ll sue you if you try to take it!” I also love his statement early on, “Openness is the only means of doing education.” Hear, hear.

The official description of this session was:

Dr. David Wiley is Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. He is also the Chief Openness Officer of Flat World Knowledge and Founder and board member of the Open High School of Utah. He was formerly Associate Professor of Instructional Technology and Director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University.

David argues, “The most successful educators share most thoroughly with the most students.” For him, education is DEFINED as a relationship of sharing. Does this make you reconsider whether or not YOU should be blogging regularly? What about CLOSED, “walled-garden” learning management systems? Still think Moodle is “the bomb” just because it’s open source? Think again. Education IS sharing, and the more generously we share, the better we educate others as well as ourselves. Very important and powerful ideas here.

Take fifteen minutes and listen to more.

Get your own valid XHTML YouTube embed code

— Posted with Blogpress for iPad. Since YouTube for iPad doesn’t provide embed codes (at this point) I used the Tools 4 Noobs “Valid XHTML YouTube Embed Code Generator to create embed code for this video I could copy and use.

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On this day..



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7 responses to “Openness is the only means of doing education”

  1. Scott Avatar

    Seems that your opinions here directly contradict with your support for the iPad, and Apple’s current approach to their ecosystem in general. Nothing screams closed and “walled-garden” more than the apple app store and their arbitrary rule of law.

    I would be interested to hear how your reconcile these two positions. I’m waiting for an Android or ChromeOS based tablet, either of which would be the “open” choice.

  2. Jelkimantis Avatar

    Irony: A man blogging about openness from the most close device to date.

    In defense of Moodle: Moodle is indeed a closed form of education, and it would be wonderful, in a world closely related to Star Trek, to have more open systems for education. Unfortunately there are people out there who would use school projects to do bad things to children. Moodle does a great job of balancing a closed-system that protects students, with an ability to link to the web, writ large. Much better, at any rate, than it seems Blackboard does.

    In offense against Moodle, I am hoping that Drupal Gardens ( develops some tricks for educators to use, especially now that ning is going bye-bye. This would significantly open things up, and still maintain safety for students.

  3. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    I certainly could have blogged this with my OLPC running Sugar, or my Dell Netbook running Unbuntu. Do you honestly consider me a hypocrite because I’m using and trying different educational technologies, even those which are built on relatively closed application ecosystems?

    It seems to be that the facts this video (hosted on YouTube) and my blog (hosted with WordPress) are accessible on ANY of my mobile, digital devices (and could have been shared from any of them) are important here.

  4. Jelkimantis Avatar

    I think the fear that Scott is expressing is based on what I call the Microsoft effect. Big corporations seem to like an environment where they become the de-facto standard. The fear is that Apple will gain a large market share then begin dictating / restricting things so as to have those things become the standard across all platforms.

    When MS did this, FOSS didn’t exist, so it was not part of their agenda. Now that Apple is rising to supremacy, they seem to be doing quite a few things to prevent FOSS work arounds. The perfect example is iTunes, which has no native Linux binary, even though Mac is build on BSD and the port to a Debian based platform would not require too much extra coding.

    While I agree that there is a fear about the closed nature of the Apple platform, and I agree that an open culture is really the only direction that Education can take and remain relevant, I plan on getting an iPad. I’ll probably blog about this in the future…

  5. Scott Avatar

    I have no problem with the setup of your blog, that’s not what I was concerned about. Likewise, there’s little damage in trying out new technologies. Apple’s need to control every aspect of the user experience is the part that’s troubling. I don’t need a company deciding what’s best for me. Sure, the browser on the iPad would let you access nearly anything (except for Flash, which is a whole other issue).

    The App Store is the real problem.

    Their penchant for censorship (see is not something that anybody should align themselves with.

    A better piece on the Fiore ban is here ( I refuse to support any organization that thinks censorship of political satire is acceptable.

    Why invest the time developing for a platform that can remotely disable your app with little to no justification? A platform that requires a $99+/year fee to get your app into the market, since there’s no way to install non-market apps (except for jailbreaking/cydia). A platform that requires you to develop on a Mac, using their tools and their tools only (no flash cross-compilers!).

    Test for compatibility sure, but not for content.

    Suppose these end up in schools. Do you want students learning how to develop their own apps? Don’t have a mac? Sorry. Don’t have $99/year to be able to share your apps with classmates? Sorry. Don’t know xcode? Sorry. Do you know how to use flash and want to easily compile that into an App? Sorry, cross-compilers just got banned.

    Compare this to Android. Any platform, Java (#1 programming language, taught in AP Computer Science), Free plugin for Eclipse (Free Open Source IDE), no draconian censorship policies, opt-in market ($25 year), otherwise you can just host your app somewhere else on the web.

    WordPress has a similarly open platform for people who want to write plugins, and they even host your plugin for free.

    Allowing a less than trustworthy 3rd party to have such control over a platform is a less than ideal situation, especially when they have no problem changing the rules on the fly with no recourse.

  6. Kent Chesnut Avatar


    Great video… I especially liked:
    * Analogy between printing press and internet – and how the system in power responds to such disruptive technology.
    * The idea that now is the first time in history that we can give both our expertise and our expression of the expertise without losing it ourselves.

    Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention.
    Have a great day, Kent

  7. […] appropriate. The concepts of connectivism, openness and sharing as illustrated by Wes Fryer on his post in response to David Whiley’s TEDxNYED talk and the challenges to our thinking and practice […]