Thanks, Quill, and the CCCOER, for this learning opportunity. My week has been spectacularly busy and finding the time to read Tara Robertson’s article was a challenge. I am glad that I found the time and that it’s still OEWeek!
This is a powerful essay. As an advocate of open practices, accessibility, and a representative of marginalized communities, Tara’s voice is impactful. Asking the simple question, “Who is missing?” creates a moment to stop and reflect on what we do as open educators and how we go about our work. Open is about creating diverse and inclusive environments in course materials, in the classroom, and in our community of advocates and practitioners. We need to seek out the “missing” and invite them in.
I found the example of when open can be harmful to marginalized communities resonated with me and my role as an OER advocate. It is important to remember the impact of Western scholarship on the ownership of indigenous knowledge. Especially, when we engage with indigenous communities and OER. For me, this is our Native Hawaiian community. I’ve had several conversations over 6 years to encourage NH faculty to develop an open reader for Hawaiian Studies 107, a high-enrolled course. I haven’t gotten any traction and I didn’t understand why until fairly recently. Several months ago, I initiated another discussion with our faculty and learned that they are now interested in developing a zero-cost reader for students. However, their plan doesn’t involve me. Will it be CC-licensed? I don’t know. I know now that I have to give them the space and freedom to make that decision. Hopefully, they will reach out to me when the time is right and any discussion of CC licenses will be according to their terms.