Examining Open (Source) Communities as Networks pf Innovation: Implication for the Adoption of Open Thinking by Teachers

Prof. Alec Couros
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The focus of this study was to gain insight into the adoption practices, perceptions and beliefs of a group of educators who began to embrace and use open forms of information and communication technologies (ICT). These 'open' forms include free and open source software(F/OSS), open content and open publishing. The group of participants were found locally in the researcher's geographic area, but extended well into an international setting. The following questions guided the study:

1) What are the characteristics of the open movement that encourage and motivate members to participate in open communities?

2) Does participation in open communities encourage and/or support the development and adoption of (technological) innovation by teachers? If so, in what ways?

3) What perceived value is gained through membership and participation in open communities?

4) What educational activities and experiences result from a participant's membership in an open community?

5) Are there common values and beliefs held by members of open communities, and if so, what are they?

Recent research suggests that the communicative practices inherent within particular open source communities may represent a type of collaboration that could be beneficial to transforming school organizations. Open (source) communities are knowledge-sharing communities. Teaching and the improvement of teaching practice through the adoption of technological innovation is partially based on knowledge sharing. Understanding open (source) communities and the beliefs, values and practices of their members may assist in the development of a model of communicative and collaborative practice in teaching communities and other networks of innovation.

Keywords: Open Source, Open Movement, ICT Integration, Open Source Software, Innovation, Communities of Innovation, Open Source Communities
Stream: Media and Communications
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Alec Couros

ICT Coordinator, Faculty of Education, University of Regina

Alec Couros is currently the ICT Coordinator for the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. Alec's work consists of teaching undergraduate courses related to ICT integration in the K-12 classroom, ICT professional development of Faculty and staff and research related to ICT in educational institutions and general society. Alec is most passionate about research into the open movement, which consists of activities around Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS), open content and open publishing. Additionally, Alec is involved as a team member in the iTeacherEd Project, a major, government-funded research project focusing on ICT integration in teacher education preservice programs.

Ref: I06P0016