Question #2: How do you see your unique identities intersecting with Open?
I think my identities intersect with Open Education because I understand that there are different ways of presenting knowledge that, maybe, are not represented within the Open Movement or maybe not as widely represented. There are online textbooks that are not accessible to low-income communities that don’t have reliable internet access or to rural communities if they don’t have an internet connection. There are online textbooks that are not accessible to students with disabilities that might not be able to utilize some of these resources if they’re not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A lot of the materials are still created by folks in the academy that might not be engaging in other modalities, in other ways of knowing or meaning making.
I totally support Open Educational Resources and Open Education. I think knowledge should be freely available and accessible to people. I definitely have issues
with putting locks on knowledge. I’ve published in an Open Access journal, which is exciting, and I’ve also published in journals that were not Open Access. It’s really frustrating that people can’t get to that knowledge. And don’t get me started on the inaccessibility of how we write for the academy, how it’s really just for the academy and not for public consumption.
I’m thinking of my identity as a Latina woman. I didn’t learn anything about Latino culture in the United States or the history of Latino culture in the United States. I’m only learning about it now because my dissertation topic looks at Latino Civic Engagement. There’s so much history that’s omitted from textbooks and a lot of it centers whiteness and the history of people from European descent. But very rarely do we have textbooks that really go in depth and explore the contributions to technology, to education, or to law of Latinos, Asian Americans, Indigenous, or African-American communities. We’re omitted from history and course materials.
I think my identity as a Latina woman primarily intersects with Open. Then definitely my low-income background gives me a way to critique Open. My background empowers me to say, “You’re creating and recreating what we’ve already been doing.” Textbooks do not have equal representation of the contributions of the diverse communities within the United States. I think I bring a critical eye to the Open Movement. Diversity within the Open Movement exists in pockets but is not as robust as it should be.