Sharing is caring (inspired by @veletsianos)


This post is inspired by George Veletsianos, who has created a video summary titled ‘Scholarship on Social Media and the Academic Self’ based on his paper ‘Open Practices and Identity: Evidence from Researchers and Educators’ Social Media Participation’.

George raises the question:

“Is sharing a value of contemporary academic culture overall or is sharing a value of a specific academic sub culture?
For example is sharing a value of the open education sub culture and are we seeing sharing as a value because open education researchers are active users of social media?”

For me sharing was a habit I developed, following the good practice of others. Through social media and the development of my own personal learning network, I was able to learn from the connections I made. Many of these are educators, however others are professionals who are open sharers of information that can be of value to all lifelong learners. Initially I was an observer, sometimes interacting.  I noted that a growing number of connections gave their work a Creative Commons licence, where permission is given to reuse with attribution. As I began to present my own work at conferences, I too adopted this approach and share my presentations via SlideShare. (Note: To give your work a Creative Commons licence in this space you need to go to ‘my uploads – edit – and then ‘choose a licence’. The default is all rights reserved).

In his research George has identified the following scholarly practices academics engage in online where they openly share:

  • announcement of publications, awards and job opportunities
  • soliciting feedback on drafts of manuscripts
  • developing and releasing text books
  • sharing syllabi and instructional activities
  • live streaming teaching, live blogging and live tweeting at conference keynotes or sessions
  • sharing videos or materials from a course
  • engaging in debates and commentary on professional issues
  • posting tenure and promotional materials online
  • seeking help and crowd sourcing
  • reflecting on a blog about their writing or research process
  • participating in hashtags like #PHDchat
  • creating video or audio trailers to highlight a book, a course, project or publication

I can resonate with many of the above as a recipient of what others share and as a sharer myself. However these examples have reminded me that I can do so much more. My immediate take away is to consider how I can be a better open educator.

Creative Commons

The Creative Commons ethos is ‘When we share, everyone wins’. Clearly this is not just of value to academia.

“Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world — unlocking the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.”
Creative Commons



Veletsianos, G. (2013). Open Practices and Identity: Evidence from Researchers and Educators’ Social Media Participation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(3), 639-651.

Creative Commons


About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
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