New open models are significantly different. Understanding them is a gradual process, a progression through a series of steps or stages that look something like this:
1. Awareness – open models are a new concept most people haven’t even heard of. With new models for a new year I aim to make new open models visible. By making you conscious of them I hope you begin to consider them as options, choices you make in how you do your work and how you live your life.
2. Responding to and overcoming the fear reaction. Almost everyone initially expresses a great deal of fear over new open models. With new models for a new year I aim to alleviate those fears.
3. Looking at examples. One of the best ways to understand new open models is to look at real examples. Hearing the stories and use cases of those who have successfully adopted new open models creates a sense of possibility, soothes the fears, and inspires.
4. Trying it out. Once a certain level of comfort has been achieved you’ll begin to see how you can make use of open models personally. As a gift I hope you’ll play with new models for a new year, dip your toe in and try using something that is open.
5. Going open yourself. Once you’ve sampled someone else’s open work and experienced the benefits I hope you begin thinking about making your own work open – perhaps initially in a small way but gradually more and more.
6. Adopting open as a cornerstone of practice. Once you get to this stage you’re in all the way and usually become an advocate of new open mdodels who won’t go back.
7. Spreading open. If you adopt an open model in one area (lets say Open Educational Resources) you’ll become interested in other areas of openness (lets say open policy, or open data, or open access). You’ll start to see the synergistic benefits of adopting more and more open models. The cumulative benefits of multiple forms of openness are greater than each individually.