While the Open Education movement focuses on institutional issues and often the sharing of “things” (content, resources), a large ocean exists of powerful individual accomplishments from the simple act of openly sharing what they create, their ideas, or just themselves. As colorful as old covers of “True Comics magazine, this site shares moving, personal stories that would not have been previously possible, enabled by open licensed materials and personal networks.

We all start out our educational careers (meaning when we were in kindergarten) intrinsically knowing the value of sharing. Somewhere between there and graduate school we lose track of this simple concept, be it worrying about intellectual property rights, fearing theft, or just questioning the value of what we do.

The open ecology of the internet can undermine what I think is learned and limiting stinginess. In this site I want to celebrate the True Stories of what happens to people when they share something openly on the web. I asked colleagues to share their own stories of something unexpected, valuable, powerful, or just plain inspiring as a result of sharing that piece of media, document, video, blog post, even a single tweet that became valuable to someone they did not know before.

About This Site

This newest version of this site (maybe it’s 4th generation) is powered by my SPLOTbox WordPress theme. It means that you can submit stories directly to the site. You have many options to share- a link to a YouTube/vimeo video, upload an audio file or an image, and even record your audio directly into this site. Just head over to the Sharing booth.

What Kinds of Stories Are Amazing/True?

What kind of stories do I want? Yours! Anything that has happened unexpectedly because of sharing or connections made online, from from spreading sunflower seeds to learning to play guitar from 13 year old kids to a shared OER in South Africa being published in a Spanish academic journal. See more examples drawn at random.

A few suggestions– be natural. And make it short if possible. One to three minutes is a good length (a suggestion not a rule), we do not need every detail, especially if you can provide any links for more information. Do not recite it like a book report or tell us the end first. Do it in one take sitting in your car or while walking your dogs.

Think of it like a movie trailer. Build a bit of suspense. For structure, take a look at the story spine approach used by Pixar based on the original concept of Kenn Adams.

In one of the first stories I gathered filmed on a windy night outside a conference hotel right at the very end the brilliant Nancy White said, “It is isn’t just about open resources, it’s about open attitudes.”

The power, the strength, the future of the internet as we know it now, depends on this two-way flow. Share openly, and then share your story.

Alan Levine

Previous Editions

See also a full list of presentations.

Gallery of Story Types