All posts by Maha Bali

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Twitter Continues to Fail at Handling Harassment

man with head in sand

[This article is co-authored with Kate Bowles. Dr Bowles is Associate Dean International in the Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts at the University of Wollongong. She writes online at musicfordeckchairs.com and tweets @KateMFD.]

Note: we are intentionally not sharing specific examples we have seen in order to protect those who have been recent targets of harassment.

Imagine this. You use Twitter in teaching, or for professional development, or at conferences. It’s been an important environmen…

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Preview: Books I’ll Be Reading This Summer

child facing a statute that's holding a book

There are three (open access) books I’ve been meaning to read and review, but I realized if I waited until I finished them, it would take a while, so I thought it would be good to post a “preview” here, of why I hope to dip into these books over summer.

Education and Technology: Critical Approaches

This CC-licensed e-book is edited by Giselle Martins dos Santos Ferreira, Luiz Alexandre da Silva Rosado and Jaciara de Sa Carvalho. The book “brings together texts which question the hypothetical ne…

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Openness, Permission, Courtesy and Nuances of Licenses

bee about to land on flower

I don’t know how common it is for folks to have to explain Creative Commons licenses for others, but it often feels like a “continuously negotiated” thing (to use Catherine Cronin’s term). So I recently had a conversation that went something like this, with a professor who wants to create an open textbook (the actual discussion was slightly more complex and with more people involved):

Me: so what kind of license do you want on the book?
Prof: I am happy for people to reuse it as long as they at…

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Open on Whose Terms?

I’m planning to teach a course with a big digital literacies component next semester inshallah, and as part of the brainstorming of that course, I plan to do some exercises related to having students reflect on Terms and Conditions and privacy policies of various apps before we use them. This was inspired by Jason Jones’ recent post about how Unroll.me was selling customer data to Uber, a link shared by Christian Friedrich written by Unroll.me’s co-founder, and a lesson idea for integrating Ter…

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Recent & Upcoming Conversations on Open & Networked Learning

open network

If you are in the field of open and networked learning, you are likely going through a process of exploring the place of open philosophies and networked/participatory practices in the current political environment, and deciding where your place is in all of this. Thankfully, there have been a lot of spaces for us to discuss these questions together, such as the #OER17 conference which took place in London with the theme “The Politics of Open”. The conference may be over, but there have been…

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Laptop Ban? Things You Can Do With Just a Smartphone

children looking at a smartphone together

I recently had a conference in London, and I was flying I direct from Cairo. The laptop ban on this route came into effect shortly before my trip and it would have been really inconvenient for me to re-route. I also heard it’s quite risky to check your laptop in the luggage (you risk theft, damage, or at least loss – until the airlines can guarantee these things won’t happen, I won’t check my laptop or iPad in checked luggage). I recently (before the laptop/iPad ban) contributed a light-hea…

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Conferences and Compatibility

sketchnote of #trexit panel at #oer17

Sketch note by @BryanMMathers of #trexit panel at #oer17

I just got back from #OER17 in London, which is a relatively cozy type of conference (around 180 people, of whom I knew around 40 really well, and another 30 or so vaguely well). And I was thinking that I had a great conference experience and knew ahead of time that I would enjoy this conference. I don’t know that we can call a conference generally good or bad, but we could, maybe, consider a conference compatible with our interests and…

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Keynote Bloopers

So, in my own strange fashion, in preparation for my upcoming keynote at #OER17, I wrote this email the other day to some friends who have some keynoting experience:

So ha :) trying to prep myself for my upcoming keynote inshallah and thought it would be cool to collect stories from folks on “worst thing that can happen to you during a keynote” and to publish that in Prof Hacker or something :) And take consolation :) or something :) R u willing to contribute a story?

I received some very quick…

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Find Open Access Articles Faster with UnPayWall

Fort Damaged Wall

Have you heard of Unpaywall? It is a free Chrome/Firefox extension that helps you quickly find open access versions of articles you’re searching for. One of the problems of Green Open Access is that if you go to the subscription journal site, you won’t be able to see if there are open access versions of the article available. However, open access versions might exist on authors’ own websites, or institutional and subject respositories. Now, Google and Google scholar can often find those without…

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#LendMeALaptop


My iPod Will Not Crash Your Airplane flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) 

Last week, I was getting annoyed with white Americans worrying over their smartphones potentially getting searched or confiscated at US airports. Poor them. Because they’re so likely to get searched, and as a result of that search to get surveilled. I shrug. I don’t think anyone needs my smartphone or laptop to surveil me. I’m pretty sure it’s easi…