A movement is afoot

June 15, 2007 § Leave a comment

Dubrovnik, Croatia

I’ve had a feeling that a movement is afoot for a while. This feeling was confirmed in spades yesterday during Day Zero of the iSummit Open Education Track.


People around the world are working on ways to open source educational materials, and even education itself. But these people rarely connect to swap stories and figure out ways to move their ideas forward. The idea behind the Open Education track is to change this by doing some good ol’ movement building.


Day Zero was a gathering of about 15 people who are involved in real, concrete, already-happening open curricula projects. Almost everyone had a story to tell. Stories of writing free textbooks for South African high school students. Stories of integrating Creative Commons into Australian education policy. Stories of gathering and sharing huge amounts of free educational content. The common threads: a belief that open source curriculum can make education more accessible and an understanding that we still have a long way to go to make large scale, well-used open source curriculum projects practical and workable.


Yesterday also sparked a number of great ideas and questions. Ex-CC exec director Neeru Paharia said: “Universities are selling hope. Hope should be free.” This sparked a whole discussion on the idea of a free virtual university where we control the education. Today’s full scale Open Education Track will give us a chance to dig deeper on ideas like these, and to bring another 30 or so people into the conversation.

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