What is Open Content?

The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way academics in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed in their courses. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. Part of the appeal of open content is that it is also a response to both the rising costs of traditionally published resources and the lack of educational resources in some regions, and a cost-effective alternative to textbooks and other materials. As customizable educational content is made increasingly available for free over the Internet, students are learning not only the material, but also skills related to finding, evaluating, interpreting, and repurposing the resources they are studying in partnership with their teachers.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 25, 2011

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Access to the best of the best e.g. MIT - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011
  • The ability for teachers to see themselves as curriculum creators and designers and action researchers through the creation and sharing of open content. Schools, rather than publishing companies, could be the locus of control for content creation and unique curriculum sharing. - sheryl.nusbaum-beach sheryl.nusbaum-beach Feb 28, 2011
  • - shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs Feb 28, 2011 Open Content in the form of Open Education Resources movement is growing significantly among higher education institutions in Africa as well as curriculum development and teacher development agencies. HOwever it may also be surfacing a 'protectionist' tendency among these institutions too, reflecting a lack of willingness to share resources

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Creative Commons licences should be mentioned, perhaps in the context of teachers and students accidentally using copyright material (and being found out using sophisticated tracking tools, and fined, eg for using copyright images). - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 27, 2011 Yes!- brandt.redd brandt.redd Feb 27, 2011
  • I already mentioned this in another topic but it also deserves mentioning here: In addition to the obvious cost savings, open content allows institutions to adapt and improve content to meet their needs. This is the primary philosophy behind the Open High School of Utah (http://www.openhighschool.org). - brandt.redd brandt.redd Feb 27, 2011
  • Ways to connect the open content to potential users. Seamless ways to allow for collaboration and dynamic curriculum creation and for excellent content to rise to the top based on quality and how often used and vetted by others. - sheryl.nusbaum-beach sheryl.nusbaum-beach Feb 28, 2011

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • Educators and students become co-content creators with a global focus. They own their curriculum and therefore can focus more on the learning experience rather than memorization of facts. Schematically, experiences can be more global. For example, if I am studying water quality and habitats and I co-create open content with another class in China-- we both are given a more diverse understanding and ownership of the concept. Content moves past context and awareness of collective action opportunities to make the world a better place arise. - sheryl.nusbaum-beach sheryl.nusbaum-beach Feb 28, 2011
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Most of the learning object repositories mentioned under Learning Objects contain mostly or exclusively open-licensed content. Also, the Next Generation Learning Challenges is funding creation of more open-licensed courses (http://nextgenlearning.org). More relevant to postsecondary education but still important, the Department of Labor is distributing $2 Billion (yes, billion) in grants to create open licensed courses. (http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20101436.htm) - brandt.redd brandt.redd Feb 27, 2011
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