Open-Source Learning – Empowering Self Educators

by Race Bannon on May 25, 2009

I believe the world is moving towards open-source learning and education. The days of highly proprietary learning materials are coming to an end and being replaced by materials available to a wide audience, often for free or at a much lower cost than before.

Richard Baraniuk, a Rice University professor, gave an excellent talk at the TED conference in 2006 about a new global education system he and others are creating that allows people to collaborate in the creation of open-source learning materials. That project is called Connexions. These are the kinds of education projects that truly excite me.

Through the use of Creative Commons licensing (a modern take on more open copyrighting), teachers can create, modify and package learning materials (think textbooks) in previously unimaginable ways. View the video below and then imagine the teaching and learning possibilities this and other similar projects might offer the world. Education can be transformed. And self educators can have access to high quality learning materials that might have previously only been available through expensive university courses.

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