Open Up

From UBC Wiki

Brian's blog:

The case for open education could be summed up as "what works on the web"...

800px-Size of English Wikipedia in August 2007.svg.png

Using volumes 25cm high and 5cm thick (some 400 pages), each page having two columns, each columns having 80 rows, and each row having 50 characters, ≈ 6MB per volume. As English Wikipedia has around 7.5GB of text (August 2007, length of wikitext counted by myself) ≈ 1250 volumes. Note that this is a conservative estimate, as it doesn't include images, tables etc. which take up more surface than the text which describes them.

Wikipedia vs. britannica 2004.png

UBC case study: Adventures in Wikipedia

Why does this work appeal so much?

  • fast, cheap, and out of control...
  • augments traditional literacy with new media literacy
  • results in genuinely useful public knowledge resources (perhaps the essence of open education resources)
  • students will respond to tasks that are authentic

See also: the The UBC Medical Journal - student publication of the Faculty of Medicine


"...we will routinely prefer a shareable amateur source to a professional source that requires us to keep the content a secret on pain of lawsuit. (Wikipedia's historical advantage over Britannica in one sentence.)" -- Clay Shirky

There's this photo...


What are the ingredients of open education?


Finding it


Knowing you can use it

Open licensing


Being able to do stuff with it

Open and remixable formats

The cost of sharing

2995402022_b7550e5dc3.jpg Image by procsilas

"The 'cost' of sharing has collapsed... If I come across something I share it via Google shared items, Twitter, my blog, etc. If I want to share I stick it up on Slideshare, my blog, YouTube. There is a small cost in terms of effort to me to do the sharing, and zero cost in anyone wanting to know what I share. Sharing is just an RSS feed away. - Martin Weller

    • Adapted for UBC
  • And how about MobileCourseDiscussions - open sharing in open formats reduces costs in environments we have not yet imagined...

More open education goodness at UBC

Development: Publish from anywhere, reproduce it anywhere (we can dream, right?)


We have embraced a model of Radical Reuse.

The essential component is RSS syndication.

  • Wiki Ink WordPress Plugin: So wiki maintained pages here can be represented here. D'Arcy Norman has done a screencast demo.
    • Those widgets installed here - managed here (login required)



The urgency


Costs of the existing model


Is it time for open textbooks?

  • We've seen meltdowns in music, book and newspaper publishing, and major upheaval in TV and filmmaking. "Broadband eats everything."
  • It's been understood for some time there is a crisis in scholarly publishing (some stats).

"When copies are super abundant, they become worthless."

"When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable."

-- Kevin Kelly, Better than Free

"Embracing the social means embracing the abundant - and emphasizing instead the way an organization might actually help people on the periphery generate value for themselves."

-- Douglas Rushkoff, Real social

"If you blow your works into the net like a dandelion clock on the breeze, the net itself will take care of the copying costs."

-- Cory Doctorow, Think Like a Dandelion


"The first problem is that there is no money, especially these days. The second problem is that universities are not terribly popular with the public, who tend to see them as a nest of richly subsidized tenured radicals who are overpaid and underworked. (Unfair, but not entirely.) Taxpayers are only willing to subsidize universities to the extent they believe they contribute to the national wealth." - Globe and Mail Columnist Margaret Wente

  • What sort of university would the public support?

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