This website has been expanded over time by the momentum originally obtained by several very influential (on me) videos and projects, many of which I have linked directly in past posts. I recognize that it is once again time to renew the spirit of Open Learning.
Open Learning is a compository website. It has been extended by an ethos of usability, relevance, and discovery. It is clear that Internet provides immense opportunity to reshape the organization and availability of information of all types. This is, of course, a double-edged sword, I do not endorse uncritical utopian optimism.
The expansion of knowledge (and not just information) through digital media implies at least one major difference with tradition [analog] forms: multiplicity. Although tacitly obvious, it is important to bear in mind that digital information requires nothing, or virtually nothing, to duplicate itself. And is, save a black hole maybe, indestructible.
This isn’t a trait that is unique to digital information. All information is essentially non-zero sum. This is to say, I can easily tell you how to get to the bank without any cost to myself (I don’t lose the knowledge of how to get to a bank by telling you). In terms of ownership, information is different than physical objects. Once I give you my guitar, I no longer have one (zero sum; your win is my loss). The difference between traditional forms of information and digital information is the media by which they are disseminated. So, in changing the form of media we can move from (more or less) zero sum interactions, to non-zero sum.
The role and opportunity of education in this scheme of affairs is fascinating. How will this unparallel access to information affect ourselves and future generations? Can our system of education address todays’ needs? I have posted some very interesting videos that discuss just this.
In bringing you concise and useful tools to take advantage of the new knowledge economies of the net, it is my great pleasure to present some other websites that share this goal and harnesses this extension of mind.
- MIT OpenCourseWare
- Online Education Lists
- TED Talks
And of course there’s always iTunes U.