Stephen Downes on Open Up!
Open Up! has finally moved on to guests worth hearing (no offense David). Stephen Downes is on this week, and as always has many interesting observations. Quick hits and my take:
* He said this in passing, but I think it’s really worth thinking about more carefully: He described educational resources as being disposable. As opposed to the model of learning objects–intended to be durable and all-purpose–he describes learning resources as mash-ups of content brought together for a very specific purpose, and then made widely available to be mashed-up into something else. This is an ecology or economy rather than a storehouse (in the second part of the interview, as I’m typing this, he’s come back to the idea in more depth). As we begin to pull courses off OCW and replace them with new versions, I am more and more aware of the brevity of lifecycle for even these relatively stable resources.
* He talks quite passionately about how educators can’t be expected to do extra work in producing open materials, and spends some time railing against the IP work in many projects as extra work that ought not need to be done. He also suggests that there is a body of volunteers out there who might be used to carry some of this load. I’m seeing a number of emerging models that include students, and am hopeful as well this might be more fruitful.
Both of these points have implications for a number of nagging issues I’ve been noodling on, centered around what work ought to be done to resources as they get published openly.