I spent a morning at the Future Learning for a Networked World open seminar in Christchurch a couple of days ago at which I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Stephen Downes about the whole idea of open content. He reminded me about the Directory of Open Access Journals that exists online, providing an amazing source of journals and articles that can be accessed free to support courses – instead of paying a premium for textbooks.
There are many good reasons for considering this – apart from the cost, textbooks and other traditional forms of published material are in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant in our education system as emerging ways of creating, contributing, reviewing and using digital content become the ‘norm’.
With this in mind I was interested to view a video-cast by Richard Baraniuk (pictured above) on TEDtalk dealing with this very topic as he talks about a project he is involved with called Connexions. Baraniuk is a Rice University professor with a giant vision: to create a free, global online education system. In this presentation, he introduces Connexions, the open-access publishing system that’s changing the landscape of education by providing free coursework and educational materials to everyone in the world.
Baraniuk’s presentation is very easy to follow and understand, and it presents a vision of a future that I’d rather like to be a part of! (thanks to Leigh Blackall for the heads-up on this clip)