Wrong Forest

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Edited by another user.
Last edit: 10:06, 4 October 2011

Paragraph 8: "Thousands of educators ..." - this paragraph prompted my "wrong forest" posting on the UNESCO mailing list. I worry that the mindset is becoming too inwardly focused on building the "open education" community (with too strong an emphasis on the educators). So, reword the second sentence more along the lines of the opportunity society has (rather than "we have" ... and consider changing the sentence from:

"Most importantly, we have an opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world through freely available, high‑quality, locally relevant educational and learning opportunities."

to take cognisance of these points:

i. Whose opportunity? (recall "enabling people to empower themselves with knowledge" ‑ see Declaration on libre knowledge).

ii. Quality can only be defined in local terms (by the users).

and (consider) rewording the sentence to something like:

"Most importantly, hundreds of millions of people around the world will be able to improve their lives dramatically through the opportunity to participate in this global libre and open knowledge society."

Optionally clarify with something like: "Participants have the freedom to use knowledge resources (or any parts thereof) for any purpose, the freedom to co‑create, adapt, enhance and share knowledge for collective benefit."

(the reference to quality becomes implicit ‑ 'adapt' includes localisation)

This apparently minor change is actually highly significant and points to a possible systematic bias in the "open education" movement ‑ wrong forest"?

Ktucker (talk)03:50, 14 December 2007

Hi Kim,

I don't think a world which segregates the free knowledge community on the basis of sector, eg Education, Goverment, broader society etc is necessarily the best way forward. That said -- the education community does have unique characteristics - for example that the majority of education provision on our planet is publically funded. Fortunately free cultural works can transcend institutional and organisational boundaries.

I do take your point that quality will always be contextual. At the same time I think that its important for the OER community to strive for the development of high quality educational materials. So I guess we need to think carefully about the wording here.

Mackiwg (talk)06:35, 14 December 2007