What do you see as the promise of open learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?
I think that open source learning has a lot of potential benefits for students and teachers. One of the most important benefits open source learning can have for teachers is through the use of MOOCs as a professional development and sharing tool (Graham, L., LaBonte, R., Roberts, V., O’Byrne, I., & Osterhout, C., 2014 ). Some sharing resources for teachers already exist. Sites like super-teacher and teachers-pay-teachers are places where teachers can get ideas from one another and share knowledge and work. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of these already existing sites is that they are not free, and there is no way to revise or edit the work of another teacher and share it with others. If a MOOC can be created and made accessible to teachers all across the world, the opportunities to share, grow and improve our practice would be incredible.
Open source learning asks teachers to no longer be experts in the content they are teaching, however just to be expert facilitators in managing the learning process of their students (Engard, 2015). Of course it is still important that teacher have some knowledge of the topics that their students are learning, but they no longer need to have the answer to every single question a student might ask. In this setting, students ask and answer questions to one another as well as other resources in the open source learning environment.
When learning is done this way, each student is able to personalize their education, and tailor it to fit themselves and their needs best (Baraniuk, 2006). Teachers will no longer be overwhelmed with meeting the needs of all of her different students, and trying to balance different levels of instruction, because the she will no longer be the only resource for learning. All members of the open source learning community now supplement the information that the teacher contains.
Open source learning will also benefit students in another way. The exchange and sharing of knowledge will be much less costly. As a college students, I am supremely aware of the high cost of college textbooks. Most textbooks, when purchased new, cost around $100, and every few years publishers release new editions of older textbooks, forcing students to purchase new books that are required rather than reusing older versions that can be purchased for cheaper. In the TED Talk video by Richard Baraniuk that I posted below, he gives the example of an engineering textbook that would normally have cost $100, only cost $22 because it was created and revised using open source learning resources, rather than by a few individuals revising it in a painstakingly slow and expensive process through a publishing company.
These kinds of changes and adaptions can, and hopefully will have huge impacts on the lives of educators and students. Cheaper textbooks, more sharing of information and individualized learning for students are all things that will help revive and improve the educational community.
TED Talk Video by Richard Baraniuk: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_baraniuk_on_open_source_learning?language=en#t-696272
Engard, N. (2015, April 27). What is open source? Licensing, history, and more. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from https://opensource.com/education/15/4/how-teach-others-about-open-source
Graham, L., LaBonte, R., Roberts, V., O’Byrne, I., & Osterhout, C. (2014). Open learning in K-12 online and blended learning environments. In HandBook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning. ETC Press.