Knowledge Should Be Free

John Connell, Weblog, May 28, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

John Connell discusses this CERI-OECD paper Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources, which is the summation of recent discussions in that organization on open educational resources. I read it over the weekend and while it's not bad I can't say I really felt it grasped the possibilities. For example, I really dislike the title, as it perpetuates the consumer-producer mentality I argued against throughout the process (why couldn't they have titled it 'Creating Free Knowledge' or something like that?) and demonstrates that the final authors didn't - or wouldn't - accept the whole concept of user-generated concept. Open Learning' continues for them to be the stuff produced by big universities or institutions. From where I sit, the concept of 'free learning' is not a charity. But I don't know whether OECD is constitutionally able to accept that.
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