Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Yesterday the U.S. Department of Ed, Creative Commons and the Open Society Institute launched the Why Open Education Matters Video Competition. Personally, I think it's a bad idea. The money poisons the cooperation that normally exists between open content advocates. And it gives a disproportionate voice to the funders, who have now introduced their own line-up of open education 'experts' who will be the judges: Davis Guggenheim, Nina Paley, Liz Dwyer, Anya Kamenetz, James Franco and Angela Lin. As Dave Cormier comments, "in this list we have 5 of 7 people who have made part/most/all of their careers working behind the copyright firewall." The proponents defend the contest - Rory McGreal writes, "I think funders can have altruistic motives and this is as far as I can see. And, this helps to promote OER recognition (so, yes it is partly advertising)." I don't agree, and I don't see how McGreal's comments here could be true. Money buys influence, people jump to do its bidding, and nothing demonstrates this more clearly than a contest.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 1:04 p.m.