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5 February 2009 / erikduval

David Weinberger ‘gets it’ ;-)

As usual, David Weinberger get’s it:

Less-than-perfect open courseware is a zillion times better than no open courseware. And we’re just beginning this. Open courseware will change, and it will also change how courses are taught in the real world. Here comes atomization, the Long Tail, network effects, backchannels, and, OMG, spam and undoubtedly porn and …

And, evoking the theme of abundance that I often use to structure my keynotes around:

The most obvious missing piece has to do with metadata. Right now, there is a relative scarcity of open courseware, so sites like iBerry aggregate the known offerings. But, as recording and posting courses becomes the norm, we will have the problems of abundance. And then we’ll want the usual — and perhaps some unusual — ways of filtering to find exactly the courses we want to invest in. […] We need tags, ratings, reputation systems, trust mechanisms, social networks, and ways to talk with our fellow auditors. And the sites that do this for us well will take on some of the role, value, authority, and standing of universities themselves.

As David anticipates:

(And now y’all get to tell me about all the sites I’ve missed that do exactly that already.

Indeed! We harvest metadata from networks of repositories and make them available for facetted browsing. Other folks make the same metadata available in their specific sites for schools or architecture. And we’re working on integrating social features.
Actually, you may be working on similar issues – you still have some time to prepare an article for our special issue on “Open Educational Resources: Learning Objects for all!“. Abstracts due in two weeks, full papers by March 1…
BTW, David really gets metadata too: “Everything is miscellaneous” is required reading!

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