If all that was predicted at Seattle World's Fair of 1962 had been accomplished, we would live in a world where...
people flew to work in their personal "gyrocopters" and lived in cities covered by giant domes (to control the climate -- not to play baseball in and later blow up). "TV telephones" were supposed to be as popular now as typewriters were then. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer click here
Predictions are fun, may provide some sense of direction, but have a difficult time providing substantive accuracy of the future. What I do think will happen with OER and Open Education will have much dependency on what is practical.
Jon Thomas' blog talks somewhat about this, in regards to financial implications.
Universities will latch on to OERs out of necessity, to reduce costs and to remain competitive with other establishments. Furthermore, as students become aware of other Universities reducing, and in some cases even eliminating, these costs, it will become more difficult for professors to require large expensive textbooks.
I think the concepts will stay around, be implemented into universities, adult education experiences, and other areas. But, only where someone sees the practical nature for such implimentation. To Jon, that comes as universities fight issues of rising education costs for students. Adreas looks at the issue from the student point of view, to which I agree. Students are driven by practicality. They choose courses that meet their schedule needs. Of course, they have more choices on delivery methods. They choose institutions from which to derive training and education from. They demand and expect the choices for more individualized education. Its the schools that are behind.
On a personal, practical note. I had the opportunity on Friday afternoon to deliver the Utah State Office of Education - Charter School Division the application for the Open High School of Utah (OHSU). I must admit that, at times, I felt I was carrying a sacred document. After all, how many proposals have been made for government funding for OER/Open Education support? How many at the K-12 level? How many that have actually been accepted and funded? To me the OHSU represents a bold step, yet also very practical at this time. I'm somewhat humbled to have been part of the initial application process. I look forward to seeing where it will go from here and my participation in it.
FYI- From the mission statement for the school...
The mission of the Open High School of Utah is to provide Utah students with an excellent education that will help them achieve their full academic and social potential.
The core philosophy of the Open High School of Utah is that education is a universal human right and that the most effective education is both hands-on and service-oriented. Because of this philosophy, OHSU is committed to using open educational resources – educational
materials that can be freely and legally copied, changed, and shared.
Open educational resources enable our educational mission by providing the greatest pedagogical flexibility possible to OHSU students, parents, and teachers. Open educational resources enable our service mission by providing the greatest number of opportunities to improve our communities and revolutionize schooling around the world.
OHSU offers a full college preparatory program and the opportunity for students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from the Utah State University, emphasizing computer science.
While I only helped with a small portion of the application, I think the concept of the OHSU demonstrates the practical nature of Open Education. The school is planned to meet the practical needs of students. Those students need a delivery system to meet their individualized needs. With today's technological abilities, such a school is a very practical move. It meets specific needs with available technology. Additionally, I think it will open up more areas for such development of OER and Open Education opportunities.
I suspect that we will be posting the application for review and comment to the Open Education community in the future. That's a decision left to David W and Bekir Gur, the primary authors of the application.