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The Open Future: Openness as Catalyst for an Educational Reformation

EDUCAUSE Review Volume 45, Number 4, ISSN 1527-6619


The word "open" is receiving a lot of attention in education circles. For over a decade, "open" has been used as an adjective to modify a variety of nouns that describe teaching and learning materials. For example, open content, open educational resources, open courseware, and open textbooks are all part of the current higher education discourse. In this context, the adjective "open" indicates that these textbooks and other teaching and learning resources are provided for free under a copyright license that grants a user permission to engage in the "4R" activities: (1) reuse; (2) revise; (3) remix; and (4) redistribute. Although the modified nouns (content, resources, courseware, textbooks) differ from one another, the actions that operationalize the concept of openness are the same. They are acts of generosity, sharing, and giving. The author argues that institutions and individuals seem to have forgotten these core values of education. He discusses the role of openness and how sharing is changed by new technology. He also shares a lesson from history and describes how the lesson can be applied to today. (Contains 7 notes.)


Wiley, D. (2010). The Open Future: Openness as Catalyst for an Educational Reformation. EDUCAUSE Review, 45(4), 14-16. Retrieved May 20, 2019 from .

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