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Members of the OCW/OER movement are properly occupied with the current efforts of importance to the movement—increasing the supply and usage of OCW/OER, finding sustainable models, embedding OCW/OER into government and institutional contexts, and seeking ways of certifying knowledge gained through open content. As educators, we are motivated by the high-minded goal of improving access to education throughout the world through technology and free learning opportunities. However, between the focus on issues of immediate concern and the shining light of our overall goal, there is a middle ground that is not well understood by many OCW/OER proponents. That middle ground is composed of large-scale forces that are impacting education and together create an imperative for the OCW/OER movement—a movement that is so important to these trends that the vision we have for the future of OCW/OER is inevitable. This presentation describes these trends and the part that OCW/OER plays in them.
The first and most important trend is the movement toward universal higher education. First identified and described by Martin Trow in 1973, universal higher education is the third stage in the evolution of higher education, following the movement from elite to mass higher education. There are two components for universal higher education. The first is the traditional notion of access by providing access to higher education to people who otherwise could not take part because of geographical or financial issues. The second component is more subtle, but no less important or visible after, the breakdown of boundaries, sequences, and distinctions between learning and life. This presentation will describe how universal higher education is becoming clearly evident and offer some examples of how OCW/OER is a major component in the advancement of universal higher education.
The second trend is the “commoditization” of education. A good or service is “commoditized” when it becomes ubiquitously available at no or very low cost. There are clear patterns of behavior that occur when an important aspect of an industry becomes commoditized. These patterns are evident in the commoditization of content (Google, Wikipedia, YouTube) and communications (Facebook, Skype, Twitter), both of which are important elements of education. Education itself is showing signs of becoming commoditized. Commoditization pushes the “value proposition” to the periphery of the good or service. This presentation will describe that value add shift in higher education, what it means to the OCW/OER movement, and how we can take advantage of this trend.
Advocacy on behalf of the OCW/OER movement is an important role for the OCWC and its members. That advocacy can be most effective when all of us understand the social and economic dynamics that shape our movement. OCW/OER is here to stay in ever greater volume and utility because it is aligned with major social, economic, and edu

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  1. 1. Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact - Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education Cambridge, U.K., April 18, 2012
  2. 2. Imagine a world in which everyone could learn anything anywhere anytime for free
  3. 3. Hunger Disease Global Warming Terrorism Religious Strife Population GrowthEnvironmental Degradation Economic Development Natural Catastrophes Energy
  4. 4. Imagine a World Problem that Does Not Involve Education
  5. 5. By 2025, 98 million graduates ofsecondary education WILL NOT beable to attend college
  6. 6. To serve these students, 4 largecampuses, serving 30,000 students,would have to be built EVERY WEEKfor the next 15 years
  7. 7.  The trend toward universal access The “commodification” of education The increasing cost of education and the demand for institutional accountability
  8. 8.  First scholar to describe the transition in higher education from elite to mass to universal student access Envisioned a world in which education was ubiquitous
  9. 9.  Adaptation of the whole population to rapid social and technological change Breakdown of boundaries and sequences and distinctions between learning and life Postponement of entry, softening of boundaries between formal education and other aspects of life Great diversity with no common standards Aggregates of people enrolled, some of whom are rarely or never on campus; Questioning of special privileges and immunities of academe; Criterion shifts from “standards” to “value adds;” Open emphasis on equality of group achievement
  10. 10.  Learning can be broken down into smaller chunks and in sequences that were not possible before Learning can now take place in our day- to-day activities as never before
  11. 11. Inability to Diversity of Creating a Meet the Providers Shift Goal of with No Toward Universal Common “Value Access Standards Adds”
  12. 12.  Evaluation will be based on the actual results of education in measureable skills, abilities, or useful knowledge The failure to provide evidence of value adds will lead to the questioning of the special privileges and immunities of academe
  13. 13.  Recent interest in “badges” Concerns about learning authentication, validation, and certification in the absence of common standards
  14. 14.  Education becomes ubiquitously available at little or no cost Commodification follows the two elements of that are essential to education—content and communication Commoditization pushes the traditional “value proposition” of an industry to the periphery of the good or service
  15. 15. Content/InformationWikipedia Google iTunes YouTube Communication/Interaction (Web 2.0) Skype Facebook Twitter Learning Pathways Flat World KahnOCWC Merlot Connexions Knowledge Academy
  16. 16. Many Alternative Providers Free Free Supplemental Instruction Content Traditional HigherAlternative Education AccessibleStandards Repositories & Values Proliferating Learning Projects
  17. 17.  The rising cost of U.S. higher education means that large numbers of our workforce can’t get the education they need, when they need it This has become a world issue
  18. 18. H.B. No. 2504: Section 51.974.“Each institution of highereducation, other than a medicaland dental unit, shall makeavailable to the public on theinstitution’s Internet website thefollowing information for eachundergraduate classroom courseoffered for credit by theinstitution.”
  19. 19. 1. From visionary to predictor/implementer2. From periphery to core3. From optimist to leader