Recently we’ve seen Wikieducator make a strong challenge to formal educational institutions using a model of open development with the works of authorship licensed under CC-BY-SA. Its still based around the usual model of “content” development, distribution and support services but in a free and open way, free to use for any purpose. Most educational institutions believe that they are protecting knowledge from being destroyed by restricting access to it. I guess this means protecting their precious malcontent from all the dirty little destructive thieves they would otherwise call users. To them the goal of elearning is to turn a student into a malcontent developer or malcontent “creator” so that someone can pray to them or pay them to give up all their rights to the malcontent they created so it can be locked away in their secret society made up of Learning Malcontent Systems designed to deprive knowledge workers from collaborating to modify and improve their environment.
Then they turn around a tell us thats just the way the world works because they can’t figure out how to put food on the table at least until the “creators” build another artificial learning environment more like an ecosystem. Their ecosystem is designed to make the weak and underprivileged suffer until they become extinct and for learners to take a passive attitude, like here “let me fill your brain up with more of our malcontent, don’t ask why just accept it”, “don’t try to preserve your values, thats not how our ecosystem works” . They should call their social club the failed knowledge society. I’m more productive on a sick day then they are in a year. They discovered our work so give the guy an award and start making up some pop culture pedagogy and give him another award.
One of the things I really like about free knowledge communities is that it encourages and enables civil society to take the initiative and augment the public education system to make a difference collectively, towards a sustainable world. In other words you don’t have to resign to this attitude that this is just the way the world works, you can actively improve yourself and your community and make a better world. This is something you can do right now so don’t under value how much of a difference you can make by sharing knowledge.
Withholding information that could help everyone advance is a form of combat. The caveman knowledge protectors have already lost this battle. So hopefully some of my local networks will free themselves of these horrible burdens and find ways to remain competitive by making their work available as libre knowledge.
Users of libre knowledge are free to
(0) use the work for any purpose
(1) study its mechanisms, to be able to modify and adapt it to their own needs
(2) make and distribute copies, in whole or in part
(3) enhance and/or extend the work and share the result similarly.
Freedoms 1 and 3 require Free file formats and free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.