So today I can finally be more specific. “The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation”:http://www.hewlett.org/ and the “Center for the Public Domain”:http://www.centerforthepublicdomain.org/ have given me the green light to hold an initial meeting to discuss the establishment of some infrastructure that will support the distributed, collaborative development of open educational content.
A SourceForge for learning objects and other goodies, if you will. I would love to hear people’s opinions on this topic. Here’s mine.
Foundations are giving literally millions to support MIT, CMU, and other universities to develop free and open educational resources. While I fully believe in this work (in an almost religious way), the sustainability model of such undertakings is uncertain. If an open source infrastructure existed that would allow educational content developers to easily coordinate and contribute time to open educational content development projects, we could theoretically get network effects on the order of Linux, Apache, or other successful open source software development projects. Maintenance and extension of the infrastructure itself can be contributed (as to an open source software project), and content developers need only contribute hours rather than months. I hope this project will be a major milestone in the development and distribution of open, reusable educational materials.
I’m still open to suggestions for the names of individuals who should be invited to a planning meeting.