David Wiley, “OpenCourseWars”

Read the article at http://opencontent.org/future/

Background

OpenCourseWars is a “sci-fi” look back at 2011 and 2012 from a vantage point in the future.

Key Points

Wiley swipes at legislatures and lawyers, and institutions and publishers as he explores potential ups and downs of OER and Creative Commons licensing throughout the years. Legislatures fund initiatives, then bad press and mud-slinging cause funding cuts. Legal issues surrounding the Non-Commercial license cause angst as the Chinese educate their armies with American, taxpayer funded textbooks and all OpenCourseWare supporters are painted with the broad brush of commie liberalism and hung out to dry. Lawsuits reign supreme, chaos ensues, students take matters into their own hands and a MetaU emerges replete with lectures, notes, third row cell phone vids, proper non R/O ‘tribbing capabilities, and access to student tutors who are paid for their performance. Lock this one up in the time machine and break it out in 2025 to see which predictions were spot on and which ones fell short. Either way it’s a highly entertaining read that highlights quirks and fragility in the open education ecosystem.

Discussion Questions

  1. What predictions have been realized since this was published? Which have not?
  2. What pitfalls and possibilities do you anticipate for open courseware?

Additional Resources