“EduCause is the annual Woodstock of higher education,” wrote James Marshall Crotty for Forbes. “With a particular emphasis on “the intelligent use of information technology” in the robust arena of online education.”
Crotty quoted Don Kilburn of Pearson that:
“The next wave in education is going to be open source, shared data, collaborating faculty.” No surprise since Pearson no longer intends for its interactive materials and educational texts to be a “closed box.” Instead, the publishing giant announced at EduCause that it will now allow the sharing of what was once proprietary published content. “We fully intend, and our real strategy is, to move from books to content distribution and to added technology services” for university and secondary education customers, Kilburn added.
He added that:
Over 5.6 million people were enrolled in at least one online course in 2009, according to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning. According toOnlineColleges.org and general consensus in the education field, students choose online colleges because of their convenience, affordability, 24/7 access, and flexibility.
About the launch of a free learning management system:
Kilburn is confident that the Pearson open source model will succeed. This is mainly because its free learning management system (or LMS), CourseCompass, and its new free cloud-based social learning management system, OpenClass, will become the premier online ed distribution platforms (think Facebook) because they freely welcome, in their very DNA, user-generated content.
Crotty concludes, “What is clear from Pearson is that the future of education publshing will be digital, social, and freely accessible, right to your mobile device.”
For several years I’ve been telling folks that “Pearson gets it.” One piece of evidence is that Kilburn hired Todd Hitchcock three years ago from Florida Virtual. Todd is leading online learning efforts in higher ed and is piloting some innovative low cost models this fall. I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the iNACOL board with Todd for three years and he’s been a great board member and advocate for innovation. He and his colleagues are building a new post-secondary landscape that is open, shared, and collaborative.
For more, see SmartTech Roundup where Sarah said “Open is the new Oprah.” Watch for another piece this week on open educational resources.
disclosure: Pearson is an investor in Learn Capital where Tom is a partner