The future history of the Education Commons

MIT Press has released a PDF version of the book “Opening Up Education“, which is a series of articles on open educational content.

I found the most interesting piece was David Wiley’s “the OpenCourseWars” – 2005-2012, some speculative fiction on what will happen with the open content movement over the next few years.

Will the future be different? Or like the 1970s thought it would be?

I recently came across PaleoFuture, about the “the future that never was”.  They look at the history of predictions of the future.  These forecasts always seems to be more utopian, depicting a bright and shiny future more rosy than it actually turns out to be.

There’s always going to be conflicting opinion about whether or not the future will be better than the past, but it’s worth viewing the comments on the blog.

In 2008, with the global economic panic, there is more room for pessimism.

At the same time, there is room for optimism that we can avoid the distopian futures projected in the 1970s.

  • We can connect another billion people to the internet to help educate and solve problems
  • We’ve seen the excesses of fundamentalist thinking along the extremes capitalism and communism, and are ready to explore more cooperative approaches
  • We have the capacity for rational thought, and can design creative ways to solve pressing global issues