The move towards open-ness is a reaction against the many ‘closed’ characteristics of our current education system, such as enrolment schemes, copyright, student records etc.. What were previously regarded as barriers to growth, access, or innovation in our system, are now being challenged or circumvented through the use of systems that are more open and participatory, including:

  • Open content- The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way academics in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed in their courses. For example:
  • Open data - a philosophy and practice requiring that certain data be freely available to everyone, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. Many governments are now making data openly available for people to access and manipulate as they wish.
  • Open source – open source software has appeal to many because it is free or low cost, and because it (generally) conforms to standards of interoperability that more expensive, commercial software doesn’t. Examples of open source software having a significant impact apply to the use of Linux as a network operating system (and now a desktop option), Google’s Android OS, Firefox browser, Open Office etc.