UPDATE: More about what is in the oval from the New York Science Times, and a later post here.
Open educational resources (OER for short among advocates of open online educational resources) is made up several layers of construction. The image of the pizza suggests this overall structure with these layers, from the bottom up: subject matter, designing of the subject stuff into a webpage, coding that design and content with the browser languages, establishing links among related webpages, and platforming all of that on the internet of wires, glass, and wireless signals that network, as it were, in the global ether. Yet there is more — wonderfully more.
The critical and marvelous layer hovers dynamically, invisibly, virtually at the top of the OER pizza. It is the layer where everything intertwingles. It is not there physically. Its substance is ideas.
What could I possibly mean? Let me give you an example. As I write this it is just past 4PM in New York City. That is the hour that the tsunami set off this morning by the earthquake in Chili is expected to reach the beaches of Hawaii. Thousands upon thousands of pieces of information are being sent into the internet and intertwingling there. They are connecting, forming hubs, attaching new facts, verifying warnings, and on and on. Here is a screenshot of what FoxNews.com is pushing into the intertwingularity at 4PM.
The global knowledge commons, which is the future of OER, is emergent into the intertwingularity as a dynamic network of what is known by humankind. Added to the commons from today’s tsunami will be new knowledge now flowing in and being vetted dynamically. In the FoxNews list, for example, is “Send Your Photos.” This citizen journalism will add to our planet’s record of today’s earthquake and tsunami. Arising from many individual inputs, images will be intertwingled through vetting by editors and online clicks. Some of them will find their way into permanent collections, as order arises from today’s tsunami of input into the intertwingularity.
We are only beginning to understand the wonders of this new medium of what we know as a species. There is no question, however, about this: The freshest, most authentic, and complete repository of what is known by humankind is now openly online. In the open virtual intertwingularity this content interacts freely to emerge new and vetted knowledge. Mobile browsers make it possible to put the emerging global knowledge commons into the hands of every student. We can and should be working to make knowledge in the commons more findable. We should be reconfiguring education around the new location of of what is known by humankind.
I kick the walls when I see billions of dollars gushing toward limiting learning to low standards taught and tested in unequal schools. With handschooling — switching food metaphors — we provide the whole enchilada of knowledge to every student by connecting each one to the intertwingularity.