Image via WikipediaThis year's Horizon Report, a joint effort of The New Media Consortium and Educause, detailing technology trends impacting education is out. It contains this on open-content, predicting that it is ready to go mainstream this year:
Open content, also expected to reach mainstream use in the next twelve months, is the current form of a movement that began nearly a decade ago, when schools like MIT began to make their course content freely available. Today, there is a tremendous variety of open content, and in many parts of the world, open content represents a profound shift in the way students study and learn. Far more than a collection of free online course materials, the open content movement is a response to the rising costs of education, the desire for access to learning in areas where such access is difficult, and an expression of student choice about when and how to learn.Of course, this is an easy prediction to make in that open-content has already gone mainstream. The single largest site for learning on the web is of course Wikipedia. Everyone uses. So it's pretty easy to make a prediction that open-content is going mainstream when it has already happened.
Regardless, it's wonderful to see open-content and open-learning receiving the recognition they so deserves. The people of the internet are contributing, sharing, and working together to change the world for the better. It is a force.
God help you if your organization is on the wrong side of this movement. The people have spoken with their keyclicks. They know there is a better way, and they will demand this openness from all of their institutions.