Democratizing Education with Access to Digital Content: Expanding the “Reach” of Knowledge

These are notes towards a yet-unwritten manifesto on open knowledge sharing and the need to reach more people with education while also not being elitist about it.

Short version of this blog post if you are too busy: Open education and OER’s counter elitist approaches to education that are only for a chosen few. Consider creating your own open access content to share with others.

Knowledge should be free and open. This movement, the Open Educational Resources movement (known by various names such as OER, Open Education, and more) has been around for a bit of time. It’s an important one and a cultural shift in thinking from hoarding knowledge and becoming “knowledge guardians” as in previous generations. With the advent of the internet, blogs, and access to mobile devices, sharing of info is not hard. Here I describe a few reasons I advocate for open knowledge sharing.

Why Open Access Matters, Ethically

These are my personal opinions and written candidly and without a lot of reference to theory, for the moment. I will flesh out these ideas later and use them in writing a manifesto at a later date.

I believe strongly that there are ethical reasons to share knowledge openly. First, education is about democratizing education, as described by the American philosopher of education, John Dewey. Second, I am anti-elitist in my approach to teaching and learning. This is why I adore YouTube. One can learn a lot of things on YouTube from how to put on eye makeup like Edie Sedgwick, how to install a car tail light, how to cook Indian food all the way to more cerebral, academic, and even esoteric topics! I so love YouTube on multiple levels both in terms of being a viewer and a creator/producer of  knowledge on my own videos.

Open access of content in digital formats can foster learning for students at all levels, who may not receive good instruction at their formal schools of learning or who lack access to good content for a variety of reasons. Access to technology, however, is an issue that may hurt access to digitally available content, although with the increase of mobile devices and efforts to increase access to broadband internet and other sources of internet, this is becoming somewhat less of a concern.

Open Access to Education Expands “Reach” of Knowledge

The concept of “reach” and knowledge availability outside of a “course”. I personally think it is better to teach more people than  a select few. When I visited Harvard’s  edX/Harvardx center, I learned of the specific use of the “reach”: a term they used to denote reaching many people through digital learning via MOOCs. However, maybe MOOCs aren’t the best approach in a busy world where even committing to a sustained course over some length of time can be prohibitive.

I like the idea of flexibly available digital content that can be accessed anytime/anywhere by the user. MOOCs can potentially require commitment of time over an extended period of time.

Another idea to increase access to knowledge is to simply create resources for people on various media such as the tutorial system on the Khan Academy. The beauty of these types of resources is that they can be used flexibly. In this way, the user can simply select which courses to take. Of course, there are critiques, as well, about the Khan videos perhaps being too much of “direct instruction”. However, the free videos do fill a need in providing technical knowledge for a wide variety of people in a global context. In this sense, they are useful and extend “reach”.

To those who critique the Khan Academy videos or way of learning, I would counter, “What digital content have you created that is helping millions of people of all ages to potentially learn a massive amount of technical and complex content? How are you reaching those in vast and global settings?” Nothing is perfect; the point is that there is content that is open and available.

People understand easily accessed, digital available multi-media that can be used for teaching purposes. When combined with text-based content, I think this is the best type of content for learning. I can read it, click hyperlinks, watch audio and video content, and can dialogue in community if comment threads are available.

What We Can Do as Influencers, Knowledge Creators, and Synthesizers

We are all influencers even if we are not academic superstars. What we do matters to those in our circles of influence and networks. Also, our networks are every changing and multi-dimensional. What we do with our beliefs, efforts, teaching, and learning is noticed by others, for better or for worse. Therefore, there are many ways to take action in learning  more about, advocating for, and implementing open education as a paradigm in our teaching and learning worlds.

Learn more about the Open Access movement and Open Educational Resources (OER) movements. Tell others about these ideas in whatever way you share information.

Consider sharing our own knowledge with Creative Commons licensing. Learn more about the different types of licensing and use attributions correctly.Tell others about these ideas in whatever way you share information.

Learn more about multi-modal content creation such as via YouTube. It’s great to track one’s own analytics and see the reach one can potentially have with content.

Spread the word about open learning opportunities that you come across. These can be shared via email, in person, at conferences or in writing, and/or social media.

-If you are a formal educator in K-12 or higher education or another teaching context, formalize your expertise and share it. Consider creating podcasts or video-based content, and/or blogging.

Comments are most welcome! -Peggy

3,155 comments

  1. Аr kada susimąstėte, kokiа yra jūsų išleistų pinigų vertė?
    Iš tiesų, yra keletas klausimų, į kuriuos inveѕtuojame, iг tai mums įdomu,
    tačiaᥙ viens aiškus finansavimas, apie kurį kalbėsime šiame tekste, yra
    tvirta ąžuolinė spintelė. Gali būti, kad susimąstysite, kodėl
    taі turėtų būti laikoma investicija, tɑčiau
    tuo atveju, jei turite nors vieną ąžuolo bɑldą, atsakymaѕ
    turėtų būti aiškus jums. Tai yra priežastis, kоdėl ąžuoliniai ir dažniаusiai kietmedžiо baldai bus laikomi investicijа.
    Šiuo metu yra įvairių baldų ցamybos
    atsargų. Ⲛatūralu, kad stabilių meɗinių balɗų paklɑusa
    sumažėjo. Paklausa žymiai sumažėjo dėl mažеsnės
    pakaitіnės vertės. Tačiau naujausia statistika
    rodo, kadd pusė išsivysčiusių šalіų gyventojų mano,
    kad būtinatuгėti ąžuolinę spintelę. Šioje agresyvioje rіnkoϳe ąžսoliniai baldai vis dar sugеba užimti savo
    vietą dėl daugelio priežasčių, kurios mums primena ilgaamžiškumą, unikalumą, ekologinį suderinamumą, estetiką ir pan.

  2. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually believed you would probably have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  3. Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody who genuinely knows what they are talking about on the net.
    You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it
    important. More and more people have to check this out and understand this side of the story.
    It’s surprising you aren’t more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

  4. Thanks , I have just been looking for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out so far.
    However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  5. Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  6. Hello there! Quick question that’s completely off
    topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird
    when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find
    a template or plugin that might be able to fix this
    issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Appreciate it!

  7. A fascinating discussion is worth comment.
    I think that you should publish more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject
    but generally people don’t speak about such subjects.
    To the next! All the best!!

  8. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that
    “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance.

    I must say you have done a awesome job with this. Additionally,
    the blog loads super quick for me on Chrome. Excellent Blog!

  9. Howdy! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to
    ask. Does operating a well-established website like yours take a large amount of work?
    I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my
    diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog owners.

    Appreciate it!

  10. Thank you for some other wonderful article. Where else could anyone
    get that kind of information in such an ideal method
    oof writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at thhe look for such info.

    website

  11. 먹튀사이트 검증사이트 먹튀폴리스입니다.
    먹튀폴리스는 신규는 물론 오픈된 먹튀사이트를 철저히 먹튀검증하여
    먹튀없는 시대를 만들어가고 있습니다.

    먹튀폴리스를 사랑하는 여러분의 많은 호응바랍니다.
    여러분의 충실한 먹튀검증 사이트가 되도록
    노력하겠습니다.

  12. You actually make it seem really easy together with
    your presentation but I in finding this matter to be actually one thing that I think I
    would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex
    and very wide for me. I am looking forward on your subsequent submit, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!

  13. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it
    or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
    A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  14. Hello there, I believe your web site could be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, wonderful site!

  15. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this in my search for something regarding this.

  16. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article auhor for your weblog.
    You have some really good posts and I feewl I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some content
    for your boog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you!

    website

  17. Hey, I think your website might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks
    fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    great blog!

  18. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need
    some advice from an established blog. Is it very difficult
    to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not
    sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

  19. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.

    It will always be helpful to read through content from other writers and practice something from other web sites.

  20. When I originally left a comment I appear to have
    clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that
    service? Thanks!

  21. You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

  22. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.
    I must say that you’ve done a amazing job
    with this. Also, the blog loads very fast for me on Safari.
    Outstanding Blog!

  23. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would love to
    have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would appreciate your work.

    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  24. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together
    with your web site in web explorer, may test this?
    IE still is the market chief and a large element of folks
    will pass over your excellent writing because of this problem.

  25. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve
    discovered It positively useful and it has helped me out loads.
    I am hoping to contribute & help other customers like its helped
    me. Great job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *