Colleges, too, are grappling with the limits of this global online movement. Enthusiasts think open courses have the potential to uplift a nation of Zieglers by helping them piece together cheaper degrees from multiple institutions. But some worry that universities’ projects may stall, because the recession and disappearing grant money are forcing colleges to confront a difficult question: What business model can support the high cost of giving away your “free” content?
Parry later goes on to quote David Wiley and his blogged prediction of the future:
The education oracle [Wiley] offers another prophecy for open courseware. ‘Every OCW initiative at a university that does not offer distance courses for credit,’ he has blogged, ‘will be dead by the end of calendar 2012.’
As a fledgling in the open education movement, even I have wondered how this movement could be sustained:
…while it may be a wonderfully Utopian idea to provide free access to all knowledge, the producers of said knowledge (i.e. book writers, course creators, instructors, researchers, etc.,) all also need to eat and pay bills – how does the “business” survive, if they give the “product” away for free?
Is open education dead even as it becomes mainstream? Will it become a different entity altogether, perhaps a far cry from the one its early forefather’s imagined, but something that still provides learning to the masses – freely? How will the international open education movement shape the US policy and vice versa?
I’d love to know your opinions.