The Open Course / Open Source Movement
The potential of the Internet to help people learn was obvious from the beginning. Online courses have been around since the early 1990s, and have been getting increasingly popular ever since. Most of these courses are offered by mainstream educational institutions who charge the students who take them. Similarly, those who would like to offer courses online have had to purchase expensive software to do so. There are now collaborative efforts to create K-12 online courses based on the open source software model the approach used to develop the Linux operating system. And free-to-use software for creating online courses is now available. It was developed, and is being further developed, on the open source model by a worldwide network of educators and software designers.
Below is information about, and links to, two of these resources.
Curriki is a global education and learning community devoted to creating free, open-source curricula. It is the brainchild of Scott McNealy, Chairman and Cofounder of Sun Microsystems. He says, "Access to basic knowledge and learning tools for our children should never be proprietary.... At Curriki, the sole mission is to educate. By building a world class learning environment that is community developed and supported, and publishing it for free on the Web, Curriki works to insure that anyone, from anywhere can participate."
Moodle is a free, open source, and highly flexible course management system that allows educators to create their own online courses. Scalable "from a single teacher site to a 50,000-student University," the software has a host of highly desirable features.