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Scenarios for Open Source, Open Content and Social Software

May 5th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

The European Commission funded Bazaar project was set up to look at the use of Open Source Software and Open Content in education. The project ended in December, 2007. As ever the work of compiling the reports and different outcomes of the project takes a little time after a project. One output is a new report “BAZAAR Project Scenario Papers “. This report is based on a scenario setting exercise and two workshops – one entitled How Dude -where’s my Data and the other on Personal Learning Environments. However the scenario setting exercise went further and included:

  • Social Software, Tools and Content Creation
  • OERs and the Culture of Sharing
  • Interoperability and Metadata
  • PLEs, e-Portfolios and Informal Learning
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Data Integrity and Storage

The report – which is 41 pages long – is attached below.

Here is an excerpt on short term scenarios for social software in education.

“These short term scenarios are a vision of a future that incorporates the use of social software for knowledge sharing, capability development and education and training delivery. They are presented in order to gauge an understanding of ‘how it could be’ if social software was more widely adopted by education practitioners. This future is very close!

Social software will force us to completely re-think our business and delivery models for many activities. It’s already happening in the media and many other industries from telecommunications to music and book-selling. Usage of social software is way beyond how people learn – it is about how organisations see themselves and how they do business.

Integral to the visions of the future is the realisation that the ‘Generation Y’ is a significant part of that future. They are already engaging with social software and making connections and sharing knowledge. The ‘Generation Y’ is a significant driver in the uptake of new technologies, along with business in its quest for efficiency. Organisations and education need to ‘catch up’.

The sense of urgency for change is perhaps being forced by the convergence of the changing nature of working and learning in a knowledge era and responding to the needs of the ‘Generation Y’. This generation are natural multi-taskers (or, at least, very good fast-switchers). They innately use technology to communicate within and outside of their working lives.”

I thoroughly recommend this report for anyone interested in social software, open source, open content and so on….

Download the scenarios report here.

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