Jeff Jarvis has a great post that echoes a lot of what we’ve been saying about educational content. To me, here are the key lines:
There’s simply more good stuff out there than there could be before. And it can be created at incredibly low or no cost. There is no scarcity of good stuff. And when there is no scarcity, the value of owning a once-scarce commodity diminishes and then disappears.
Schools used to own the content they delivered, but no longer. There is better content, in most cases, to be found on the Web than in standard texts. There are richer databases of information, more knowledgable experts, and more diverse sources of uniquely pertinent material that we can draw upon now. And that renders the one-textbook-for-all approach basically irrelevant. While these resources may at first blush appear more unwieldly and complex than those comfortable, traditional texts, we do our students a disservice by not tapping into their diversity and timeliness.
We need to create our own texts, because we can. Our students need to help us, because they can. We need to ask relevant, diverse, living sources to participate, because they can. This is a totally changed world we’re entering, and we need to begin serious conversations at our schools as to what those changes mean and what strategies we can use to take advantage of them.