ABSTRACT. Open Education (OE) is an emerging phenomenon which has become feasible through the advancement of Information Communication Technology (ICT), in particular the World Wide Web (Web). This article explores the origins of OE, from early concepts to current implementation and makes predictions of its future capabilities. Open Educational Resources (OERs) are software resources developed to facilitate learning, including Learning Commons, social media, search engines, Wikis, and a wide variety of emerging tools including Apps, games and interactive Web pages. Future advances in Web technology will further enhance its usefulness as the connective layer to enable collective participation in learning. The result will be the formation of networks of learning that are free and open. This article explores the characteristics of such networks, including the nature of openness in this context and how Peer Production will be a significant educational paradigm. As the Web becomes more globally accessible through computers, tablets and smartphones OE will emerge as a dominant solution to learning, both formal and informal. The article concludes with comments on the emergence of OE as a viable alternative to current formal education systems, and the social and economic implications this may have for a world divided between those who have education, and those without. pp. 68–84

Keywords: collective intelligence; Education 3.0; ICT; Internet; global education; open education; openness; open education resources; peer production; social media; the Web 3.0; world wide web


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