Friday, June 20, 2008

Co-op Knowledge vs Collective Knowledge

A lot of time and money is being poured into the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's (the Framework) Learning Object Respository Network (LORN).

Initially LORN was created based on a 'co-op' model where the States and Territories could share digital learning objects suitable for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector.

But I wonder whether Learning Object Repositories are still appropriate in a world of :

- web 2.0 technologies and user created content,
- an increased need for 21st Century skills - including digital literacy skills, and
- a move away from teacher centred learning to facilitated learning

Compare a Learning Object Repository to WikiEducator which is "an evolving community intended for the collaborative:
  • planning of education projects linked with the development of free content;
  • development of free content on Wikieducator for e-learning;
  • work on building open education resources (OERs) on how to create OERs.
  • networking on funding proposals developed as free content."
Some may argue that that Learning Object Respositories increase efficiencies:
  • by reducing the replication of resource development, and
  • improved quality (read 'consistency') in training
But compare this to the complexities and expense of establishing and maintaining the Respository, which supports the 'knowledge is scarce' school of thinking around copyright and licensing.

Perhaps there is a need for these respositories in the short term, as a brick in the bridge which will help the vast majority of educators cross into the world of using technology in education and truly understand the power of collective intelligence?

Will LORN be 'obsolete' before it's fully functional?

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