Unbundled Learning with OpenPath

In the post, “Napster, Udacity, and the Academy,” Clay Shirky connects the current state of higher ed—rising costs, variable quality, inefficient access—with the advent of MOOCs, drawing a parallel to file sharing (Napster) and the upending of the music industry. I’ll leave it to you to read the essay; it’s timely, thoughtful, worthwhile.
Shirky writes, “The possibility MOOCs hold out is that the educational parts of education can be unbundled.” In this new, unbundled world, the mobile device can become the tool that provides access to the disparate pieces. OpenPath, our proposal for the NSF / Mozilla Ignite competition to design gigabit speed apps from the future, relies on mobile as both glue and on ramp for learners.

Imagine, for example, you come across the site of “A Great Day in Harlem,” the 1958 photo by Art Kane. There, using your mobile, you discover the documents and media that have been curated around this location and event—-jazz recordings, interviews, videos. You can also contribute your own writings, video, and artwork real-time via your mobile.

OpenPath Harlem

OpenPath affords the learner an unbundled, interest-driven, location-based experience. OpenPath offers a learning-in-the-world, where mobile acts as glue holding the experience together, and offers real-time media and collaboration. The mobile acts also as an on ramp to communities of interest, other learners who would like to pursue other learning paths created by this first experience. Shirky’s notion of unbundling, then, means that the OpenPath learner uses a tool that navigates the unbundled educational world, allowing geo-locative connections, communities, collaboration and creation. And perhaps this unbundling liberates the learner to reacquaint him/herself with inquiry.

OpenPath Tumblr

OpenPath Mozilla Ignite

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