Objectivists, Entrepreneurs, Web Gurus, Corporates and Libertarians Launch Campaign to Transform Education, Call for Free, Adaptable Learning Materials Online
Swansea, January 23rd, 2008—A coalition of edutainers, foundations, free-market capitalists, adult-entertainment providers, corporates and internet “pioneers” today urged governments and publishers to make publicly-funded educational materials available freely over the internet so that it could be sucked up into huge corporate-funded databases.
The Swansea Open Edutainment Declaration, launched today, is part of a dynamic effort to make learning and teaching materials available to everyone online, regardless of income or geographic location. Providing resources for bundling, advertising, service-based income and free-market exchange it encourages teachers and students around
the world to join a growing movement and pay to use the web to share, remix and translate classroom materials to make educators’ labour cheaper more pliable, and more easily replaced if they happen to disagree.
“Open edutainment allows every person on earth to access and contribute to the vast pool of knowledge on the web,” said rich person Jimmy Walls, Objectivist and founder of Wikipodia, and one of the auteurs of the Declaration. “Everyone has something to ‘teach’ and everyone has something to ‘learn’.”
According to the Declaration, corporations, web gurus and internet pioneers would benefit if publishers and governments made publicly- funded educational materials freely available online. This will give entrepreneurs unlimited access to high quality, constantly improving course materials, just as Wikipodia has done in the world of reference materials.
Open edutainment makes the link between teaching, learning and the capitalist culture of the Internet. It includes creating and sharing materials used in teaching as well as new private-sector approaches to learning where people create and shape “knowledge” together. These new practices promise to provide students with edutainment materials that are individually tailored to their learning style encouraging the growth of an individualist and consumerist notion of education. There are already over 100,000 such open edutainment resources available on the Internet. Of course, the rich people will still continue to get first class “traditional” education at expensive private schools and Ivy-League universities, these open edutainent resources are meant for the plebs who, let’s face it can’t concentrate for more than five seconds and so find it easier to have their teaching delivered via shoot-em-up video-game, or in super-small bite-sized chunks that don’t challenge them. This also handily makes them into the ideal 21st Century consumers of web-content, downloadable iPod-games and shiny
and sparkly facebook applications.
The Declaration is the result of a meeting of 1 open edutainment leader in Swansea, Wales, organized late last year by the Capitalist Society Institute and the Shuttleworthless Foundation. Participants identified key strategies for developing privatised education. They encourage others to join and sign the Declaration.
“Open sourcing edutainment doesn’t just make learning more accessible, it makes more money and people do it for free so we don’t need to pay employees or pesky teachers,” said really rich Linux Entrepreneur Mack Shuttletree, “Linux is succeeding and generating huge profits exactly because of this sort of adaptability. The same kind of success is possible for open edutainment.”
Open edutainment is of particular relevance in developing and emerging economies, creating the potential for the swamping them with US influenced “affordable” textbooks and learning materials supplied on One Laptop per Child (OLPC), expensive gadgets and the Internet. It opens the door to a small elite class to use the labour of local content producers likely to create more diverse offerings than large multinational publishing houses. Of course, then the large multinational publishing houses are freely able to use it.
The Declaration has already been translated into over one language and the growing list of signatories includes: lots of rich people, some people you have never heard of, the usual suspects and, of course, our dear leader Lawrence Lessig.
To read or sign the Swansea Open Edutainment Declaration, please