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Education - as a discursive and social endeavour needs something trigger and carry our learning conversations. Education does not take place in a vacuum and in our digital world, our conversations - like this one, become the content for further discussion.

Viva (free) content - Viva

2. ken udas - october 4th, 2007 at 11:16 am

Hello, First, David, thank you. There are a lot of directions to take this. I have a quick question to start things off that I know is full of twists and turns. I am not sure how far we want to take the physical infrastructure analogy, but I will push it just a little further. Roads and other types of public physical infrastructure tend to be funded from public sources (general taxes, road taxes, gas taxes, etc), use-based sources (tolls), and volunteer sources (adopt a highway). I would assume that this combination of resources sort of represents the way we look at appropriate cost allocations. We see the roads as a public good so they should be supported by various governments (federal, state, local) through taxes, it is also recognized that some cost should be assigned differentially to who is using a specific roadway, while others see benefit in keeping the road clean in their community (by adopting a highway) and are willing to take care of that for a number of reasons.

  • Here is the question. To help ensure that “content” infrastructure is of high quality, functioning to enable rather than constrain education and innovation, how might we think about resourcing “content infrastructure” in a sustainable manner?
  • Here is another question. Are there things that we can do that will change the way we think about resourcing content (work processes, licensing, the nature of education&education providers, our identities as educators, etc.)?


3. wayne mackintosh - october 4th, 2007 at 6:45 pm

Hi Ken, Good questions.

I’d like to add into the mix Elinor Ostrom’s 2X2 matrix classification between rivalrous versus non-rivalrous and excludable versus non excludable goods. (Frome Governing the Commons, 1990).

See for example:

Rivalrous versus non-rivalrous goods and

Excludable versus non-excludable goods.

The matrix then classifies for types of goods:

  • Common-pool resource (i.e non-excludable and rivalrous - eg the classic tragedy of the grazing commons, and a hard copy library book. When one patron has the book, another patron cannot take the book out at the same time)
  • private goods (i.e. excludable and rivalrous - eg commercially sold book)
  • toll good (i.e. excludable and non-rivalrous - eg paid subscription to an online journal. Digital copies are infinitely accessible)
  • public good (i.e. non-excludable and non-rivalrous eg knowledge or free content.)

The point being that content can assume different forms and depending on how the content is stored (hard copy versus digital) and the licensing that is used (excludable versus non-excludable) will determine whether the same content is for example a private good or public good.

Consequently I think we need to think about different resourcing models and a range of value propositions depending on where the content sits in this 2X2 matrix.

Questions & Answers

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Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
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If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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