The future of education is open source, elaborates in a remarkable article John Mark Walker, an edX engineer who previously worked for Dell EMC and Red Hat, and author of the ebook “Building a Business on Open Source”.
We’ve summarized his ideas in five paragraphs:
- Open source is powered by longer-term economic trends. It provides a great way for companies in an ecosystem to compete by cooperating and collaborating on common technologies and then adding value to those collaborations. It’s also a great way for competitors to challenge a market incumbent.
- We haven’t seen a large open source collaborative effort in the educational technology ecosystem, but that appears to be changing, but more on that later.
- Existing business models generally break down between selling services around a technology platform or selling content, and sometimes both. There are now thousands of companies vying for a position within this multi-billion dollar market. (…) Open edX is one of the few technology platforms in this space to spawn a viable multi-vendor commercial ecosystem.
- Open source technology will win in the digital learning space. (…) In 2013, we began an open source transformation of the industry by unleashing Open edX on the world. This year, we are seeing that initial effort make the leap towards a collaborative, open source future. If ever there was a technology space tailor-made for open source collaboration and innovation, it’s education, where working collaboratively is a time-honored tradition.
- The growth of Open edX is strong, multi-vectored, and accelerating. (…) The growth of sites running Open edX is nothing short of phenomenal. The number of contributing organizations to the code base shows that this community is much larger than just edX, the primary community sponsor.
It’s worth mentioning that, though the majority of these websites and courses are located out of the United States, some big Open edX ecosystems have been released in the country: NVIDIA‘s Deep Learning Institute to train engineers, Global Knowledge‘s (largest private IT training company in the world) new platform or George Washington University‘s engineering initiative with courses using Jupyter technology.