INF537 Blog Post #5 Digital Futures

There is a growing focus on Open Educational Resources (OER) such as Wikipedia, that facilitate the collaborative and participatory learning environments of our digital future. Davidson and Goldberg (2009, p. 24) argue that participatory learning is foundational for future learning environments where traditional institutional hierarchies will be challenged because of the ‘flattening’ (Friedman, 2006) that is occurring in relation to knowledge access and creation. A critical analysis of our digital future should investigate the proposed structures of digital scholars such as Redecker et al. (See Figure 21: 2012, p. 43).

Screenshot from 2015-07-30 13:53:06

The Future of Learning (Redecker et al., 2014)


Winn (2015, p. 2-3) further argues that OER will prevail over unsustainable capitalist approaches to global political economies because their legal structures provide not only a praxis of openness between educators, but anyone with competent levels of digital literacies. In this way, Davidson and Goldberg (2009, p. 24) further argue that any critical analyses of our digital future must consider the important effect of cognitive bias (Kahneman, 2014) so as to reverse the resilient aversion toward OERs. Critical social analysis of educational technologies in relation to political, economic and legal barriers is also advocated by Selwyn (2010, 2014; Openmind, 2014_a; Openmind, 2014_b) who argues that digital scholarship must accept these challenges if equitable access to innovative OER is to be achieved.


OER are redefining approaches to pedagogy and scholarship because they create an environment where attitudes to lifelong learning are exciting and adventurous (Seely Brown, 2014). These shifts in learning paradigms are in contrast to the high levels of disengagement found in many formal educational environments (Redecker et. al., 2012, p. 18; Davidson and Goldberg, 2009, p. 21). Digital scholarship advocates such as Pentland (Wired, 2014), Seely Brown (2014) and Selwyn (Openmind, 2014_a,  _b) argue that properly curated OERs can cater for a range of learners who now have access to the Internet.


Winn (2015, p. 24) argues that a complete move toward OER may need to travel through a transitionary framework such as that advocated by Bauwens and Kostakis (2014) whereby the means of production and capital value of our economies (as defined by Marx) undergo intrinsic changes toward post- capitalist Open Co-operativism. It is in these environments that Seely Brown’s (2014) calls for the nurturing of ‘disposition’ toward collaborative curiosity may be able to grow, free of conflict over finite values and ideas.



Bauwens, M., & Kostakis, V. (2014). From the communism of capital to capital for the commons: Towards an open co-operativism. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, 12(1), 356-361. retrieved from


Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2009). The future of learning institutions in a digital age. The MIT Press. Retrieved from


Friedman, T. L. (2006). The world is flat [updated and expanded]: A brief history of the twenty-first century. Macmillan. Retrieved from


Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Macmillan. Retrieved from


Openmind. (2014_a). Neil Selwyn on ‘The Internet and Education’: Ch@nge – OpenMind. Retrieved from


Openmind. (2014_b). The #OpenMindChange world book presentation at MIT [full event]. Retrieved from


Redeker, C., Leis, M., Leendertse, M., Punie, Y., Gijsbers, G., Kirschner, P. A., … & Hoogveld, B. (2012). The future of learning: preparing for change. Retrieved from


Seely Brown, cited in: genconnectofficial. (2014). John Seely Brown On Education | | genConnect.


Winn, J. (2015). Open education and the emancipation of academic labour. Learning, Media and Technology, (ahead-of-print), 1-20. Retrieved from


Wired. (2014, March 11). Creating a Digital Ecology that Works-A World Economic Forum Discussion-Ideas @Davos-WIRED Live [Video file]. Retrieved from






2 thoughts on “INF537 Blog Post #5 Digital Futures

  1. Hi Iain,

    I agree with Julie; an articulate article which draws on credible references to develop a sustainable argument. Julie talks about the barriers to OER. I suspect the biggest barriers are the leaders of institutions whose positions may be very much challenged (or may not even exist) if OER was to to truly accepted.


  2. Iain, well written! Your post is authoritative and draws on a wide range of influences. I wonder if there is more to be said about the barriers to OER and the powerful influences within HigherEd areas that are not supporting this futuristic account?

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