Sean Eddy in PLoS Biology on Open Revolution

Interesting article by Sean Eddy on “Open Education” in PLoS Biology on March 24. (see PLoS Biology – Open Revolution). The article is (mostly) a review of “Opening Up Education” a book from MIT Press.

For those not in the now, Sean is a big supporter and proponent of Open Science and is now at the HHMI’s Janelia Farm Campus. In addition to developing some smashing software and doing cool science, Sean was instrumental in my conversion to supporting Open Science so I pay attention to what he says. And there is some interesting material in this pub. The ending sums up a lot of what is in there:

More attention must be paid to the fact that someone still needs to spend time painstakingly developing artful ways to make difficult concepts understandable—to teach!—and that it will take even more time (thus money) to render these hard-won ideas using multimedia web technology compared with writing textbooks. Success hinges on the adoption of open licensing by the professionals who make digital educational resources, and on finding ways to finance their work.

Basically, Sean is saying the Open Education is great in concept but that many Open Education resources need work for them to be effective. And that work can take a lot of money. So we need to find ways to get more money into the development of Open Education materials.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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