As the founders of two of the world’s largest open-source media platforms – Wikipedia and Connexions – we have both been accused of being dreamers. Independently, we became infected with the idea of creating a Web platform that would enable anyone to contribute their knowledge to free and open learning resources. Jimmy started with his popularly generated encyclopedia. Rich developed a platform for authors, teachers, and students to create, remix, and share courses and textbooks.
Almost everybody dismissed these dreams. Now, with the support of untold legions – from Nobel Laureates to junior high school kids from East Timor to East Los Angeles – Wikipedia and Connexions have spread around the globe and today are organic, growing information bases used by hundreds of millions of people.
We want to infect you with the dream that anyone can become part of a new movement with the potential to change the world of education. This movement can redefine forever how knowledge is created and used.
Today, some community college students have to quit school because their textbooks cost more than their tuition; and today, some third graders have to share math texts because there aren’t enough to go around. But imagine a world where textbooks and other learning materials are available to everyone for free over the Web and at low cost in print.