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ERIC Number: EJ1018280
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1939-5256
Turning the Digital Divide into Digital Dividends through Free Content and Open Networks: WikiEducator Learning4Content (L4C) Initiative
Schlicht, Patricia
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, v17 n2 p87-100 Jul 2013
In today's world where tuition fees continue to rise rapidly and the demand for higher education increases in both the developing and developed world, it is important to find additional and alternative learning pathways that learners can afford. Traditional education as we have known it has begun to change, allowing for new parallel learning opportunities to take shape and new avenues to open up. This paper describes the world's largest online training initiative on open education that teaches wiki technology to educators in the formal education sector worldwide. WikiEducator, founded in 2006, initially operated with funding support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (WFHF) under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources, and technology. In May 2009, it became its own entity residing under Otago Polytechnic's International Centre for Open Education Resources under the auspices of the Open Education Resource Foundation (OERF) in Dunedin, New Zealand, where it continues today. WikiEducator's flagship, the Learning4Content (L4C) project, builds capacity among global educators by teaching wiki technology to newcomers and experts in the field of open education. In exchange for the free training opportunity they receive, participants are asked to create open content on WikiEducator and contribute toward WikiEducator's strategic objectives. The success of the L4C project helped WikiEducator reach its target number of equipping 2,500 educators with wiki skills to create open educational resources online two years ahead of the initially planned three years and was the reason for a large additional number of novices and experts alike joining the project. Even though many learners make use of the free learning opportunities offered through the L4C project, for those who do not have access to online content--or even computers--WikiEducator has developed a feature called "wiki-to-print," which allows users to select free and open WikiEducator content and combine it into a book that can be printed and used offline. Distribution of these print-based, compiled books provides an opportunity to those who do not or will never have access to the Internet and technology to gain access to knowledge and information. This paper will describe WikiEducator's stages of development and the outcomes it has achieved as the world's largest attempt to build wiki skills among global educators.
Sloan Consortium. P.O. Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; Fiji; India; New Zealand; South Africa; Spain; United Kingdom; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A