Seen the hot news in Higher Education recently?
11531 International Researchers are taking a stand AND Harvard is behind them, but what are they so upset about?
Unfair commerce. Publishing monopolies.
Sound familiar? Know anyone protesting in a similar way in the ELT context?
These kinds of issues are so much more visible today, and even governments are making strides to change the flow of information and commerce towards fairer practices and more open source approaches. This month the Guardian reported that England has brought on Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, to move forward a project:
“Giving people the right to roam freely over publicly funded research [as it] will usher in a new era of academic discovery and collaboration, and put the UK at the very forefront of open research”
England’s University and Science minister, David Willets further commented that
“he recognised the value that academic publishers brought to the research process. “But, as the world changes, both cultural and technological change, their business model is going to change.”
This is not as strong of a message as TechCrunch’s “Death to gatekeepers” about which I wrote last month, however, the direction is the same: people won’t stand for organizations that capitalize unfairly, and never has there been a time when companies are forced to have greater transparency, nor has there been a time when individuals have had as great an ability to organize and communicate their discontent with heavy-handed goliath business practices.
A lot is happening these days, and I think it’s important that teachers become aware of the global picture and that, hopefully, they’ll support efforts that take education in a positive, open direction. With that in mind, I’m happy to announce that our innovative online English Certification, The Edulang Certificate of English, is now also pay what you want, hence totalling 7 applications available to anyone learning English, anywhere, at anytime… and with half of all contributions going to Room to Read.
Very exciting movement to be a part of!
PS… Oh… and it just so happens that the organization against which these researchers are protesting is owned by the second largest educational publisher in the world. See the top 50 below, and I wonder how their transparency is treating them…