P2P Foundation

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Important call for papers on openness and participation in education: Handbook on Knowledge Economy, Education and Digital Futures

Via Daniel Araya, daniel@levelsixmedia.com:

Handbook on Knowledge Economy, Education and Digital Futures

(Eds.) Michael A. Peters, Tina (A.C.) Besley and Daniel Araya


The movement to the knowledge economy requires a rethinking of economic fundamentals because knowledge behaves differently from other goods in that it shares many of the properties of a ‘global’ public good. This means a key role for governments in protecting intellectual property rights. It also signals also dangers of monopolization given the economies of scale to be achieved in information systems that may be even greater for knowledge economies than for industrial economies. In more technical terms knowledge is non-rivalrous, that is, knowledge once discovered and made public, operates expansively to defy the normal ‘law’ of scarcity that governs most commodity markets. Knowledge in its immaterial or conceptual forms – ideas, information, concepts, functions and abstract objects of thought – is purely non-rivalrous, that is, there is essentially zero marginal costs to adding more users. Yet once materially embodied or encoded, such as in learning or in applications or processes, knowledge becomes costly in time and resources. The pure non-rivalrousness of knowledge can be differentiated from the low cost of its dissemination, resulting from improvements in electronic media and technology, although there may be congestion effects and waiting time (to reserve a book, or download from the Internet). These new principles of the economics of knowledge carry over to knowledge institutions and countries as a whole and define new development trajectories. The privatization of global knowledge has serious consequences for the open global society and knowledge hoarding can seriously damage the trust relationship so important for learning societies. Changes in economic institutions have counterparts in the political sphere where institutions of the open society such as a free press and transparent government both enable and protect pluralism, toleration, freedom of thought, and open public debate. Political openness is essential for the success of the transformation towards a knowledge economy through investment in new open architectures of knowledge and learning provide development possibilities that can play an important role in stimulating the global economy preserving and increasing the role of open science and offering new architectures of a future post-crisis global economy.

Section 1: Knowledge economy, openness and education

Section editor: Michael A. Peters

The terms ‘open knowledge’ and ‘open knowledge production’ are now well accepted in the literature to refer to a range of related models of ‘peer production’ and ‘peer governance’ that provide an emerging alternative to traditional proprietary models of knowledge production. The concept of ‘open’ and ‘openness’ deserves special attention because it has come to christen a range of related activities concerned with the advantages of decentralized distributed networks that characterize ‘commons-based peer production’ and increasingly defines the political economy of the digital networked environment.

The Ithaca Report, University Publishing In A Digital Age (2007) indicates that there have been huge changes in creation, production and consumption of scholarly resources with the ‘creation of new formats made possible by digital technologies, ultimately allowing scholars to work in deeply integrated electronic research and publishing environments that will enable real-time dissemination, collaboration, dynamically-updated content, and usage of new media’ (p. 4). As the report goes on to mention alongside these changes in content creation and publication ‘alternative distribution models (institutional repositories, pre-print servers, open access journals) have also arisen with the aim to broaden access, reduce costs, and enable open sharing of content’ (p. 4). We can consider open publishing, open access and archiving as parts of the wider movements called Open Science and Open Education that build on the nested and evolving convergences of open source, open access and open science, and also emblematic of a set of still wider political and economic changes that ushers in ‘social production’ as an aspect of the global digital economy, an economy that is both fragile and volatile as the current world credit and banking crisis demonstrates so well.

Section2: Social networking, new media, and social entrepreneurship in education

Section editor: Tina (A.C.) Besley

The history of scientific communication demonstrates that the typical form of the scientific article presented in print-based journals in essay form is a result of development over two centuries beginning in seventeenth century with the emergence of learned societies and cooperation among scientists. The emergence of electronic forms of scientific communication can be traced back at least to Ted Nelson’s notion of ‘hypertext’ which he coined in 1963 and went on to develop as a hypertext system. It is important to recognize that the concept of ‘information’ emerged from the combination of the development of modern military intelligence (breaking codes, deciphering messages, encoding information, resolving conflict of sources etc.) and the development of new communication technologies. The consequences of the networking of science and culture have yet to be worked through fully yet the new definition of multiliteracies is synonymous with computer literacy and while it is the case that the computer signifies the end of traditional print literacy it does not signify the end of literacy. The Web has now spawned a whole set of new media genres and the Internet has been accepted into education enthusiastically and in a way that previous technologies like television were not.

Section 3: Technology, innovation, and participatory networks

Section editor: Daniel Araya

Developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) not only frame globalization but are changing the format and density of the flows of knowledge, research and innovation. Over the past four decades, ICTs have been instrumental in the development of new modes of work, play and learning. Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, flickr, Second Life, World of Warcraft, Wikipedia, Ning and YouTube are generating new models of production and consumption that are changing the rules of commercial industry. Shifts away from top-down, command-and-control systems, and towards participatory collaboration have become critical to emerging social and business platforms. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks have become a particularly important factor in this process. Moving beyond the one-to-many production regimes undergirding industrialization, P2P networks are enabling participatory innovation. P2P networks significantly lower the barriers to design and distribution, and transform traditional notions of authority and expertise. Serving as platforms for user participation, networks are now an important organizing logic for economic and cultural innovation. This section explores these trends in terms of varied themes including:

· Open Learning and Open Innovation
· Cyberinfrastructure, Gaming and Digital Media Design
· Distributed Information Systems, P2P Networks and Collective Intelligence
· Cyberlearning Policy, E-Learning, and National Systems of Innovation
· Creativity, Complexity, and Self-Organization

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