Open source educator GoodSemester teams up with the 20 Million Minds Foundation
GoodSemester is a relatively new open source education platform with the overarching idea of making education free and readily available to everyone. Faced with a daunting task, they recently partnered up with the 20 Million Minds Foundation, a group that has worked to procure free and open source textbooks for college students.
The 20 Million Minds foundation has done work like this in the past, making it a solid choice for a teammate. Previous partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google Education, and MIT’s open courseware program, so they are no strangers to this type of initiative. Though their main focus is driving down textbook prices (to the point of being free), that’s just one piece of GoodSemester’s expert-level jigsaw puzzle.
Working with GoodSemester can help students create their own study groups and study materials, and teachers can see the study aids students have thought up on their own time. Thanks to a creative commons license, a teacher can then copy what a student has created, tweak it a little here and there if needed, and have a tried and true method for teaching that particular subject. Students and teachers can also choose to post their notes globally, creating a large network of notes that can be copied, as the only goal in mind is to educate.
Open source education is a new arena. The idea that just anyone can change lesson plans, learning materials, and textbooks doesn’t sit well with some people. GoodSemester hopes to change that by making the pros outweigh the cons. While there is almost undoubtedly some sort of policing that goes on with regards to editing and such, the “big deal” about this is its accessibility. With no payments, no requirements, and no restrictions, students and teachers can learn just the way the brain does: creatively and spontaneously. With the 20 Million Minds Foundation on board, more partners may present themselves, and GoodSemester could prove to be the next big thing for open education.