According to this news article, teachers in Charlottesville, VA, are learning how to use open, web-based technologies to create, edit, and share curriculum materials. Specifically, they are receiving training in Curriki, the brainchild of Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy. According to eSchool News online, which also posted a story about Curriki earlier this year, McNealy envisioned Curriki as “a way to provide disadvantaged teachers and students around the globe with open and unfettered access to high-quality educational content.”
What is not so great is how Executive Director Bobbi Kurshan describes Curriki: “We’ve taken the wiki idea and educationized it.”
This is horrible. It seems highly arrogant to suggest that wikis are anything other than educational to begin with. The whole wiki concept, after all, is based on community knowledge building!
I’ve explored Curriki briefly; it is indeed a free and open community with many members and lots of potential to grow and expand. But something about Kurshan’s comment just flies all over me, especially after I read her bio and noticed the many affiliations and former positions she has held with commercial enterprises, including Apple and Microsoft.
Be vigilant! The education profiteers are sweeping in to co-opt the homegrown, organic qualities of the read/write web.