Note: This post was originally created for Web 2.0-Based Learning and Performance at FSU.

In 1984 Stewart Brand told a room full of hackers that “Information wants to be free.” This has became a central idea for many hackers and technologists. Many have felt strongly for and against this idea. (Wikipedia Article about Information Wants To Be Free)

Stewart Brand – From Wikipedia

As a teacher there is a lot about this that resonates with me. How can you learn something if you cannot access it? We benefit as a global society the more access to education that people have. That is why I find the Open Educational Resource movement so appealing. How can we help more people learn more? I feel this internal burning to further this mission.

But in contrast… if you read my other post from this week called Can I Publish This?, you will know that I am considering selling a curriculum that I created. I know… I am full of contradictions. But here is the reality. It would take me many more hours to get that curriculum in a format worth publishing. I have to polish it up, create better tutorials, and so much more. At this point in my life the only way I can justify taking that much time is if it has the potential of making me at least some money. It isn’t fair to my family to do otherwise.

This is the harsh reality of making everything free, it cost money to make good content. But information wants to be free. So the question that I have been asking is how can I and others give content away and receive enough value in return? I want to give more to this world than I take from it but I am forever trying to find the right ways to do that.

Note: For those that know more about the statement “information wants to be free” know that I didn’t completely use it accurately with its intended meaning. I apologize but the phrase works well.

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You bring out the question that has been in my mind since first hearing of Open Education Resources. I believe education and associated materials should be available for everyone. I also believe healthcare should be available for everyone. But, believing those things doesn’t make them free. There are costs associated with everything. I do wish the costs (for both education and healthcare) could be reduced. But, just because it wants to be free doesn’t make it so 🙂

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