It might not be a very inventive suggestion but for me an obvious technology for open learning is the wiki. A wiki is a website which is used by a community of people to create, add to and adapt content. It could be useful for education in general as it allows closed groups of learners to work together but I think it is a much more powerful tool in an open context for two reasons:
- The technology is open because all users can have equal rights to work with the content and contribute to the process and there needs to be no limit on the community; users can extend their openness to anyone who has a contrbution to make and thereby maximise the breadth and quality of the inputs they get.
- As will as being open to contributions, a wiki is open to other users, perhaps those who come to it after the content is fully formed and who can learn from the original community's work both by consuming the end content and by following the development of the content and the debates that generated it.
Bruns and Humphreys (2005) say the following about wikis:
"As non-linear,evolving, complex and networked texts with multiple authors, they can provide a great opportunity for student collaboration, coproduction of texts, argument, and interaction. Most existing wiki systems are also flexible enough to support a variety of approaches for employing them in teaching, research, and academic administration and information settings (and even in all three at the same time)"
Bruns, A., and Humphreys, S. (2005) ‘‘Wikis in teaching and assessment: the M/Cyclopedia project’’, in WikiSym’05, ACM 1-59593-111-2/05/0010, pp. 2532