In the case of the Capetown Open Education Declaration this means agreeing in principal to the idea that “everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint”. What the declaration states generally is that we should actively contribute to a store of educational resources that anyone can then use.
The Budapest Open Access Initiative speaks to openness from the perspective of access to research and scholarly works through peer reviewed scholarly journals. In this case it is about the sharing of knowledge in order to “accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge”.
Both of these initiatives speak in general terms to the public good and I agree with the ideas 100%. From an educational standpoint [K-12 in particular] because we simply can no longer afford to pay the high costs associated with packaged and delivered resources from traditional publishers and because open access to peer reviewed journals might help to close existing equity gaps in knowledge. There is also something to be said for the leveraging of the collective capacity of educators to produce content appropriate to their context….technology has strengthened this ability.
I have not signed either declaration yet but would have no qualms in doing so. I feel strongly as an educator [working in a publicly funded system] that anything we produce should be freely available to others. Given the rapidly expanding access to mobile technologies, cloud computing environments and the notion of personalized learning it seems that freely available digital resources are required….including the research and data that drives educational decision making. I see initiatives like this as important catalysts for or at least supports for change.
What the Capetown Initiative in particular can’t speak to is the increasing requirement for all learners to have a personal learning device or devices to access and contribute to the ever growing collection of learning content.