Internet has revolutionized the field of education. Learning is no longer restricted to the classroom. Everyone from working professionals and students to fulltime moms can learn new skills from the comfort of their homes. While many programs on the internet are delivered for a fee, recent trends are popularizing open education. Many educators and experts are using web-based portals to deliver free education to millions of students across the globe. This is a win-win situation for both the parties. The faculty members have the satisfaction of sharing their knowledge with millions of people instead of restricting it to a few hundred students in the classroom. Although the students do not receive any degree or credential, they appreciate the opportunity of learning the skill from the best teachers in the world. Peer interactions are an important aspect of open education. Many experts believe that peers can teach as well as any teacher can.
Delia Brownie believes in the power and impact of open education. She has participated in several international conferences to promote this form of learning. She works closely with Creative Commons Australia to promote open education in the country. She has also co-founded Peer2Peer University, a web-based, open learning portal specifically designed for self-learners.
Peer2Peer was launched two years ago to promote open learning via peer interaction. Brownie and her colleagues believed that the peers and fellow technologists play an important role in our education. They also hoped to break the traditional form of education and evaluation, which are controlled by the faculty members and the universities. The program began with only five community members. Its membership grew to 1,000 after three semesters. The website is completely managed by volunteers. They come up with an idea or a topic. A strong community of experts guides them to create open learning course material. The members learn from this material and complete their assignments or projects. The work of each member is reviewed and critiqued by the other members of the community.
Brownie and her team have ensured the smooth functioning of Peer2Peer University over the past two years. It has also received funding from the Shuttleworth Foundation, Hewlett Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation. Apart from Creative Commons, Brownie and her team are looking to collaborate with other educators and institutions to expand the services provided by the University.
Brownie is also advocating against the compulsory licensing system in Australia, which prevents the spread of digital education in the country. She also supports the release of educational materials created from taxpayer money. She believes that the Australian Government’s effort to create the fastest internet system in the world is of no value, unless it allows open and equal education to all. She also hopes to modify copyright laws with respect to educational materials.
Apart from influencing the world of open education, Brownie also works as the National Copyright Director at the Copyright Advisory Group of Australian Schools. She is an intellectual property lawyer, and advices schools, colleges and educational institutions about copyright laws and infringements.
- Peer2Peer University – https://p2pu.org/en/Delia%20Browne/
- Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.net/superheroes/delia-browne/