Community or Content? by Bobbi Kurshan

Over the past 4 years, Curriki has been creating a community that is bound together by the desire to share content and the process of building open and shared curricula.  At the time we started Curriki, we spent many hours discussing which features to include and which website functionality to develop first – should we create the repository of content or build a robust social network for our members? In reality, we had to build both, knowing that the community would be slow to expand until there was a critical mass of content.

This was a classic “chicken and egg” scenario.  If the repository did not have sufficient content with broad coverage, then the community would not come to the site or come back to the site.  And if there did not exist an active and growing community, then the number of learning resources in the repository would be insufficient to engage the members. Curriki has been able to address this problem by determining that our site needed to support our community and the content needed to be easy to use and to edit.

The Curriki community is growing rapidly due to effective use of social networking tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging.  While we support and promote the viral growth of the repository, we have supplemented our content acquisition with partner content and small subsidies for community members to build content. Curriki today is one of the most active OER sites due to a very carefully balanced “give and take” between community and content.

I believe Curriki is becoming an effective social learning platform – one that is driven by and improved by the community; and simultaneously includes effective tools for making curriculum decisions based on reliable social networking data, expert reviews and standards.

Curriki would not be what it is today without the talent, dedication, and commitment from everyone who has worked with Curriki and has joined the Curriki community.  It is a time for Curriki to grow by working to further engage the open education community to participate, while keeping Curriki at the front of the movement.

I will be leaving my position as Executive Director of Curriki on March 1st, but I will not be leaving the community and I promise the community that:

  • I will actively engage in the social learning network that Curriki is so successfully building.
  • I will continue to work with the OER movement to insure it sustainability and to make sure we can harness the power of this amazing disruptive change.
  • I will work on improving teacher effectiveness and student performance by working to engage teachers in open and shared curriculum development.
  • I will work to make sure that Curriki continues to eliminate the education divide.

I’d like to thank the many people that have grown Curriki to what it is today, and positioned it for its next chapter. Without the commitment of the dedicated Curriki staff, our content and technology partners, our funders and our active and growing Curriki membership around the world, truly none of this would be possible.

Bobbi Kurshan

bkurshan@gmail.com

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2 responses to “Community or Content? by Bobbi Kurshan

  1. Interesting place, way different than the others!

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