Ingrid Rystedt, April 9th, 2020

An unusual Easter in corona isolation

We ponder the merits of open education

While our university buildings are currently in lockdown

Open forums for learning, help our minds move around

The basic foundation of open learning is sharing

And this in a world which increasingly needs caring

With an open network, everybody can speak

Even as each individual may be relatively weak

Open learning clearly multiplies our strength

When we cannot be closer than the arms’ length

During an extended time period when we all lack immunity

Open networks and open learning are increasingly promoting unity

Still, we, who studied and trained before mobiles and internet

May sometimes, instead of possibility, view openness as a threat

Nevertheless, we clearly need all ages, ethnicities and cultures on board

Because, in open learning, our differences combine into an exceptional accord

Remixing of knowledge adds a new dimension to education

Where learning is less repetition and much more like creation

What can I gain from having my own resources openly online?

Maybe the realization that no knowledge is truly just mine?

I may also get feedback and suggestions for improvement

When multiplied, this process can foster a completely new movement

This begs the question: What does it mean to learn?

Can credit and degrees be free for everybody to earn?

When universities are brave enough to mingle with everyone

Academia is not only transformed, but also more fun

The sceptics raise important concerns about educational quality

In turn, advocates point to the significance of equity and equality

Some institutions argue there is no way around charging tuition

Meanwhile, other institutions see their value in a societal mission

Many of us are still used to knowledge being commercialized

However, this understanding will rapidly need to be revised

We tend to think our governments must reward excellence in science

But what if the university’s unsurpassed asset is the broad-based alliance?

Thus, governments must restructure how universities make money

And reward reciprocal sharing, as role modeled by the Easter bunny

The challenges of our world today are immense and extensive

This is no time for educators and researchers to be defensive

Corona virus DNA, sequenced and placed openly for everyone to see

For an unprecedented international collaboration, was the crucial key

Open learning plays an important role in our search for a vaccination

The sharing of ideas, knowledge and experience goes beyond every nation

Concurrently, students and teachers across a multitude of universities

Are forced by the pandemic to overcome digital insecurities and adversities

With individuals, as well as healthcare and financial systems, still in great pain

For open learning, quarantine and isolation may have rendered a permanent gain