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Canadian Open Education

What’s missing in Canada is a national education focus. The option of leaving all issues regarding education in the provinces needs to shift, and our leaders in Ottawa need to make a priority of getting involved. Funding  and clear direction need to be added to the models that are already in place. Our system is not bad, but it does not represent the kind of global leadership required in what many call a global knowledge economy. Open Education, ensuring that as many adults that want to learn have opportunities and support to do so, must become a well-funded and expert-focused national priority if Canada is to remain a global success story. There is never, none, not ever, a downside to ensuring the highest possible quality education to the largest number of employable adults in a nation. The return on investment is fully, completely, widely assured in every case. It’s simple math. The playing field must be completely levelled for every person who faces a barrier to learning more about something they’re good at and turning that in to a livelihood that supports them and their families. No person should be denied this opportunity because provincial, fiscal, or physical barriers are in their way. Do we want a nation of well-educated workers and community members who understand fully the value of the support and leadership of their government? Do we? Guess what, through the current global open education movement, an enormous opportunity has been delivered to our doorstep. As a nation, we must not let this opportunity pass us by. Our equivalent of the U.S. Department of Education must be formed, and the foundational support of Canadian organizations similar to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation must step up and help fund those with strong capabilities and vision to develop and deliver a Canada-wide, open education system that invites and delights in exploring the communication and education capabilities that the internet and internet-enabled education support institutions can deliver. This must be done specifically with Canadian values and the uniquely Canadian focus that will serve our people best. As I get ready to begin a Doctor of Education program here in Canada by Distance. I can assure you, I know what my focus will be. Who’s willing to go forward with me?

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