Futurelab has published a report on Opening Education

Futurelab is a not-for-profit organization located in Bristol, UK. Tapping into the huge potential offered by digital and other technologies, Futurelab is developing innovative learning resources and practices that support new approaches to education for the 21st century.


Futurelab has published a report on Social software and Learning. Social Software is defined as "software that supports group interaction" (Shirky 2003). It is written by Martin Owen, Lyndsay Grant, Steve Sayers and Keri Facer.

If learning to learn, if collaboration, and if the personalisation of educational experiences are at the core of current educational agendas, we need to find ways of enabling young people to come into contact with, collaborate with and learn from each other and other people. Social software is about bringing minds and ideas into contact with each other and is already, in the world outside schools, creating what was described by McLuhan as the global village.

The question, proposed in this paper, is whether it is possible to draw on the activities emerging through social software to create learning communities which offer young people personalised, collaborative learning experiences such as those that are already emerging in the world outside the school gates.

Full Report

5 March 2007

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