Whether or not you believe that open source technology will win in the digital learning space, let’s think about why it should. After all, it’s one thing to focus on market dynamics, it’s quite another to think about what’s best for the learners and educators of the world, whatever their chosen venue or institution.
When you think of learning platforms, these are tools that enable learning. As a learner, part of this means being a consumer of course material created by an educator. But many other industries have migrated away from the producer-consumer model and have evolved to a model where there is a spectrum of producers and consumers with significant overlap.
A producer can still consume, and consumers can still produce. In this model, an educator can still be a learner and vice-versa. How better to enable the evolution of learner-educators than with open source tools that are created by collaborative communities of innovation, and are in turn the basis for other collaborative communities of innovation.
From this point of view, a learning platform cannot be a static set of tools that enable 1-way education. It must enable multi-vectored communication, and it must enable further innovation on these tools for the next generation of learners. This is why initiatives like Open edX are important.