“Education is the next big thing that’s being disrupted by technology. Textbooks will be a thing of the past.” – Kim Jones, USA
Kim Jones has been a change-maker in education for over 20 years, first as a driving force at Sun Microsystems, helping to establish education as an independent line of business, and now as Chairman and CEO of Curriki, an organization committed to advancing the open source educational resources movement. Curriki was incubated at Sun in the education development community of Java.net. Jones understood the value that resource would bring to the global teaching community, and was instrumental in transitioning Curriki into the innovative and vibrant non-profit organization it is today.
I was excited to catch up with Jones recently, and to get a better understanding of what her organization does. “Curriki’s mission – and accomplishment,” Jones told me, “has been to be the leading provider of open education resources for teachers, parents and students to find content, share experiences and contribute content globally.” And while they’re successfully meeting their organizational objectives, Jones points out that the open resource mission is evolving. “The biggest challenge in the early days,” she says, “was actually getting people to contribute educational resources. Today, we have over 50,000 resources.”
So how do teachers, students and parents sort through so much content? According to Jones, there are a number of ways Curriki – and the open source movement in general – is working to make searching easier. “Now we’re building communities of teachers to put these resources into units and courses, combining games, video, PDFs, and more,” Jones told me. Curriki has a team of subject matter experts who review and rate content, as well as a “Yelp-like” functionality allowing the broader community to rate content. And they’re taking part in the LRMI initiative, funded in part by the Gates Foundation, building education metadata tagging standards into their content.
Jones is optimistic about the future of open source content, while acknowledging that it will be disruptive to both publishers and educators. But the model works, allowing the best content to be shared around the world. Jones recently learned from the education minister of Rwanda that over 50 percent of the content being used in their primary and secondary schools comes from Curriki. That’s quite a testament to the organization’s mission.
Please enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Kim Jones.
About Kim Jones
Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives, evidenced by her testimony before the Congressional Web-based Education Commission in the USA. She is also regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world, including NCTET, WISE, the Worldwide Education & Research Conference (WWERC) in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and other key public sector forums. In addition to her role at Curriki, Kim is a member of the MIT Open Courseware Industry Advisory Council.
Prior to joining Curriki, Kim was an executive with Sun Microsystems for more than 20 years, where she headed up a team committed to providing advanced technologies and services to key constituencies in the public sector.
Kim has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career including the Sun Leadership Award, the prestigious YWCA Award for Women in Business, and in 2006, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame. Kim has an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, San Diego.