There is a pretty awesome discussion going on over at Wikiversity called Wikiversity is dead, long live Wikieducator. Needless to say, such a statement would raise the emotions of anyone involved in either of the projects, but thanks to the rational tone set early by JWS the discussion has been very productive. I’m just posting my response here for my own record, but I highly recommend anyone who is interested in the two projects should check it out…

What an excellent discussion! —Leighblackall 21:42, 13 December 2007 (UTC) Thanks to CountryMike (Brent) for pointing me into it. And thanks Cormaggio for mentioning the post and discussion from my blog. I’m someone who works in an educational institution and am trying to build a critical awareness of FOS software, content and practices. It is a bit of a hell ride and I sometimes long for the freedom of freelance. In 2006 I started using Wikiversity to build content for the teacher training we do. Pages for blogging, RSS, wikis, podcasting, video, tagging etc. Almost all these things are very foreign ideas to the teachers I work for😦 I started adding links to our institution’s support, formal courses and qualifications and started to get a little flack from a Wikiversity user. At the time I was feeling very sensitive to criticism because I get it daily from people in my institution who are reluctant to consider FOS software, content and practices in their teaching. I constantly need to demonstrate worth and prove it. When criticism started coming in from Wikiversity I saw the writing on the wall.. this was not going to be sustainable. So I needed a space that would be supportive in every way of an institution trying to make steps towards FOS ethics and exchange. Wikieducator became that space. But all along I wish to be part of the Wikiversity project, and the Wikimedia foundation. I posted to my blog the desire for WV and WE to merge and form Wikilearner, but I think I’d like to retract that. I agree with CountryMike and Teemu that WV should focus on building online learning communities as I believe that this will become the most important feature in online learning as content continues to grow in every quarter. Content will also grow out of such communities and that may serve Cormaggio’s concerns for the need for content of WV. So, learning communities should be the focus and the university metaphor (schools, topics etc) should recede. Let Wikiversity become Wikilearner. But what is to happen to Wikieducator? As the stats suggest, it will putter along while the majority gravitate to WV. Wikieducator plays an important role to the Institutions. It offers support for the Institutional culture, but more importantly it facilitates Institutional people into the more free and freelance world of WV – and that’s a good thing. Eventually, I hope to be working a lot more in WV (that will hopefully become more of a Wikilearner) but I can’t do that until the people I work for are ready to see that their content is not as important as their network and the learning communities that may become resources for their students to tap into. So Wikieducator is the interim (and it is already radical enough). As the people I work for become more comfortable with MediaWiki technology, they will start to engage with Wikimedia Foundation projects more. We already have 3 staff members who are writing the Anatomy and Physiology of Animals text book in Wikibooks! You see, as our teachers become as familiar and enthusiastic for the free world as you already are, you will see that free content will become an everyday thing and you will have lost your competitive edge.. we will start to need learning communities a whole lot more. I only hope that the freedom politics that is the more ugly side of the Wikimedia foundation generally will not stifle the growth of community. Many thanks for your thought provoking discussion, I hope I have added something of worth, and I look forward to the day when this institutionalised man may be free with the rest of you. —Leighblackall 21:42, 13 December 2007 (UTC)