Steve Eskow: An Open E-University

eskow_tnBy Steve Eskow
Staff Writer

[Editor’s note: This was originally a comment by Steve Eskow on his article, “The Campus: The Old Imperialism?.” It is featured here to generate further discussion on the idea of an open e-university. In your opinion, what do we need to make this dream of a truly open, completely online, almost free, universally accessible university happen? -js]

Tad, what an exciting possibility you’ve opened up: we join or create an “open” university, all instruction online, academics from all over the world.

shai_reshef2The New York Times, and newspapers around the world, carried the story of the Israeli entrepreneur [Shai Reshef] now living in California who intends to start an almost-free online university. He’s putting up the first million of the five million US dollars he needs to start.

Perhaps Denise Easton, who knows communication software and is entrepreneurial, can be our organizer.

4 Responses

  1. Thanks, Steve, I hope we’ll meet also on discussion forums at University of the People ( ). :-)

  2. Hello, The following book and (lengthy) review may be of interest extending the discussion(?):

    Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now
    Gary Hall, University of Minnesota Press

    Since posting this a query prompted the finding that ‘accessibility’ is not in the index. A further post on 1 Feb includes a reply from Prof. Hall the book’s author and addresses this:

    Kind regards,

    Peter Jones

  3. Thanks for this, Peter: for the discussion of the Hall book–one that I found fascinating, illuminating, and frustrating, since it never got to the new university–and ,importantly, for your own work on nursing and the informatics of health.

    I’m one of the older linear thinkers who has some trouble with non-linear intellecftual products–mind mapping and the like. How would you go about explaining the Hodges model to such a mind?

    (I hope you accept Jim’s offer to become a staff writer here: we need you.)

    Now a question for you.

    My work is in Africa. Our core and organizing question is this: how do you move ideas, services, products to the people in Africa who need them?

    For our current venture in organizing an answer, see

    So: in the part of Ghana where we are focusing our initial efforts, there are 96 Presbyterian churches which many rural illiterates, mostly women, attend every Sunday.

    (There are 2900 such churches in Ghana, and of course many thousand churches and mosques of other denominations.)

    How might we use church and mosque networks to communicate health information: information about bed netting and malaria; condoms and safe sex; antiretrovirals for the many who already are afflicted with HIV/AIDS?

    I don’t know if the Hodges model can help. I think Peter Jones can.


    Steve E.

  4. Peter, I just finished a moderately long response to you about Gary Hall and Peter Jones: and this dog ate my homework.

    For now, then, just my question to you about Hodges and health informatics, and how you might help us think about networks that might move health information to the Africa we work in.


    I asked, in that elusive post, if you think we might use the church to which rural illiterates go every Sunday, and church networks, as a kind of oral university that can use the pulpit and the church building to teach about bed netting and malaria, and safe sex, and antiretrovirals, and. . .


    Now I will press a button hope.

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