... thousand, that is. Back in early May our team celebrated an important milestone: 10,000 modules and 500 collections published in the Connexions repository. In just seven weeks since, we have seen another 1,800 modules published - a 18% increase!
To put this into perspective, take a look at the graph below to get an idea of how quickly the Connexions repository has been growing lately:
As you can see, the graph has "gone vertical" - and with this surge in content we've seen increased activity to the site, with over a million visits a month.
In case you're wondering how we've managed to come so far in such a short amount of time, I'll let you in on a little secret:
And there it is - irrefutable proof that hiring me was the best thing that's ever happened to the open education movement. :)
But seriously, that sharp increase that you see starting in the summer of 2008 really did mark the beginning of something special. With an improved authoring interface, updated CNXML features, and a slew of high-impact content projects, Connexions has come a very long way in a very short amount of time, and all indicators point to continued growth.
And this, really, is the key to making this whole open education thing work. With more content comes more educators. More educators means more potential authors. More authors means more content, and so on. It's hard to ask somebody to write an entire textbook and give it away, but easy to ask someone to make small changes to existing works, and the more content you have the more likely they are to see something worth contributing to. And with more modules available in the repository, there are more bits and pieces for educators to work with when creating their own customized textbooks, courses, and learning materials.
We are on the verge of something truly amazing. With more and more administrators, educators, and learners taking advantage of free, open resources, we are all doing our part to make affordable, high-quality learning materials available to anyone.