I think I’ve mentioned the idea of Crowdsourcing on and off here. One of the best examples I’ve seen is related to photos. Thanks to digital cameras the quality of people’s photos is almost equal to those of an expert. Thus, instead of companies paying thousands for one they can go online and source a cheap one for one quid. We have ELT pics which gives them away for free!
But…let’s go further. To write a longer lesson, course or materials you also need audio, video and texts. There’s a growing interest in natural sources too so a chat between 2 natives about a film they just saw may be more appealing and have more interesting language than a pre-written one.
Now, imagine having a communal bank of all these elements. All that would be needed then is to pick out language/grammar, add a speaking/writing element and Bob’s your uncle you have a very good lesson and some great materials. Even better, this could be done as online components. Very low-tech be them as a blog post or page on your VLE. Yes, you could add some questions with Moodle or as a Google form but I find it better to just have the input and then the rest as F2F.
You could also then have a site for uploading any material/plans that you’ve made using these raw materials. that could be the ‘code of use’ i.e. you can use it but you have to give something back. In this way a bank of lessons and online materials would build up and as topics grow they could easily be put into courses or 10 unit packs.
The only problem is who would be willing to record themselves or friends and have that material as open source. Also, what would be stopping commercial enterprises from using them and making a profit?