Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others (Creative Commons)
I have done a lot of reflection on questions surrounding OER in the second half of this course. There are questions that have been a little difficult to have a straightforward answer to. For example I selected the Creative Commons definition as a favourite because I enjoyed the comprehensiveness of the interpretation. Yet whether open should require a licence or not is still a question I don’t quite know what side I am on yet.
In our readings I was excited to come across:
“Open textbooks will reduce the cost of study for learners. The Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) report that open textbooks can reduce the average amount spent by 80%.[2″
As the emerging attitudes around open textbooks will be a part of what I am looking at for my thesis. In my work experience the largest barrier to implementing open textbooks has been due to the very restrictive copyrights of some of the material from which we quote. At the present time there is no way around this. However, because as we learned in this unit the cost of replicating educational materials in a digital environment means that once we have completed a transfer from all print based materials to a blended learning approach we will be able to offer lower costs to students.
One of the things I have learned in this course is the flexibility of defining open education.
I really enjoyed the comparison of adopting digital technologies to the ice harvesting industry:
“where harvested “natural” ice was replaced with “artificial” ice production. In the late 1800s, the ice harvesting industry ranked with grain production as a major component of the gross domestic product in the United States, until it was replaced by electrical production of ice.”
A lot of people forget that we are constantly evolving out work and learning processes and they sky has yet to fall down. It’s the same panic you see parents expressing over their children’s music. New generations bring new innovation.