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Some Thoughts on the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Iterating Toward Openness

There’s great news out of the recent UNESCO meeting in Paris, where member states unanimously adopted the draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER). First, and it will surprise no one that this is the first item on my list, is the definition. UNESCO’s canonical definition of OER does not require “free public access” to a resource for that resource to be an OER, as some have tried to argue it should.

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When is an OER an OER?

Iterating Toward Openness

tl ;dr – If a resource is licensed in a way that grants you permission to engage in the 5R activities, and grants you those permissions for free, it’s an open educational resource (OER) – no matter where you find it or how it’s being used. I have an obsession with definitions. I’m writing about definitions again today. But on to the stuff about definitions. Consider the following scenarios: A person downloads an OER to their laptop.

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OER: Some Questions and Answers

Iterating Toward Openness

Earlier this week I read an op-ed – sponsored by Pearson – titled “If OER is the answer, what is the question?” OER often shine in their variety and ability to deepen resources for niche topics. While it’s possible to build a complete course from OER, the finished product often lacks the scaffolding found in courseware authored by single author/editorial/product teams. What does the Drake Equation have to do with OER production and enhancement?

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OER: Free Like a Beer, or Free Like a Puppy?

Edsurge

Those in the puppy camp argued, with good reason, that free curricula and OER content were hardly free once the related costs and risks were factored in. There were other sound arguments critical of open source and open access content, as well as doubts that creators of free curriculum would be able to secure the talent and resources required for sustained, quality production and delivery at scale. Is free curriculum content like a free beer or a free puppy?

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From here to there: Musings about the path to having good OER for every course on campus

Iterating Toward Openness

I spend most of my time doing fairly tactical thinking and working focused on moving OER adoption forward in the US higher education space. I made what was probably the clearest statement of my vision for the future of learning materials in my Shuttleworth Fellowship application several years ago: My long-term goal is to create a world where OER are used pervasively throughout primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools. Now, make no mistake – OER is a means, not an end.

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More on the Cost Trap and Inclusive Access

Iterating Toward Openness

My recent post about the cost trap and inclusive access prompted responses by Jim Groom and Stephen Downes. Back in 2012 – 2013] I was impressed (like many others I’m sure) with how Wiley was able to frame the cost-savings argument around open textbooks to build broader interest for OERs. As Jim notes above, for some period of time talking about the cost savings associated with OER was an effective way to advocate for OER adoption, helping us get a step closer to the end goal.

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OERwashing: Beyond the Elephant Test

Doug Levin

My reaction to a news story about an education company acquisition seems to have set off a debate in my twitter feed about the intersection of open educational resources (OER) and the role of the private, for-profit sector in the K-12 content/curriculum market: For the love of all things good and holy, can we not keep confounding ‘open’ with ‘free’? The Pro-OER Elephant Test. Blog OER #NotOER OERwashing Openwashing

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Open all hours #EDEN15

Learning with 'e's

The synopsis reads: With the success of open access publishing, Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education practices, the open approach to education has moved from the periphery to the mainstream. As with the green movement, openness now has a market value and is subject to new tensions, such as venture capitalists funding MOOC companies. Different elements of this history will resonate with different people he said, so that one definition of openness is problematic.

Stereotyping, Behavior, and Belonging in the Open Education Community

Iterating Toward Openness

Think for a minute about all the people and companies that have created really amazing commercial offerings based on Linux, Apache, MYSQL, PHP, Ruby, Node, React, or WordPress. The reason you’ve never heard anyone claim that tax status disqualifies companies from participating in or benefiting from open source is that Article 6 of the Open Source Definition – No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor – explicitly prohibits us from doing so.

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The Evolving Economics of Educational Materials and Open Educational Resources: Toward Closer Alignment with the Core Values of Education

Iterating Toward Openness

Now that the book is appearing in print, I’m publishing the full-text chapter here so that there will be an easier-to-access open access version of the chapter available online. Educational materials published under an open license are called open educational resources (OER). When digital educational materials become OER, they are converted back into public goods. In other words, you can only access club goods if you’ve paid to be part of the club.

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Knewton’s New Business Attracts New $25M in Funding. But Some Things Don’t Change.

Edsurge

The company that set the bar for hyping adaptive-learning technology has had to adapt to new leadership and a new business model. The rest comes from company’s existing investors, including Accel, Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, Founders Fund and Sofina. After a decade and $137 million in total funding (which the company has raised across six equity rounds and two debt financings), it’s rare to see investors pitch in new money.

The Consensus Around “Open”

Iterating Toward Openness

The idea of “open” intersects with education and educational technology in many places – open content, open educational resources, open access, open data, open knowledge, open source, and open standards. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. Open Access. faculty are completely unaware of OER.

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How to Boost Classroom Engagement With the Tech Tool That 'Always Works'

Edsurge

She tried several options before jumping on a free trial of the wireless video streaming and screen mirroring technology by Vivi, an education-focused company founded in Australia. The teachers who have access to Vivi-enabled classrooms have been using more interactive tools to engage their students, so it's made them feel more confident in being able to quickly connect, share, show something, get feedback from students.

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Inspiring Math Excellence in the Classroom with Po-Shen Loh

The CoolCatTeacher

This means that you can write your own textbooks, share them, or use them as you would any other OER or open education resource. What is the Mathematical Association of America and what K12 resources can I access? These are accessible, findable online. So there is definitely a moment of scariness, maybe several moments of scariness. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product.

PBL… Blended and eLearning – Part 1: Important Questions for the New School Year

21st Century Educational Technology and Learning

It is back to school time 2020 for many of us in the United States and beyond. For educators that may mean working with students in a face to face, elearning, or a blended environment.

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ISTE Librarians’ Takeaways (Crowdsourced)

NeverEndingSearch

This group is gonna change the info access/experience for kids! I was honored to join several esteemed colleagues to present on the panel: Leading the Charge: Leveraging Librarian Leadership to Support the OER Journey. And here is the sketchnote Margaret Sisler created during the session: #oer and teacher librarians! The thing I love most about the Playground is the ability to access information in an informal way that lends itself to a more personalized experience.

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10Q: Martin Weller - the battle for open

Learning with 'e's

blogs, social media, learning objects, OERs, MOOCs, etc in this period. I think the hype is definitely over. This is particularly true of the sort of learners you might want to reach with MOOCs (people who cannot access normal higher education for instance). It has been mildly entertaining to see many of the MOOC companies making ''discoveries'' of things that we have known for ages (eg that students require support).

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Education Technology and the Power of Platforms

Hack Education

At the time, I wrote about the importance of APIs; the issues surrounding data security and privacy; the appeal of platforms for users and businesses; and the education and tech companies who were well-positioned (or at least wanting) to become education platforms. I was inspired, I think, to select that topic because talk of “platforms” was incredibly popular in Silicon Valley – it had been for a while – as companies strove to become “the next Facebook.”

Revisiting #ALATTT: Trend #1: AR/VR/MR and a touch of AI

NeverEndingSearch

Here’s the definitive answer in the form of a tweet from Springshare itself : Now, back to the session. Next time around, I’ll share my notes on OER.). Companies are investing in immersive technologies. In terms of young people, immersive realities have the potential to address the characteristics of i nteractivity, connectivity, access identified in Eliza Dresang’s Radical Change Theory as critical in enhancing agency among digital youth.

Digital Courseware or ePUB – Which is the Future of Higher Education?

Kitaboo on EdTech

Many publishers have already started converting their physical textbooks to electronic formats which can be accessed on a desktop or mobile. eBooks have changed the definition of textbooks completely.

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” It’s being positioned here as the first time Congress has funded open textbooks, but it’s not the federal government’s first commitment to OER. For example, this story from the School Library Journal : “ Charter Schools , Segregation , and School Library Access.” ” There’s more on legal battles involving student loan companies in the business of financial aid section below. The student loan company has raised $803.6

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

It’s always fascinating to look at ed-tech companies’ job postings – this one is from Khan Academy. The new company will be called Touch Press (which was the name of another company that StoryToys acquired last year). ” Definitely no one I trust more on this topic, no siree. ” Spoiler alert: not enough access to data. Via Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill : “About That Cengage OER Survey.”

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Some internet-access advocates say EBS is underutilized at best, and wasted at worst, because loose regulatory oversight by the FCC has allowed most of the spectrum to fall into the hands of commercial internet companies. As Edsurge observes , “New CEO at Coursera Comes From Financial Tech, Not Higher Ed” – he was the co-founder of Financial Engines, a retirement planning company. ” The company has raised $16.5 (National) Education Politics.

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

“ Apollo Education Group , the parent company of the University of Phoenix and Western International University , announced Thursday that it would eliminate the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in students’ enrollment agreements,” Inside Higher Ed reports. The New York Times on The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow , an online charter school: “Online School Enriches Affiliated Companies if Not Its Students.” The Indian gaming company has raised $1.2

The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade

Hack Education

Without revenue the company will go away. Or the company will have to start charging for the software. Or it will raise a bunch of venture capital to support its “free” offering for a while, and then the company will get acquired and the product will go away. (It’s The real digital divide, this article contends, is not that affluent children have access to better and faster technologies. (Um, The company has not been charged in the matter.).