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.

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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. Stigmergy is the watchword for the next decade of OER.

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As OER Grows Up, Advocates Stress More Than Just Low Cost

Edsurge

But fans of OER are increasingly facing a problem. While OER started off as free online textbooks, it still costs money to produce these materials, and professors often need guidance finding which ones are high quality. So OER advocates are realizing they need to change their pitch. This week on the EdSurge On Air podcast, we're diving into how the OER movement is changing, and we'll check in with a couple of people on the front lines of the movement to hear from them.

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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. So the discovery, vetting, and alignment costs inflicted upon the teachers and districts that would try to embrace free and OER content would remain high. And it turns out that a great deal of free and OER content is actually free like a free beer—in fact, like a really good craft beer.

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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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OERwashing: Beyond the Elephant Test

Doug Levin

I said my piece in the updated article that spurred my original comment (including that the service the company in question provides looks “interesting and valuable,” especially in the context of the K-12 assessment market). The Pro-OER Elephant Test.

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The Sleight of Hand of “Free” vs “Affordable”

Iterating Toward Openness

In a recent webinar about OER, organized by one of the major textbook publishers, there was a lot of conversation about whether OER are “free” or “affordable.” Before I begin though, just to be clear, allow me to reaffirm that OER are free, plain and simple, full stop, period. That is literally part of the definition of OER. OER = free + permissions.

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Open all hours #EDEN15

Learning with 'e's

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. Their platform for hosting, authoring, and remixing OER is open source and available via GitHub.

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More on the Cost Trap and Inclusive Access

Iterating Toward Openness

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. ” For reasons I have outlined countless times (relating to the pedagogical innovation only possible in the context of permission to engage in the 5R activities), I believe OER adoption is a critically important means to achieving this end. I fear it is OER wanting it both ways.

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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

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. Second, OER provide hitherto unknown pedagogical freedom for faculty.

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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.

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. And teacher mobility definitely encourages students to pay more attention to the learning and instruction that’s going on. teacher mobility definitely encourages students to pay more attention to the learning and instruction that’s going on.

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The Consensus Around “Open”

Iterating Toward Openness

The most frequently cited definition of OER is the Hewlett Foundation definition : OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. There is no single definition and interpretations vary with usage. faculty are completely unaware of OER.

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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. So there is definitely a moment of scariness, maybe several moments of scariness.

How today’s tech departments are moving into the future

eSchool News

Part of the of the difficulty with USAC ( Universal Service Administrative Company ), when you take a look on their website , vendors have already opted in for Lifeline, but there’s no national mandate. Tech directors are a busy lot these days.

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ISTE Librarians’ Takeaways (Crowdsourced)

NeverEndingSearch

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!

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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.

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. 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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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. Coming in the next post: OER, OA and openness.

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. ” There’s more on legal battles involving student loan companies in the business of financial aid section below. ” “How Should Colleges Approach Student Success When Different Definitions Abound?” The student loan company has raised $803.6

the Golden Age of Education that never was

Improving Education Environments

In particular, how has our definition of “documentary” changed over the last few decades? In 2014, Coursera announced a partnership with Curiosity.com , a start-up launched from within Discovery Communications, whom Coursera heralded as the parent company of Discovery and Animal Planet. Republished from edutechnicalities.

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. Via Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill : “About That Cengage OER Survey.” US Presidential Campaign Politics.

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

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 It’s a digital worksheet company.

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