The Fans, Fanboys, and Fanatics of OER

Doug Levin

I work in K-12 education in the U.S., and I am merely a fan – not a fanboy – of open educational resources (OER).** Others surely see me as some sort of OER fanatic. I also depart from Clark on the issue of the importance of cost savings to OER in the U.S.

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Self as OER


When we look at common definitions of Open Educational Resources or OERs (e.g., But what if we adopt a different perspective, a broader understanding of OERs, which includes the processes and products of open scholarship as valuable, and viable, resources too?

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If We Talked About the Internet Like We Talk About OER: The Cost Trap and Inclusive Access

Iterating Toward Openness

While everyone wants educational materials to be less expensive, lower costs are the least interesting thing about digital, networked learning. And obviously, both inclusive access and OER are about solving the cost problem.

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George Siemens and David Wiley Join Forces for a MOOC About Open Education


Since the New York Times named 2012 the year of massive open online courses (MOOCs), millions have flocked to platforms offering them such as edX and Coursera. This October, two open education pioneers are teaming up to pilot a new edX course titled “ Introduction to Open Education ” with hopes to amplify and answer some of these questions. How do you reconcile teaching about open education using closed technologies and platforms? Ekowo: Why this MOOC?

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MOOCs: The Prestige Factor (2012)

Buried in the public responses to the news about MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and OER initiatives from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Princeton and others is a deceptively important assumption.


The Role of Open Educational Resources (OER) in Making Education Available to All

A Principal's Reflections

Open educational resources” (OER) here refers to the many free learning resources now populating the Worldwide Web. I work in K-12 education, Nicole with college students, and Philipp primarily with adult learners. The Bottom Line OER in all its forms.

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The Winners and Filmstrips of An (Almost) Decade in Education Technology


This op-ed is part of a series of reflections on the past decade in education technology. I define education technology as any tool that supports learning, digital or not. An abacus is an educational technology, as is the slide rule. MOOCs. OER and open books.


The Content Paradox

Improving Education Environments

This makes the paradox an example of a circular definition or an endless loop, because trying to be All Things results in a mediocre middle where the artifact is neither educationally beneficial nor scalable, essentially producing something sterile.

Open all hours #EDEN15

Learning with 'e's

A professor of educational technology at the British Open University, he has been an advocate of openness in education for many years, but he expresses doubts over the outcome of the battle. This is a crucial time for determining the future direction of open education.

A true gift from SHEG: DIY digital literacy assessments and tools for historical thinking


You may remember Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) for its groundbreaking and utterly depressing report, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning.

Art, Science, and the Role of Data in Education

Iterating Toward Openness

One of these days, after I’ve retired, I’m going to write a radically restructured, OER-based freshman music theory course, based on research I did early in my career and what I’ve learned about good teaching since then. I was a music major as an undergraduate.

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Production Value in Online Higher Education

While the efforts by MIT ( starting in 2001 ) and others in the "Open Movement" served as strong social statements about the importance of access to education - if not education, then educational content - they also put the university on display to an unprecedented degree.


Recent & Upcoming Conversations on Open & Networked Learning


I was also interested in the idea of bringing up the learner, and how use of the term “pedagogy” centers on teachers, giving all power to teachers, whereas open educational practices are more inclusive and anyone (learner, teacher, researcher, faculty developer, you name in it) can feel included.


An Index Of Online Courses For Teachers: Summer 2015

TeachThought - Learn better.

EDUCATION & TEACHING (29). Commonwealth Education Trust via Coursera. Prior Learning Assessment for Educators and Industry. Commonwealth Education Trust via Coursera. ICT in Primary Education: Transforming children’s learning across the curriculum.

Do it yourself education

Learning with 'e's

Reading Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz has been fascinating. Her key message is simple - that education needs to change to make it more accessible to those who want to, but cannot afford to enter into full time higher education.


On Research – a #dLRN15 (and beyond) reflection

Improving Education Environments

I gave a presentation at #dlrn15 that was critical of the OER movement message, which my research and scholarship identifies as an attempt to be inclusive while pragmatic. There is a lot of MOOC research at #elearnconf, which was shocking to me to be honest.

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Unlocking stackable global credentials

The Christensen Institute

It took 912 years from the founding of the first university in Bologna in 1088 for the global higher education system to grow to serve 100 million students annually by the year 2000. Meeting this increase in demand presents a critical opportunity for disruptive innovation in higher education.

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We Are Rockstar Educators

Improving Education Environments

Rockstar as a term is problematic in education. Siemens is right about the Waiting for Superman problem in regards to solutionism in education. Education is viewed by many as a delivery service, which is why people say the system needs to change because we can now Google everything.


EdTech Acronyms Explained


The amount of new acronyms in the educational technology world is staggering… and often overwhelming for educators. CREATE – Collaboartion, Resources, Educate, Apps, Technology, Enriching. GAFE – Google Apps For Education (include Google Docs, Google Sites etc).

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On Research – a #dLRN15 (and beyond) reflection

Improving Education Environments

I gave a presentation at #dlrn15 that was critical of the OER movement message, which my research and scholarship identifies as an attempt to be inclusive while pragmatic. There is a lot of MOOC research at #elearnconf, which was shocking to me to be honest.

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How to Crowdsource Quality Resources for Adult Learners

Digital Promise

But our adult basic education programs can only serve roughly four million of those adults. This gap between the need and available educational services has prompted calls for innovative ways to improve access to quality educational resources. We conceived of this crowdsourced design project as part of a massive open online course (MOOC) on Canvas Network and sought out an all volunteer team of designers, facilitators, and subject matter experts to help us. The Need.

Innovation In E-learning In The Last 10 Years


Using mobile for educational purposes is a slightly new concept. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). MOOC is not a new concept in the e-learning industry. Many prestigious universities such as Harvard offers MOOC at minimal or no cost. MOOC also offers group collaboration and feedback through online evaluation. If correctly implemented, it can make e-learning an extensive new way of education and provide an all-around scope.

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The design and future of open education: Curtis Bonk on Future Trends Forum

Bryan Alexander

” What does open education mean for higher education? That range of options points to just how enormous is open education’s ambit.) Curt began by describing the use of MOOCs for faculty and staff development, with examples such as a University of London effort.

Network technology, disruptive innovation and the future of higher education

Mark Smithers

The focus for me was on how disruptive innovations are/will effect higher education. I considered issues around MOOCs and then other disruptors which may, in fact, have more impact such as OER, open badges and social professional reputation. Educational Technology

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

(National) Education Politics. Various education-related updates – via The New York Times : “How the Republican Tax Plan Uses School Savings to Hurt States.” ” Via Education Week : “Final Tax Bill Keeps Teacher Deduction at $250 , Cuts State and Local Deductions.” More on the Kentucky college in The Chronicle of Higher Education.). State and Local) Education Politics. ” Education in the Courts.

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education. National) Education Politics. Via Education Week : “Reorganization of U.S. Lots of Republicans , Few Democrats,” says Education Week. There’s another story on DeVos and virtual schools down in the “online education” section below.

It’s 2020: Have Digital Learning Innovations Trends Changed?


The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), one of the 12 partner organizations of Every Learner Everywhere, was charged with identifying and understanding innovations in the digital education landscape. Education Technology Technology Trends Instructional Trends Student Success

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education. National) Education Politics. US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was on Capitol Hill this week, making the case for her department’s budget. ( State and Local) Education Politics. Education in the Courts. ” asks Education Dive.

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Among the education highlights: Republican VP candidate Mike Pence made up a name for the university hosting the event. Actually, I think that was the only education highlight. ” “ Clown College Calls National Rash of Rumored Clown Scares ‘Troubling’,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Education Politics. Via The Washington Post : “ Education Department slammed for charter school oversight – by its own watchdog office.”

Education Technology and the Power of Platforms

Hack Education

This is part four of my annual look at the year’s “ top ed-tech stories ” Way back in 2012, I chose “ The Platforming of Education ” as one of my “Top Ed-Tech Trends.” ” And I wondered at the time if that would be the outcome for MOOCs.

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

(National) Education Politics. “ Tax bill reflects rift between many Republicans and higher education,” The Washington Post reports. The education reform-minded publication The 74 says that “Educators Warn of ‘Devastating’ Consequences for Charter Schools in New GOP Tax Bill.” ” “Education Dept. Restores Pell Eligibility to Nearly 300,000 Students,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Education.”

Contribute a Short Video for #OpenEdMOOC

Iterating Toward Openness

As you may have heard, my fellow rabble-rouser George Siemens and I are doing a MOOC on open education that launches later this month on edX. Yes, this MOOC actually is open – all the content will be viewable outside the edX platform and downloadable under open licenses so as to be fully 5R-able, yes, you can fully participate in the course for free, and. Week 4: Creating, Finding and Using OERs. Week 5: Research on OER Impact and Effectiveness.

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Can US Higher Education Publishers Leverage a Subscription Model

Kitaboo on EdTech

The overall cost of higher education has been continuously increasing, as is evident by the rise in the textbook prices. But how do they compete with resources like MOOCs and OERs that have made high quality course content from respected university professors available for free?

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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 example, in 2015 I wrote that “My ultimate goal is this: I want to (1) radically improve the quality of education as judged by learners, and (2) radically improve access to education. I fear it is OER wanting it both ways. Return education to the community network.

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Storms over liberal education: notes on the 2016 AAC&U conference

Bryan Alexander

It was a powerful gathering of campus leaders and practitioners, organized around a common focus on liberal education. I helped start the conference with a half-day workshop on “How Technology Can Enhance Liberal Education: The State of the Art in 2016.”