Friday, March 7, 2014

OER for Development (OER4D)

Yes, OER4D (Open Educational Resources for Development) is my title of this reflection and I have got the reasons this is essential.

What is OER?
Open Educational Resources are learning and teaching resources that are open and free to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. More definition appears in this link. Thanks to #David_Wiley for working on this. However, I have used this summarized definition because it carries the essence of what OER is all about at least from a personal viewpoint. It’s interesting to note that education is not what know on your own but what has been recorded or decoded from several others.

I will present an outline of how I have used open educational resources since the days of MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW).

Case studies before OER?
Before I ever heard the term OER, I have been using the Internet as an opportunity to learn and access resources not available in my community and school library. I lived in a world that legislation on things like this are not rightly protected though they are codified in sections of the constitution and the copyrights are the initial parts of every book you had access to. Enforcement however, is another thing entirely. Howbeit, the Internet came with its disruption and since it was foreign at least most of the materials we had access to, there was little to bother about licensing and legalities. A lot of people just replicated things and some made it theirs.
The expansion of the Internet and empowerment to not just be a passive user but active and a contributor I believe is changing the disposition of that in the part of the world I live in. OER will surely change the disposition and perspective of the academic community in most emerging nations.

How is OER used?
We are in the Information Age and I believe no one is in doubt of that and content keeps flying around and at us. Attending a course like this which I will make available in my community is an avenue to properly learn the tenets of educational resources as it were in the 21st Century and key in responsibly. Briefly, we can keep the chain going for OER by:
-         Properly recognizing the efforts of others (references)
-         Making our own contributions no matter how little we think it is e.g. blogging, tweets
-         Joining OER websites. They are now more WikiEducator, MERLOT, Connexions, OCW etc
-         If you are an expert in your field, register to peer-review other people’s work through that you make it better.
-         I think this should be first, USE OERs and encourage your community to do same

The weights of legalities are somewhat off our necks in the edusphere when we embrace open educational resources.

No comments: