Open Educational Resources
There’s a lot more to the internet than Google and Wikipedia when it comes to learning. In the last few years there has been an open resource movement, which enables you to learn from professors from top universities around the world. Open Educational Resources (OER) “ is, at its core, about free [no cost] and open sharing… which refers to the use of legal tools (open licenses) that give everyone permission to reuse and modify educational resources.”
From Wikipedia I learned that William and Flora Hewlett Foundation define Open Educational Resources (OER) as: “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. 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”. The OER movement originated from developments in open and distance learning (ODL) and in the wider context of a culture of open knowledge, open source, free sharing and peer collaboration, which emerged in the late 20th century.”
In 2005, MIT formed the OpenCourseWare Consortium that partnered with other universities to bring free education to the masses via the internet. Most courses, under open licenses, offer free audio or video lectures. The Consortium self describes itself as a “worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education, seeking to engender a culture of openness in education to allow everyone, everywhere to access the education they desire, while providing a shared body of knowledge and best practices that can be drawn upon for innovative and effective approaches.”
I personally have enjoyed using OERs. As a lifelong learner with diverse interests, I can develop deeper knowledge on a whole array of topic from cooking to trying to learn statistics. OERs have enabled me to draw ideas from around the world to engage my students and help them learn discipline concepts that they may feel challenging
Recently, I have started taking Massive open online courses (mooc) and am using an open online course to enrich my own online course. I have collected a series of articles about moocs on my scoop-it page. Please feel free to check it out.