While OER typically reside in the public domain or have an alternative license that specifies how a resource may be reused, adapted, and shared, the use of an open license is in itself insufficient to addressing the broader sustainability and ethical questions facing the OER movement. It is for that reason that I and my co-authors (Lisa Petrides of ISKME and Eddie Watson of AAC&U) are pleased to introduce the CARE Framework for OER Stewardship.
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This week, education reporters from across the nation are gathering at the 2017 Education Writers Association National Seminar (#EWA17) in Washington, DC. Among the topics they will focus on is technology in education (AKA “digital learning”). To that end, I suggest five story ideas for reporters interested in the topic, as well as an admonition to go easy on the edtech jargon.
Back from a vacation to the northwestern coast, this week saw a number of enhancements and additions to this site, including the publication of an updated OER FAQ and infographic, the addition of video news clips to the K-12 Cyber Incident Map, and a post pondering the harsh penalties being enacted against students who hack their own schools. As always, I also offer links to news, tools, and reports about education, public policy, technology, and innovation that caught my eye – including a little bit about why.
It is time to reboot the social contract for public education in a digital age. At the same time, we must remain clear-eyed and recognize the ways in which technology also introduces new issues and potential threats. What we need are terms of service that provide every student and their family assurances that their interests remain at the fore.
To combat OERwashing, the practice of organizations’ falsely claiming they are pro-Open to gain a benefit in the education market, we must be able to go beyond the elephant (“I know it when I see it”) test.
As an educator, how can you be sure that a lesson plan or activity claiming to be OER is actually open and not just pretending to be open? Given the misuse and abuse of the term (inconceivable!), I’ve collaborated with others to prepare a draft FAQ to set the record straight.
While the OER movement is global in scope and ambition, the context of implementation matters. I contend that how educators are supported and empowered to address the problems of practice will have everything to do with the ultimate success of the OER movement in the U.S. K-12 context.
The instructional materials procurement decisions facing K-12 school districts have never been more complicated, and how districts procure digital textbooks and instructional materials matters. Unless they’re careful, districts may be getting both more and less than they’ve bargained for in agreeing to restrictive digital content licenses.
I have a confession to make. I work in K-12 education in the U.S., and I am merely a fan – not a fanboy – of open educational resources (OER). I suspect that some will claim that this is a difference without a distinction. Others surely see me as some sort of OER fanatic. I beg to disagree.