OER: A Network of Educators

I like to think of Open Educational Resources as art pieces. When an artist creates a piece of work, it is very rare that he keeps it all to himself. The idea is mainly that the artist is willing to share his creation with the world in such a way that each individual gives their own interpretation of the piece. Open Educational resources are extremely similar.

take what you need

The currently most used definition of OER is: “Open Educational Resources are digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and re-use for teaching, learning and research.” Therefore, OER deal with the idea of sharing educators’ work on a free pedestal so that others can take and adapt and recreate their own ideas based on others’ work. Perhaps the two most important elements of an open education resource are its free availability over the Internet as well as its lack of barriers that keep the end-user from using the resources.

Today, open education is favored among schools since it allows students to work at their own pace as well as build their own ideas on certain topics with the help of educational articles and books found online. In fact, ‘Amazon Education is working on a new platform that will allow schools to upload, manage, share, and discover open education resources from a home page that in some ways resembles the one shoppers are accustomed to accessing on the massive online retailer’s website.’

Despite still in beta testing at the moment, I am certain that if implemented correctly, such a website will allow educators and well as students to make their resources available online for others to adapt in their own school.



5 thoughts on “OER: A Network of Educators

  1. I completely agree with you in saying that if carried out with caution, websites can be a great asset for both educators and our students. Coming from a scientific background, it comes natural to keep in mind that due to the evolution and discoveries of our world, it is important to teach are students that relevant information may change as new discoveries are made. Hence it is of vital importance to guide students in learning how to filter out the ‘good’ from the ‘lesser good’ material that is available online due to the ‘lack of barriers’. Having said this, I believe that if we train are students by guiding them to use appropriate platforms it can be very beneficial in their learning and skill formation in and out of the classroom.


  2. The comparison between an open educational resource and an art piece is a very effective one.
    Open educational resources are also worldwide, and therefore this makes them even more advantageous mainly owing to its increased accessibility, not mentioning the fact that they are also available for various subjects.
    The mentioned idea of Open educational resources is that of sharing educators’ work, and rightly so. However, I believe that there should be much more education to the educators themselves regarding these resources, whereby the benefits of OERs are highlighted, in order to encourage more individuals to make use of it. I am stating this as I am afraid that some educators are somewhat restricted to when it comes to sharing their work with others.


  3. It is true that OER are freely available, but that does not mean that they do not involve costs. Universities who offer OERs still have to pay those who upload content which was specifically made for OER purposes. On the other hand, those who are accessing OERs still need to spend time and resources to adapt the resources to their particular needs. By this I do not mean that I am not in favour of OERs. On the contrary, OERs are the key towards a better future many people who for some reason or another do not have access to traditional higher education. However, I think it is important to point out that freely available does not necessary mean that it is cost free in terms of time and other resources.


  4. I do agree that Open Educational Resources (OER) remove barriers to education as noted above. I find that this helps to instil an attitude wherein students take ownership of their learning. This is because through the use of OER in education, educators have the potential to create a student centred environment that teaches flexibility and empowers the students to have an active role in their learning. Moreover, it helps students to build a relationship with the course content as noted in your example on the use of Amazon Education as an OER.


  5. I like how you compared the OERs to an artist because as you very well explained, the OERs are created resources available to us in order to help us educate children, and making use of them depending on one’s objectives, in the same way an artwork can be interpreted by the viewer. They are also available to students so that they can learn new things of their own free will. In turn, we together with students can create our own resources, making them available to other people. Therefore, they give the opportunity for us to create something which is useful to other people as well. The OERs help in educating everyone and not only children attending a school.


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