Archives for posts with tag: Open Education

While going through the news, came across this article

about the impact of Ebola in West African schools, teachers and students. From the closing of schools, with the loss of income to teachers and other staff, to the traumatic stress caused by whole situation and the impact on the young children, who suddenly lose their routines, support systems (as many times in Africa, the only meal they will have will be in school) and face their loved sick or dying of Ebola. Fortunately, most of us have never had to be face to face with these kind of diseases…

While we are talking about openness, open educational resources, open education, the use of these openness could have a life saving impact in these battered educational systems. Sugata Mitra (Hole in the Wall in India), Esther Duflo, with JPAL, studies and experiments have shown that children can learn among themselves, even without teachers, as long as they have a caring support. Maybe, we can have an impact in these children´s and teachers lives, through small laptops (the Canaima project in Venezuela) with OER,  using whatever technology is available to communicate …probably mobiles…and this can be done!

The term open, as part of Open Education, Open Educational resources, Open Access only makes sense if we look at it from the freedom movement and its base and derivatives. When the term appeared in the 80´s by Stallman, Free Software, during the founding of the GNU software ( ) it was meant as in free for freedom, free to use, to run the program, to modify, redistribute and distribute modified versions.

 Later on, the term Free was connected to Free, in terms of price, changing the basic underlying philosophy and creating a separated approach.

Open Software appears in the 90´s, by Perens  as a broad general type of software license that makes source code available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent copyright restrictions…Open source licenses grant licensees the right to copy, modify and redistribute source code (or content). These licenses may also impose obligations (e.g., modifications to the code that are distributed must be made available in source code form, an author attribution must be placed in a program/ documentation using that open source)” (Wikipedia).

The Open Movement have been extended to other areas, including education.

In 2007, Creative Commons launch the Education Projects, where the Open Education and Open Educational Resources become part of the educational policies, with the possibility to license different types of contents, formats under the CC licensing and currently other types of licenses. The type of licensing is the only thing that distinguishes (or should distinguish) between a OER and other types of contents.

A lot has been written about developing OER´s, creating a duplicity/gap between OERs and copyrighted materials, removing the discussion from the type of licensing, which is the real difference, and focusing it on OER quality , creation of standards, evaluation. The real debate has been moved, therefore, from different types of licensing to the creation of duplicated content development structures…


The right to Education

The objective of this blog is to share, learn and engage in the world of OERs. It all started by enrolling in the OCL4Ed micro Open Online Course (mOOC), facilitated by the UNESCO OER Chair network  in support of capability development for the UNESCO 2012 Paris OER Declaration. It would be impossible to talk about OER without considering the right to Education, with real learning outcomes. OERs can play a fundamental role in this objective, allowing to provide access/intrinsic learning to everybody. We all can play a fundamental role in using, sharing, developing and licensing our existent content, methodologies, etc as OERs.