Our second topic lead to a challenge of carrying out an experiment to investigate what forms of OER (Open Educational Resources) are available online, of which can used to enhance the teaching and learning experience and delivery of my lecturing team.
I went the Twitter route as I enjoy the short to the point information that is available, yet simultaneously accessing additional detail through links.
• Traditionally education is static. This tradition is being challenged, splintered and fractured and forced into a space of change. With the overwhelming availability of information, it makes sense for educators to share what works and experiences. By sharing educators are able to support and encourage one another without having to go through the whole learning process individually which seems to be a senseless waste of time.
• Interesting video supporting the fact that education is static and in it’s current format is not serving our future generation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cui59UkoDMA
In the experiment I considered if sharing could be misused? In my opinion most definitely. Plagiarism and intellectual property need to be taken seriously. The “theft” of someone else’s ideas and theories is a serious offence, which sadly not many people are aware of. As educators we need to be at the forefront of ensuring intellectual integrity is maintained.
Sharing carries with it responsibilities and accountability. In order to be professional and give credit to the original thoughts of authors the user must:
• Ensure permissions are available to use
• Creative commons
• The work, research and thoughts of others is acknowledged by correct referencing.
The benefits of sharing for educators is positive, developmental, encouraging. We are in a world of information overload, the vast array of applications and platforms available offers a confusing choice to educators. If we share with one another what has worked and what hasn’t and the reasons why we are collaborating for our own, our students and our associates benefits.
As educators we need to ensure that the use of educational resources is done in a responsible manner. As educators we lead by example by ensuring that intellectual property is recognised, by acknowledging the work of published information, by sharing sound research material, and doing our own research and sharing our findings
My experiment for Openness and sharing using OER – as indicated above I went the Twitter route. I searched for OER and found and article on “GoOpen” – ‘a national movement to expand and accelerate the adoption of openly licensed educational resources in K-12 school districts and at state departments of education.’
Interesting to see how the “uptake” of this #GoOpen has gathered momentum, proving that sharing and collaborating is supportive, encouraging and academically sound practice (as long as it’s done professionally and ethically).
Another interesting site on Twitter was https://twitter.com/MITOCW – MIT Open Course Ware offering free lecture notes, exams and videos.
So what are the pros and cons, benefits and limitations of OER? The benefits of OER far outweigh the limitations as sharing allows us to learn far more than trying to go it alone. However, for me the biggest limitation is the vast knowledge base and making the right choices of resources for our own and educational needs within our environments.
In conclusion, choosing a topic and refining that choice will assist in accessing the information and resources available. If one looks at OER in broad terms it will become overwhelming which will lead to no knowledge or information sharing. Any research conducted requires focus and alignment with the required/perceived outcomes. I cannot allow myself to become all-encompassing and fall prey to confusion.