OERs and Open Source

I have been familiar with the conversations around Open Source materials.  I was not familiar with the websites where this week’s class material took us.  I found the sources fascinating.  I really like the Creative Commons website.   When it comes to copyright, our Pitts library staff has handled the details of what we can use.  I’m not sure I want to move into their territory.  I do feel like I know a lot more about these challenges after this week.  I think I will still have Pitts staff check my work.

I think the electronic world continues to move towards Open Resources.  I realize that there is the other push towards protecting intellectual property.  These two competing values are fighting it out.  I would fall on the side of opening up the content for all.

If we move toward a heutagogical model of learning, Open Educational Resources would have to be a major source of material going forward.

One side note:  As a child, when I was bored, I would read the  World Book Encyclopedia.  At the end of the entry, would be a bibliography that would take me to other entries.  I would create my own learning module.  If only I had the internet then.  This kind of learning was very helpful to me.  I see it as a possibility for others in this electronic resourcing.


  1. Hi David – I really appreciated your comment about the OER vs. intellectual property protection. Music and book publishing have been facing these issues for years (remember Napster?). At least once a day now I will be getting emails from students wanting to know a) if they need to purchase the textbook b) if they can buy an older edition or c) is it available via e-book? At the SON, we’ve begun telling students that they need to have a laptop before they matriculate, in part so they can access the resources and materials we’ve prepared for them, Texts are more and more expensive and publishers push out new editions more frequently. It’s very tempting to think that free OER (and MOOCS!) are the answer. If this course has taught me anything, it’s that there is more than one way to have effective learning. What’s effective for some courses and learners isn’t for others. And at the end of the day instructors will still have to manage the details.

    • Susan Hylen on August 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm
    • Reply

    Hi David,

    I like your analogy of reading the World Book. It does seem like students have more resources for being self-taught, but they have to be more discerning, too. World book had a certain level of reliability that is not true of all the stuff online! I wonder what it would be like to do what you did as a child on the internet, trying to sort through what’s reliable.

      • David Key on August 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm
      • Reply

      Susan, I probably would have watched a lot of porn as a teenager.

      David K.

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