Thursday, July 14, 2011

Defining OER

Stephen Downes developed this definition for OER:    "Open educational resources are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone."  There was a discussion on the OER Forum ( about using open source only which is intended to help everyone - but sometimes slows down some who are in settings where certain file types might be supported by our employer/school or whatever.  David Wiley pointed out that using open source file types and programs is also a kind of orthodoxy that might not be practical. Rory McGreal supported that view. Some proprietary formats such as PDF are widely used - and as long as the document can be converted to other formats, perhaps we can relax a little on the open file format score.  There was the discussion of "free" as in "anyone is free to do anything they'd like with this OER - including market it."  That just doesn't sit well with everyone (yet).  I find myself going back and forth on that.  I'll keep thinking about that one.. 

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