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6. jsener - february 2nd, 2008 at 7:12 pm

As someone who is just beginning to learn more about OERs, I’m not sure how to answer the question of whether it’s living up to its promise, since I’m not exactly sure what its promise is. After reading some initial background materials (the OCWC site and the Cape Town OED site), the promise of OER is not that much clearer to me. As others have already pointed out, its impact apparently will be felt in places where educators lack resources but have the motivation to take advantage of access to free content. To get a better assessment about the perceived impact of OER, I’d go and ask some of the signatories of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration why they signed it. Why are there so many signatories from Poland, for example? What do they see in it?

The main issue I have with OER at the moment is that education is about a lot more than content, as Gary and others have pointed out. The OCW Consortium Institution Memorandum of Cooperation (the document which truly defines what it means to participate in making OERs available through OCWC; see (External Link) ) specifies that “high-quality university level educational materials” implicitly vetted by higher education institutions is the admission ticket to the OCWC. Based on this definition, OERs are a relatively small piece of the entire puzzle. Education is an entire infrastructure in which content resources are an important component but certainly not the only one.

OERs appear to be very useful in some contexts, but hard to see how free content by itself will result in sweeping change – certainly not on the scale implied by the sweeping statements of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, particularly in its opening statement that “Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge.” Based on how OER is defined in the declaration, this statement reflects a confusion between education and knowledge and between education and learning, as if education is generated just by content-learner interaction. The second sentence is just plain pompous in its overreaching assumptions. When will everyone on the planet have access to this world of ubiquitious access? It reminds me of the label “No Child Left Behind,” frankly. It also assumes that OER will somehow become the focal point for human knowledge generation and that faculty-created and university-vetted course materials are the principal engine for human knowledge generation. I don’t buy it — how is OER any more a world for generating human knowledge than Google or the Web itself?

Even as content, many OERs are of limited value. For example, the recent launch of Open Yale Courses exquisitely illustrates how educators can confuse content delivery with learning, with the result being open courseware of dubious quality. [also see (External Link) ]

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how to synthesize TiO2 nanoparticles by chemical methods
Zubear
what's the program
Jordan
?
Jordan
what chemical
Jordan
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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