I have lately explored OERs and MOOCs and I find openess an excellent possibility laid out by technology. Providing learning open is wonderful for endless reasons. My daughter, a perfect example of the young generation that understands to seize opportunities, is nowadays knowledgdeable about so much concerning the space and everything out there due to hours spent on an OER called Crash Course.

In the early days of Internet, a chemistry head teacher at my upper secondary school suggested that we should take advantage of the web and provide learning for anyone on the globe. Her idea was never implemented and the reason is the sceptisicism she met. ”Eh? A course on the Internet? Sounds impossible. Who would want it?” are examples of negative responses she got. I guess that the fear of entering a new domain and spending valueable time on learning the how-to was the main reason for our rejection. But if we had managed to share knowledge worldwide, my school would have been one of the first providers of open learning.

I would today certainly be able of share tutorials on YouTube as my school would not object. The idea of creating a MOOC is not at hand as I am not involved in any teaching at higher education or at a school that provides what we in Sweden call ‘distance studies’. For those that have read my previous blogs, it might eventually be the case if I put my vision of providing school drop outs basic education. Well, there are first lots of people in the city hall to persuade to back up such an enterprise!!

Or, maybe not a MOOC.

Practical issues that would be a core response on my behalf involve matters of licensing and copyright, domain choice and design will take its time to manage, but really is managable. The real concern is about factors which I cannot affect. In Teaching in a digital age, Tony Bates (2019) provides a neat overview of lots of issues concerning openess. The potential troubles that I may face and that I will be unable to handle are listed in almost a hundred questions found appendix 1. Here are some of the demanding questions quoted:

”Which technologies are students likely to have convenient and regular access at home or work? What digital skills do you expect your students to have before they start the program? How reliable is the technology?”

My main concern is – of course? – related entirely to technology. The problem related to education and technology is still that we cannot fully expect everyone to have continuous and reliable access to tools, software and infrastructure. The ONL course I am attending at the moment illustrates some of the technology challenges although most works pretty fine. All participants are academics with access to good equipement and hence privileged. Hence, we do not represent average users…

Open Educational Resources