Have you heard about Open Educational Resources (OER) and want to know more? This module presents an overview of what they are, why they matter to post-secondary education, and how to get started on your OER journey.
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From its earliest days the internet has pitted a philosophy of sharing against more consumer-driven models of content consumption. Usenet, mailing lists, websites and file transfer services facilitated the easy exchange of ideas and information.
Since those early days the web has been increasingly locked down, and the once-seamless interaction between people and data has been locked more and more behind paywalls and content silos. Web3 is to a large degree a reaction against this, and developers across the internet are working on a new infrastructure that will defy the efforts to enclose the commons.
These technologies build on some of the ideas underlying the file sharing networks of the past but add elements that address their vulnerability to centralized control and regulation. One example of this is the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) and its cousin Interplanetary Linked Data (IPLD). Instead of relying on internet addresses to locate content, these new file sharing systems use the hash of the data or content as an address, enabling the data to be distributed across the cloud, accessible from the nearest convenient source.
We have already seen more transitional contents, such as books, media and music, being distributed through IPFS. Similar technologies are being deployed to support more complex content, for example, distributed applications (dApps), subscriptions and lists, contract networks, and even distributed organizations such as the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). With no central point of origin, there is no means to control these types of content, which raises questions about both their legality and their vulnerability.
These concepts are used to introduce a new type of Open Educational Resource, Content Addressable Resources for Education (CARE) along with the associated concepts of CARE Packages and CARENet.
These resources - which may be anything from courses and programs to event access and recordings to some of the advanced learning applications described above - will be packaged and distributed across a content-addressable network, whereupon they become permanently open, with no possibility of being enclosed by commercial services, both by virtue of their immutability, and by virtue of the fact that the process of hash addressing guarantees that the content that was created is the content that was received.
The concept of Content Addressable Resources for Education addresses the question of the sustainability of open educational resources, as it is the distributed network of teachers and learners that sustains them through their use.
It also creates mechanisms for the creation of resource graphs linking data, media, software and people, redefining our idea of an open course (and open pedagogy) as something dominated not by licenses and institutions, but by people and practice.
ActivityThis week's activity is scheduled for Wednesday at noon (Eastern time): Conversation with Sukaina Walji and Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams from the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town (UCT).
How Open Education Can Change the World Nov 19, 2018 video I define and explore the application of open education and open educational resources (OER) to peace, reconciliation and development in Colombia. I describe how new technologies have made possible new ways of learning, and how we can work together as a community to teach ourselves, thus allowing each person the voice and opportunity to play a meaningful role in society. Slides are here. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL-Z2q-sgnw
Using the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project as an example, this paper attempts to demonstrate the interrelation between ideological, legal, technical and operational openness; the resources that conducting Open Research requires; and the benefits of an iterative, strategic approach to one’s own Open Research practice.