“Open Education is a collective term that is used to refer to many practices and activities that have both openness and education at their core. First and foremost, open education is about removing barriers to education.” (Open Education Handbook)
However, Wiley and Green (2012) suggest four implications that one can implement when using OERs, which are referred to as the 4Rs. These are:
“Revise—adapt and improve the OER so it better meets your needs.
Remix—combine or “mash up” the OER with other OER to produce new materials.
Reuse—use the original or your new version of the OER in a wide range of contexts.
Redistribute—make copies and share the original OER or your new version with others.”
OERs offer several benefits and challenges to learners:
By making use of OERs, the teacher can help students to take control over their own learning; “and teachers act as facilitators, supporting learners through their different pathways by scaffolding, tutoring and coaching” (Masterman & Wild, 2012). It will also help the students become more informed by using a number of “rich and diverse resources” (Masterman & Wild, 2012) and (Open Education Handbook).
One of the largest OER is YouTube; one can either deliver a lesson in the traditional way or record oneself giving that lesson and upload it for the students. An important point is that students would have better management of their lesson in the sense that they would be able to rewind the teacher as much as they need and/or pause the lesson if they did not understand. This is also a great benefit for those students who happen to miss the lesson as they are offered another chance to review the lesson that went on in class.
OERs offer several benefits and challenges to teachers:
To have a much better result of using technology, teachers are encouraged to collaborate together (M. B. Postholm, 2007). When the teacher is making use of ICT in class, he/she “need[s] to have computer literacy to manage to create and thus organize good learning situations and to be able to help pupils in these settings”. “This means that while ICT offers many possibilities for teaching and learning, it also places heavy demands on the teacher to fully manage to exploit these possibilities in the classroom” (M. B. Postholm, 2007). Moreover, when using OERs it is important for the teacher to be well informed about the use of these open resources.
In our opinion, one of the most common disadvantages of using OERs in the learning process is that students can choose to access non-requested websites by the teacher. Moreover, spending lots of time on social networks would result in students losing direct communication with the outside world and also posing several distractions. Instead of face to face interactions and expressing feelings directly, students are communicating more through the internet rather than personally.
Masterman, L. & Wild, J. (2011). OER Impact Study: Research Report. JISC Open Educational Resources Programme: Phase 2. University of Oxford. Accessed 14 February 2016 at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearning/oer/JISCOERImpactStudyResearchReportv1-0.pdf
Open Education Handbook 2014, Retrieved from http://booktype.okfn.org/open-education-handbook-2014/about-this-book/
Postholm, M. B. (2007). The advantages and disadvantages of using ICT as a mediating artefact in classrooms compared to alternative tools. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 13 (6), 587 – 599.
Wiley, D., & Green, C. (2012). Why openness in education? In D. Oblinger (Ed.), Game changers: Education and information technologies (pp. 81–89). Washington, DC: Educause. Accessed 14 February 2016 at http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/pub72036.pdf