OPCommCSEDU 2018 Abstracts

Short Papers
Paper Nr: 1

Why Open Educational Resources Are Essential for Online Learning


Rory McGreal

Abstract: The free sharing of open educational resources (OER) can be seen as essential for promoting the creation of content usable in any learning context. OER can be effective in reducing the knowledge divide that separates and partitions societies. Educators worldwide continue to face significant challenges related to providing increased access to high quality learning, while containing or reducing costs. New developments in information technology, especially with tablets, phablets, mobile phones and different gaming devices, highlight the shortcomings and challenges for the traditional education community, as well as those of more flexible providers, such as open universities. Such developments have the potential to increase access and flexibility in education by rendering it ubiquitous. More recently educators are being forced to focus on the effects of “digital locks” (Technological Protection Measures) and restrictive licences that come with commercial online content and are turning to OER in order to take full advantage of the affordances of new technologies. The technological and legal restrictions placed on commercial content and applications can effectively render these applications unusable in many educational contexts. In order to address this, educators should consider using openly licensed applications that are becoming more widely available.