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Over on the learning circuits blog, this month’s Big Question is…
It’s hard to say that open/free is bad in most situations, but I’m going to distill this down to “how can OER deliver value”?
The sources identified in the original blog post are more academically targeted, I typically share: Slideshare, TED talks, youtube. edu, iTunesU, etc with my clients, if they are looking for open content as the applicability factor is higher (less wading) for a d-i-y search.
Here’s my top 5 conditions (not 3, but 5!) for success:
Ultimately, I think that the notion of putting stuff online and making it available and accessible is noble, but a bit flawed. Everything is contextual, and while I may be able to get all the MIT course materials I want, I still have to make it fit to the circumstances I need.
The cynic in me thinks that these open and “free” resources are just noise or even worse, they are a solution in search of a problem, while the optimist in me thinks that the openness and collaborative nature of these resources fits well with most learning professional’s style and that pragmatism will prevail. The realist in me thinks that in theory these are great resources, but very few people have the time to wade through nor the luxury to allow for serendipity to happen, and if they do most aren’t going to want to say “Yeah, it was a great course, but I didn’t actually create it myself, I just used a freebie”, because that won’t really get them noticed (it may even send the message that “I’m replaceable by a free web service, why are you paying me in the first place?!).