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Thursday, November 18, 2010

OERs, copyright, and access to educational materials

This is in response to a discussion on OERs, copyright, and access to educational materials:

I would argue that contributing to OERs and earning a living are not necessarily diametrically opposite of each other. Consider the connections one might gain by adhering to open authorship as opposed to closed authorship. Granted, perhaps financial compensation from the published work would not exist but what about all the additional ways that a person might make money that would be as a result of connecting with someone through an OER. And what about the interactions that are created from the generation and ongoing development of an OER and the learning potential that this generates.

You ask, If everyone had to freely [give] away their knowledge because OER was the only option, would folks who need to earn a living through knowledge creation survive?

Well, I wonder how much close authorship really leads to "knowledge creation". In my humble opinion, "knowledge creation", or simply learning occurs to a greater degree when individuals interact with content (i.e., revise, reuse, remix, and/or redistribute) as opposed to creating content through closed authorship. The shelf-life of information these days is becoming shorter my the minute. I suspect that in the future, we will need more people who can teach, facilitate, and coach others how to revise, reuse, remix and/or redistribute content than people who can write a book (i.e., closed authorship).

Great discussion and certainly will be interesting to see how OERs bloom around the world going forward.