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OER debates

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    Here are the posts I recently sent via email. From now on I’ll try to keep discussions on the Commons to avoid flooding your email inbox.

    11/7/17 — Wiley: If We Talked About the Internet Like We Talk About OER: The Cost Trap and Inclusive Access


    11/13/17 — Wiley: More on the Cost Trap and Inclusive Access


    11/16/17 — Wiley: The Cost Trap, Part 3

    11/17/17 — Downes: FOUR CONCLUSIONS ON OERS

    11/17/17 — Wiley: The Cost Trap, Concluding Thoughts


    It’s interesting that Wiley and Downes spent a month discussing the cost of content, without really getting into the price of the delivery of content. The repeal of Net Neutrality could have OER implications if a big publisher is bought by an ISP. OER content could be fairly easily throttled for users at home (ignoring, as it often is, that broadband isn’t ubiquitous across income lines):

    The assumption of OER has always been that the Internet is a neutral delivery system. But that’s no longer the case and it could change things.

    Happy New Year!


    Great point, Steve! The inter relatedness of factors like broadband access, OER, publishers, public policy, etc. is ignored by Downes and Wiley in order to perpetuate their argument. After the first couple posts I got tired of their debate. They have some fundamental differences that they’ll never agree on. However, their visions for OER aren’t entirely incompatible.

    For the sake of our group, I think discussing some of the differences they are referencing is important. For example, are we just talking about free, open access textbooks or are we talking about open pedagogy? Our approach from the library has been to tackle textbooks first, which by default puts us in the Downes cost camp… one could argue. But it is important to expand the conversation to include the breadth of OER in the context of open pedagogy. I plan to discuss some of these tools at our next meeting, from Lumen to OpenLab at City Tech. Additionally, here is an example of an English class using CUNY Academic Commons to create a blog used for student work and course information.

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