STEPHEN DOWNES: Hi, George and Dave. It's week four of your course. I'm still here. How about that? I'm looking forward to more discussions with you. This time, we're talking about creating, finding, and using OERs. OER, of course, stands for open educational resources.
It's interesting there's a bit of a shift in the topic, right, between this week and the previous weeks, at least in the titles. We were talking about open content and the public domain and the commons and things like that. Now we're talking about open educational resources, which is a different thing entirely. The difference, of course, is in the word educational.
And in the use of the word educational, and use of the term OER specifically, it strikes me that you're thinking of the audience of this as educators, teachers, people who create education and offer it to other people. So you're talking about teachers creating OERs, teachers finding OERs, teachers using OERs, or at very least this context of use in the classroom.
Now, you might have noticed the backgrounds of my videos. I'm using some public domain stuff from NASA. Thank you, NASA. And I'm not teaching or anything like that. I'm just a guy recording some videos with some cool NASA backgrounds. And the reason why I'm doing that is because I can.
And it's not that I'm making an educational resource or anything like that. I'm just creating a resource. And the needs of my resource that I'm creating are created by the context, the purpose in the moment of what I'm trying to do. What I'm trying to do right now is engage you guys in our discussion on open resources in the context of your course. So yeah, there's is a bit of an educational flavor there.
But I could be doing the very same thing tomorrow with Jim Groom on alternative punk culture in the 1990s. It could happen. Or maybe about how to contribute to grunge bands with build-it-yourself drum machines. Could happen. In other words, nothing to do with education.
And I think it's these uses that have nothing to do with education that are the most powerfully educational uses of open resources and OERs generally. When we talked about connectivism-- George, you'll remember this-- we talked about the model-- or at least I did, to a certain degree-- of aggregation, remix, repurpose, and feed forward.
And it wasn't a model of creating, using, and discovering OERs. It was a model of learning itself. And what we wanted, or certainly what I wanted, was for the participants in the course to be aggregating, finding stuff, to be remixing and repurposing, putting things together and then adapting them to their own context, localizing them, putting them in their own language. And then, of course, importantly, sharing them, putting out there into the community.
In the earlier one of these videos, I talked about the importance of open content and openness generally as being based in communication. That should still be the underlying purpose, the underlying value and importance of what we're today calling open educational resources. Don't think of these things as educational content with objectives, some theory, some practice, and a little quiz with an overtly educational mission. Think of these as words in a conversation you are having with students, or even more importantly, students are having with each other and with practitioners in the domain that they're trying to learn.
These contexts can be anything. These contexts don't have to have a quote unquote educational purpose. They don't have to conform to particular educational standards. They just need to be open, and they just need to allow people to be able to communicate with each other. And that's what I see as OERs in this context. That's my five. Talk to you next week, guys.