Open Education Resources

Moving back to the idea of traditional technology, I will be exploring the concept of Open Education Resources. This allows for sharing of educational tools. According to Hewlett, “Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that offer an extraordinary opportunity for people everywhere to share, use, and reuse knowledge.” These resources are in the public domain or they have been released under intellectual property license that allow free use (Hewlett). Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the first university to release their lessons to the public for free.

There are many organizations involved in making Open Educational Resources available to those teaching in the developing world. One of these companies is the Hewlett Foundation. Their purpose is to “improve education globally by making high-quality academic materials openly available on the Internet” (Hewlett). More of these organizations include Khan Academy, OER Commons, and Open Courseware Consortium. Another organization is Shine4Kids. This is a group from UGA that has created a website that has lessons in educational literacy, health, and english. They went to Haiti to check on their implementation of this website and the real life workings of a program like Open Educational Resources. They found that the one problem to this idea is the lack of computers in the countries that would benefit most from these resources (Shine4Kids).

These resources are important to continuing the education of those who do no have access to the same education in other parts of the world. The drawback to OER is the lack of computers in the areas that would benefit the most. This goes back to the need for others to pitch in and donate so others can receive the same education as children and young adults in the US and other developed countries. While in South Africa, we had the chance to teach young adults how to use computers. With these skills and the lessons, they would be able to teach themselves and help bring themselves out of poverty.