I am excited to be taking an Introduction to Open Education Resources this semester led by the amazing Dr. David Wiley and Olga Belikov. As part of the course we have been asked to create some kind of artifact to share every week by Thursday afternoon that illustrates what we have learned. My artifact this week was inspired by a post one of my best friend’s made on social media this week. The post had the following comic with a caption that read “The great millenial bamboozle.”
What I have learned during the first week of this OER course is summarized by these points.
1) Education is the act of sharing. They are synonymous. Education is what happens when one person or source shares ideas with someone else.
2) Copyright laws have made it difficult to share ideas in order to educate people because we live in a society in which the inner two-year-old in us (or the inner Finding Nemo seagulls) often win out over our generosity by loudly yelling “MINE! MINE! MINE!” and once ideas are written down or represented in some way, the artifact containing those ideas becomes the intellectual property of its creator.
3) Creative Commons licenses or Open licenses allow us to increase our own generosity by providing others with easy access to our created works, i.e., the representations of our ideas, and allows other to Retain, Revise, Remix, Reuse, and Redistribute those ideas.
4) Ideas are not private goods, but public goods. Once I share my idea with someone else, I do not lose access to that idea. However, when I print my idea in a book, the book becomes a private good where only one person can access that copy of the book at a time. This allows us to commercialize education instead of making education open and shareable. Digital technologies and the Internet make it easier for use to create representations of ideas that are and remain public goods.
With these ideas in mind, I thought of the comic above and education seemed to become this kind of abusive relationship where ideas are only shared if there is some kind of give-and-take. Usually manifesting in “I will share my ideas with you if you give me your money.” OER make this relationship more generous by encouraging ideas to be shared openly without the need to give something in return. I therefore present “Be Open: In Support of OER” a comic.
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