Openness: From Sharing to Adopting

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Oct 17, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The recent UNESCO discussion on open educational resources turned eventually to the question of adoption of OERs, and as David Wiley suggests in this post, raised the need for people to start adopting them. As Wiley says, "hose leaders who think of themselves as being on the cutting edge of the open education movement need to start walking the walk / becoming living examples / modeling the desired behavior of adopting others' OERs." He is locked into the idea of them being adopted by instructors and merged into course packages. But I still think he has the wrong model.

Here at OLDaily, I have been 'adopting' open educational resources for ten years, linking to a half dozen or so of them every week day, a total of some 16,000 in all. Thousands, hundreds of thousands, of people have used them. No, maybe not instructors. But who cares? Similarly, our Connectivist and PLENK courses have been using OERs, hundreds of them. No, we don't upload them and merge them into prefab course modules. Who needs the grief? We link to them and let learners use them directly. Change the model and you'll see there's no problem with the adoption of OERs at all.
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