Amazon's Plans for OER

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Feb 18, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As Audrey Watters notes in this post, Silicon Valley is not helping (nor should be be relied upon) to solve the high cost of textbooks. For example, "what we might actually read from Jobs’ plans is less about a shift from 'expensive' to 'free' than a shift in power from governmental bodies to technology platforms as the locus of control." As for the new Amazon OER registry, we on't really know how it will work. Michael Caulfield argues that OER repositories have not been successful in the past. "The idea is if 'everyone just knows the one place to go' OER will be findable," he writes. "This has been a disaster." And, continues Watters, "it doesn’t appear as though Amazon Inspire is about enabling schools or educators to spin up their own infrastructure to publish, host, and share content. It’s about building a marketplace, controlled by Amazon, to buy, sell, and trade stuff."

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