The video I chose was a TedX NYED talk conducted by David Wiley, PhD and Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology and Brigham Young University. The title of his talk is “Open Education and the Future” and he begins by defining open and how it applies to education. He argues that “openness is the only means of doing education” and yet we live in a society where it’s OK to sue one another and keep things to ourselves rather than share. He even referenced a lawsuit filed by a professor who argued that the notes his students took were derivative works and that technically those notes were his property, to which Wiley asks, “Then why are you in education?”
Wiley compares the time we are in now to the time when the printing press was invented. This is an unprecedented time for availability of information and information sharing. This really resonated with me because it made me pause and think about what a significant time in history we’re living in. There has been so much change at such a rapid pace that there are naturally going to be opposing views on many issues, especially something as established as education. Wiley argues that, “expertise is non-rivalrous-it can be given without being given away.” He also referenced the Thomas Jefferson quote, “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” I have a similar belief system towards education as Wiley and Jefferson- if we’re not sharing information, what’s the point? I understand things like intellectual property and protecting ideas so that the creator isn’t taken advantage of, but we really need to figure out a way to balance the two. Right now, we’re still very much about withholding information and keeping it for ourselves rather than freely sharing it. It’s a culture change, which is never quick or easy.
Wiley also mentions Blackboard and how these course management systems conceal information. At the end of each term, students’ works are deleted or moved and rarely shared. This obviously resonated a lot with me because we use Blackboard for the MAIT program. Fortunately, throughout the MAIT program we have had access to past students’ works and I believe it has made my cohorts’ products stronger without stealing ideas or “lessening the light” of others.
A final thought that really resonated with me was that there were 120 million students in higher education during 2010 and it was projected that the number will increase by 150 million in the next 20 years. That growth is staggering and our current information sharing principles are not going to work with this massive increase in students. OERs are one of the most practical ways in which we can adapt to this new demographic of learners. Learning is about adaptability- and the field of education is having no greater test of that ability than right now. Wiley concludes his talk with, “The more open we are, the better education will be.” I couldn’t agree more.
Author of the tweet: @AlohaSargent retweeted @Jjacbobjenkins’ tweet
Resource: The Cavalier Daily
How it expanded my understanding: This resource made me realize how significant Open Educational Resources are and how much they can impact people’s lives. The statistics in this article were staggering. Some examples are:
- Students spend 1,000 times more than their parents did for college textbooks in the 1970s and 1980s
- A 2014 report by the U.S. Public Interest Research group found that 65% of American college students cited cost as a factor for not purchasing textbooks
- The University of Georgia (UGA) implemented OERs in 2013 and since then, 26,000 UGA students have saved over 3.1 million
These statistics really hit home in a lot of ways. OERs are more than just about sharing information, they have real, significant consequences that can greatly impact students both intellectually and financially.
Author of the tweet: @hann3rbanan3r
Resources: @HudUnipress, poetryfoundation.org, wordswithoutborders.org, freesfonline.de, lithub, longreads.com,newyorker.com, @opensunytextbks
How it expanded my understanding: User HannieLou asked for OERs that will help her find fiction/poetry for her English students. People responded with many resources I had never heard of such as Hudson University Press which is in England, Lithub, Words Without Borders, and Open Suny Text Books. This tweet expanded my understanding of OERs because it made me realize that this is (1) an international movement, (2) a movement very much based in community i.e. teachers asking other teachers for resources, and (3) more colleges and universities are involved in this movement than I realized.