The future of education (especially Higher Education) is Open Educational Resources (OER), that is, those resources that are freely available for anyone to use to learn and to teach. (Another large repository of OER-ware is Merlot.org) The purpose of this post is not to advocate for OER, but rather point to how OER is already gaining momentum of the wave of the future: Educators and students can either choose to ride that wave, or get swamped!
- First, a blog post in the Chronicle of Higher Education makes it clear that Bill Gates is going to use some of his Billions to support new ways of doing business in academia, and, very specifically, OER resources.
- Second, the "Free to Learn" guide, recently published by Hal Plotkin, would seem to have a Community College bent; but the lessons of its practical approach would benefit any educator or administrator. It also has an excellent bibliography for those who are new to this exciting area. From the Abstract: "Open Educational Resources (OER) offer higher education governance leaders a cost-efficient method of improving the quality of teaching and learning while at the same time reducing costs imposed on students related to the purchase of expensive commercial textbooks and learning materials. … Higher education governance officials, particularly boards of trustees and senior academic governance leaders, have a tremendous opportunity to harness the advantages of OER for their institutions."