Open Schooling with Open Educational Resources: Opening Doors, Creating Opportunities
Over the past decade, open educational resources (OER) have gained considerable traction as a means to overcome many serious educational barriers worldwide. The OER movement began in the technology sector, where open source software was designed by and circulated among like-minded individuals and shared in ways that encouraged others to add to and improve on the applications. Shifting resource development and access to education away from corporations and into the hands of the practitioners was not a new concept. Educators have always produced resources for teaching and learning, but the resources used were typically informal, not shared and primarily used in face-to-face environments. With an array of technology increasingly available to educators, a rivalry between proprietary and open source camps emerged in the arena of educational content at the tertiary level. When a highly respected, established institution such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) made the bold move to share tertiary course content openly on the Internet, disruption of the dominant proprietary distribution model of educational resources began in earnest. Within a decade, 250 tertiary institutions would follow their lead. // Series formerly called "Perspectives on Distance Education."