Open Education

Why share it when you can sell it?

Growing up, I was one of those students that really disliked group work. I felt as though I would do the bulk of the projects, and other group members would benefit from my hard work. Initially, the idea of Open Education came across as being a similar. Why should anyone share work and resources that they spend so much time making, and not receive any credit?

The following video helped put my thoughts into perspective: Why Open Education Matters by Blink Tower. Having access to quality education is something I have taken for granted. Being a university graduate, I was always exposed to new research in the field, which I now realize is a commodity. Curtis explains the need for open education as an essential resource that grants access to information – regardless of barriers – in order to help deliver quality education. Regardless of barriers. What an amazing concept.

By Blink Tower on Vimeo

I am still within my first four years of teaching, and when I need inspiration for new ideas, the following list of resources never let me down:




I have always been so grateful for the information these resources provide free of charge (I need to be quite desperate to bring myself to pay for anything). For years, these resources, among others, have inspired me to improve my pedagogy and ultimately my students’ learning experience. Like Catherine, I have come to realize that these are all forms of Open Educational Resources (OERs).

David Wiley is known as a pioneer of OERs – The following image summarizes five core principles of the concept: 5 R’s of Open Education

I find myself constantly remixing and revising different resources I find, but I have never gotten to the point of redistribution. I have always felt a desire to give back to the online community of educators that have helped me begin my teaching career, but rarely do I make time to share the resources I make. Putting countless hours into resources then brings up feelings from my childhood – why should I share and let others reap the benefits of my hard work?

It’s my ego – and it’s about time I let that go. I always said that one day, I would make myself a blog and that would be my platform for sharing resources that I found successful in my classroom. Lucky for me, I have one now! This week has been humbling and a good reminder of why OERs are important. I have come to realize how much I use them myself, and because most resources I make have inspired by others, I have no business trying to sell it. I have been benefiting from generous teachers for years, and it’s about time I start paying it forward.

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