[Open-education] Is there still an OER movement?

Mick FM mick at flossmanuals.net
Fri Aug 22 14:29:07 UTC 2014

another cross post - sorry!

On 22/08/14 14:06, Andy.Lane wrote:
> David
> There are at least two main responses to the questions being posed
> partly because of the way they are framed.
> First, an implication of the questions is whether it is OK to say, in
> principle or in theory, there is or ever was an OER movement. Second,
> what is happening in practice.
> For the former, the use of the word movement has been one way of
> framing  a human activity system which involves people and
> organizations doing something with OER. Without going into formal
> system definitions people could use community or network or some other
> word in place of movement but the metaphorical choice of movement over
> those is probably down to the impression the authors/users want to
> give to say this is going somewhere and is not a minority sport. I
> could  babble on for much longer pointing out using different theories
> and concepts why OER movement may or may not be a good term to use to
> describe a perceived phenomenon but equally a lot comes down to (your)
> perspective and what purpose you are using it for. So it could be that
> people use it to ‘promote’ what is happening – if we say it enough it
> enters the discourse in such a way that this framing dominates how
> people think and possibly act. However on the more practical view I
> also do research into something called knowledge exchange and I could
> claim that there was a knowledge exchange movement. However, most
> people who practice knowledge exchange know little about the
> theoretical framing and research into the area that goes on. Or if
> they do they are most interested in knowing whether that knowledge can
> help inform their practice i.e. do their job better.  Now all this is
> rather a tortuous way for me to claim that the use and abuse of OER is
> rife around the world but most ‘practitioners’ do not recognize that
> is what they are doing. So there is a large hidden movement some of
> which may come to understand the discourse in the(self)  declared
> movement of folk who say they do use and abuse OER. Both need each
> other and if one is missing then the overall movement is probably
> going nowhere. I am optimistic that there will still be an OER
> movement in years to come and it will grow but how big is difficult to
> say.
> On the other hand I could have said, and have done so before, that OER
> or open education will have made it as a movement when no one talks
> about it because it is an accepted part of everyday practice. [damned
> academics, always hedging their bets J]
> Andy

Hi Andy and all, 

I'm wondering when OER and movement first started to be brought together?
Was it widely in use before the 2007 review sponsored by Hewlett? I
wasn't around in the OER community at the time.

Is it too cynical to ask - did the Hewlett foundation look at the Free
Software movement and the Free Culture movement and say - "Hey movements
are really moving. Let's write a theory of change to seed activities
with an aim to create our very own movement. That would be neat." ?

Certainly, this points in this direction on page 3 of the review.
"A theme and implicit goal of this model is to build a community so that
the emerging OER movement, stimulated by the Hewlett Foundation, will
create incentives for a diverse set of institutional stakeholders to
enlarge and sustain this new culture of contribution." 

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