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

Mick FM mick at flossmanuals.net
Fri Aug 22 15:59:44 UTC 2014

On 22/08/14 15:50, Andy.Lane wrote:
> Mick
> A good question about when OER and movement were first used and one I
> cannot answer without doing  a lot of digging. [I suspect it comes
> from the original UNESCO meeting when the term OER was coined].
Here's a Google of "OER movement" with date restrictions from 2002 (OER
coined) to 2007.


Not very rigorous and a lot of false positives but some interesting
stuff there, mainly related to Hewlett funded OCW. 

> As to HF you are projecting a rather cynical take on how they work.
> They are genuinely interested in promoting change and improvement in
> education (among others) but normally, as with most Foundations see
> themselves as social venture capitalists where they will invest in
> areas governments are not  but only to pump prime matters. If such
> investment (with a return being better educational outcomes for
> people) is to be worthwhile they will want  their philanthropy to lead
> to sustained change and/or additional funding from other sources to
> keep things going. With OER being one funded activity not confined to
> the US or even California where most money goes they did put in a lot
> of money and effort to support the community/movement/network
> including the OCW Consortium (and most importantly CC). Of course the
> FLOSS arena did influence thinking but HF have never funded FLOSS
> stuff per se but were more interested in how open licensing aided
> stuff. As I said in my other email the use of the word movement
> probably gained ground because it sounded better than community or
> network. NB perhaps need to check if people have talked about the open
> licensing movement and if so when that started.
> Andy

I agree with your more balanced description but it still invites an
interpretation that Hewlett and their funded projects encourage the term
'movement' to 'big up' their impact or return on investment.

Clearly this social venture capitalism as you term it has had a lot of
positive effects and outcomes but I wonder if there are negative
side-effects too. Especially now that OCW is morphing into MOOCs. Take
edX's disappearing CC licences for example. 

This is a worry too -  "The prominence of university MOOCs and
e-textbooks within search aggregators not only marginalises externally
produced resources"
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