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Open Resources: sharing is good

January 27, 2012

Lately I’ve been doing a good bit of work on preparing instructors to teach online, including assisting  those who may not be familiar with teaching online (or teaching at all!). One of the important things I ask them to remember is copyright laws. Historically, educators have been a bit lax about following copyright law as here in the US, there is a provision called “fair use,” which most educators assume means that they are exempt from copyright as they are in the education field. This is not true; indeed, schools and instructors can be prosecuted for copyright infringement.

Which is all the more reason to use open resources. Educators have always been a generous group interested in sharing with each other. The Internet makes it even easier to share. Recently such initiatives as the Open Educational Resources Commons have been facilitated and encouraged by the Internet. Cable Green of Washington keeps a blog dealing  with open educational resources. Online hosting of open resources ensures that everyone with an Internet connection can access these resources.

It’s important to remember that open educational resources have been given to the public domain (usually with the restriction that the work not be used for commercial purposes). Anyone who creates educational resources can submit their materials to be linked from this page. If you are using open resources, it’s always a good idea to reciprocate and make your materials available to others.

UPDATE 1/30/12:  Campus Technology has some thought on evaluating open educational resources. 


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