OERs an African "thing"?

OERs an African "thing"?

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  • Antonio


    Greetings to all,
    My name is António from Mozambique but currently in Zimbabwe.
    This is not so much of a contribution but rather an observation.
    I couldn’t help not talking about this: During the presentation Dr Jasmine Renner mentioned that non african elearning practitioners (Russia and China) believe that OERs apply only to african contexts. As an e-learning practitioner and OER advocate I was caught by surprise and started to wonder… beside China and Russia, could this kind of thinking be affecting other communities around the globe?
    I wold certainly benefit from those experienced in this matter. In all honesty I was under the impression that OERs are being globally embraced.
    Im interested in knowing more.
    Thank you

    #emergeafrica #digiteracies #chimuzu



    Hi António:)

    I asked my colleague Assoc. Prof. Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams about this and she says:

    “Open Educational Resources is most definitely not just an African phenomenon as can be seen by the OER World Map, the OER Impact Map and the fact that there are a number of international OER consortia (e.g. Open Education Consortium). In fact is shows the dominance of the US and particularly in the College sector.”

    My other colleague Glenda Cox has also just completed her PhD thesis investigating why academic staff choose to share or not share their teaching resources as open educational resources. Part of it has to do with IP restrictions of institutions. But even at an institution where openness is embraced such as UCT, OER creation is not the norm. The fact that we have a repository for OERs I suppose is just a start. Another aspect is education and knowledge about Creative Commons licenses. I recommend these licensor guidelines – Creative Commons SA, but perhaps they are similar to that of other countries in Africa or even globally. I’m not too sure about the differences…

    I am proud to have created some OERs (see here).

    I am wondering whether this might not be a generalisation about trends in more communist countries. I imagine the political climate also impacts on how sharing is perceived and power relations between countries. Or we’re ‘othering’ practices in other countries without evidence? Is it because Africa is perceived as ‘poor’ that OERs are popular? However, the maps show that OERs are not particularly high in Russia or China – South Africa is even doing better and Kenya better still, runner up to US, UK and Canada as the top three. Perhaps there is an impetus towards OERs because SA and Kenya are among the countries in Africa that also have high ICT in education adoption. If someone can share more exact figures on this, that would be great. Maybe there is a correlation?

    What I want to stress is OER creation and not just consumption – we must become producers and share localised materials, copy and paste is not what OERs was meant to be about. I challenge my African colleagues on this – let’s become global contributors.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Nicola.
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