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During the early years of the 2000s, the words "open education" were only heard in the context of the broader phrase "open educational resources." This usage pattern unfortunately focused the minds of people almost exclusively on content, subtly nudging them away from considering the broader potential for the application of the principle of openness in education generally. And while OER are a critically important portion of modern educational infrastructure, they are only that - infrastructure.

Across a variety of contexts, the development and availability of high quality infrastructure is important for enabling valuable services and facilitating innovation. Education is no different. As OER became more widely available in the mid-2000s, thinking began to extend to open education itself - the practices, policies, and pedagogies that enable the sharing of OER as well as the new practices, policies, and pedagogies enabled by OER (Wiley, 2011).

The book from which this excerpt is taken - Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations - describes some of these practices and policies. The Guide is based on practices at Otago polytechnic.

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Activity Seven - Open Education Resources and Philosophies.
  • Explore Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations.
  • Listen to the recording of the web conference presentation by Leigh Blackall about Open Education practices.
  • Explore Open Education Resource Foundation at Otago Polytechnic and Wikieducator to find out more about the vision for free education to all.
  • Discuss on your blog:
    • a definition of open education practices;
    • some strategies you could use; and
    • why you believe open education resources and philosophies are important for teaching and learning.

Other resources