While the open content movement in education continues to gain steam, more teachers are starting to learn about free content they can use and adapt to their own needs for their classrooms.
But educators are focusing too heavily on acquiring content, rather than contributing and improving to it, according to a company that helps teachers and students access open education resources.
“People often hear the content piece rather than the open piece,” said Bill Fitzgerald, the founder of FunnyMonkey, a Portland, Ore.-based open educational resources company, during a presentation at Educon 2.5. “And it shifts [an understanding] about what open content is.”
That shift is understandable. In education, open content refers to any textbooks, lesson plans, supplemental educational resources, or other educational artifacts that can be freely modified to suit educators’ individual needs. Access to open content is often free or more affordable than proprietary alternatives, so for cash-strapped schools and resourceful teachers who want to go beyond what traditional textbooks offer, this movement, which is being celebrated next month, can be a game-changer.
To keep the focus on the two-way direction of open content — both contribution and use — Fitzgerald and his team offered a framework of nine tips, based on “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” an essay about open source software engineering.
GOOD CONTENT COMES FROM PERSONAL PASSION.
Maybe a particular unit gets you enthused. Or maybe a lesson plan irks you because it falls short of your expectations. Either way, that enthusiasm should be the catalyst for creating, editing, or Continue reading