My experience with Open Educational Resources goes back to the days of photocopiers and whiteout. When I was randomly “liberating” myself form copyright – as I perceived it then. I could NEVER ask a new teacher to replicate that process for two reasons; 1-because I now know it to fly in the face of the spirit of copyright/intellectual property and 2-because there is so much more available to teachers today in the digital tidal wave. Whiteout and a copy machine will not absolve you of copyright liability, but more importantly it will not create anything new, improved, engaging either.
While I love the spirit of Creative Commons; I will again mention my beliefs are more inline with Renee Hobbs and her Copyright Clarity views: Participate 4.1.1 and Communicate 1.1.2 referenced here. I think anything which gives a teacher guidelines to follow, like a checklist, is good. Anything which makes a teacher analyze the purpose/product is even better. What a great skill to have in the back pocket as you walk into a classroom full of students who will never use a copy machine and whiteout, but likely will instead search available media and work to create something new from it!
The idea behind product of content is also starting to change as companies or individuals react to the idea that educators will have fewer and fewer dollars to spend on stagnant content. To compete for dollars those companies and/or individuals are looking for alternative fund sources, but making their intent to share with a wide audience a fact in the funding. CK-12, Curriki and Achievement Standards Network (ASN) all have made resources available to educators and are asking backers to supply the cost. Sometimes the quality of OER varies from traditionally pay for products or even amongst themselves. A good example is the difference between ASN and Academic Benchmarks (AB) standards. The OER version, ASN, of your standards may not be as up-to-date or as accurate as the paid service of AB standards. Another method is the freemium option companies such as MasteryConnect advance. You may use our product at a scaled back version, but you need to pay for scanning more than ten questions. The brilliance of their idea is the users upload the content whether they are free or paid for the entire MasteryConnect community to use.
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