Introduction to Section 2: Producing, reusing and recreating OERs

Littlejohn, Allison (2012). Introduction to Section 2: Producing, reusing and recreating OERs. In: Okada, Alexandra; Connolly, Teresa and Scott, Peter eds. Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources. IGI Global.


If you are passionate about the potential of Open Educational Resources to transform learning you will have been inspired by the following claims: “The most profound impact of the Internet… is its ability to support and expand the various aspects of social learning”. “Attention has moved from access to information towards access to other people”. “Web2.0 blurs the boundaries between the producers and consumers of content”.

These claims were made some years ago by John Seely Brown in his review of the potential impact of Technology on learning, Minds on Fire (2008). In his critique Brown claimed that the ‘Open Educational Resources (OER) movement’ – the network of people who support the development and embedding of a culture of open sourcing, open resources, open knowledge, free sharing and peer collaboration in society – have assembled building blocks that allow the emergence of ‘open participatory learning ecosystems’. Why then has the production, reuse and recreation of Open Educational Resources not resulted in the sorts of dynamic ecosystems that Seely Brown predicted?

Transformational change towards a culture of open sharing requires everyone involved in the processes of learning and teaching to ‘unlearn’ their current beliefs, values and assumptions (Dede, 2007). Is the idea of ‘unlearning’ and moving away from known practices and values too challenging? Are teachers unwilling to change their professional practice? Do learners find it difficult to change how they learn? Or are the problems associated with organisational or technical challenges?

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