On Pérez-Mateo, Maina, Guitert, & Romero 2011.

“Experts” (what is that!) have found that “active learning, collaboration, creativity and using technology” enhances learning. That is great. We need learning that is more active, more collaboration, more creativity and we need to develop skills to use more technology.

On page 2 the authors state: “The use of open and collaborative tools (my italics, KJ) like blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, podcasts, video channels, etc. is becoming an increasingly feasible alternative to reshape the traditional e-Learning scenario that is currently based on closed, proprietary, institutionalized systems (also my italics, KJ).”

This is a false conflict.

The conflict reflects the difficulties regarding what the openess of open resources for education really is, but also what the closeness of closed institutionalized system is. These resources have been, like in Pérez-Mateo, Maina, Guitert, & Romero 2011, called open in complete opposite to for instance an LMS, which in accordance with this effort to make sharp borders between the two has been treated as ”closed”.[1] In an LMS you could have different tools for education all of them locked up with only one key. To use OER outside an LMS – in Google, padlet, blogs, worle, etc – you need one key for each and every one of these tools. In addition, in order to use them you must give away parts of yourself, your privacy, to many unknown companies. To call this ”open” is to me only a rhetoric figure for selling in a commodity on a developing education market, which also has led to the emergence of ”big data”.

The question is: how come we accept to call these resources ”open” and an LMS “closed”? Is a resource open when you have to register in order to be able to use it, when you have to give away parts of yourself to unknown companies in order to be able to use this stuff? Of course, it is not open, but it is a good selling argument.

To me it is obvious that this platforms versus tools conflict is constructed somewhere on the timeline from say the 1990s until now, but for what reasons I do not know. The concept OER began to be widely used from around 2002 (Wikipedia on OER). Instead of this conflict, we need to use all available tools in order to satisfy different students and teachers, to handle different learning situations and to fulfill all syllabuses.

[1] Here I reuse some of my posts in a discussion in our community (https://plus.google.com/115524003003016086422/posts/KiMUoAdumoP)

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