I believe the adoption, on a grand scale, of OER resources may be upon us. Consider the current state of the economic world. Unemployment rates are rising across the world. It is said that when people lose work during a recession they most often turn to further their education at higher institutions. But wait; don’t we already have a capacity issue in most HE institutions?
An article from the BBC this morning prompted me to consider this. According to the article, universities in the UK are reporting an “unprecedented rise” in applications in the range of 6-37%. That translates to many applicants likely being turned away from traditional institutions across the UK and likely around the world.
It certainly is a double negative situation. Just when the world needs more highly qualified people to compete in the workforce, more are being turned away from the opportunity to study. Just when HE institutions are going to require more funding, governments are going to be looking for ways to cut back!!!
I hope to see a great movement towards using open educational resources to supplement or in some case replace traditional classroom time. Students with access to the network now have access to thousands of resources they can use to build their knowledge base. Furthermore, lecturers, overburdened by increasing student numbers, can make use of existing resources to increase efficiency in creating lesson plans.
Its a challenging time for the entire world, but I believe that we can embrace technology as an enabler for free education and knowledge, and hopefully stay positive throughout.