Making Sense of Open Education – Days 3 & 4

As I was unable to get to posting yesterday’s activity, I am going to try and combine the Day 3 and Day 4 posts all in one.

Day 3 was a bit of a historical trip into Open Learning and Open Education Practice/Resources. The activity for the day was to think about how one of the following was relevant and related to my own practice: Open Education Schools, MOOCs, Distance Education, Open Learning, or E-Learning.

I am going to focus on Distance Education and E-Learning as when I returned to school to complete my M.Ed. those were two topics that I was very focused on as part of my research and writing. They are also ideas that I feel integrate very well with the idea of using Open Education Resources and Practices. Though this week’s content was clear on the idea that technology is not the sole driver for openness in education, it is hard to deny that it has not played a huge role in the rise of open education in the past decade or so. Without technology, we really cannot have MOOCs such as the Making Sense of Education MOOC.

Another way that Open Education and distance learning are connected is through the resources used. By providing online learning we are encouraging people from all over the world to participate in education and often the availability of traditional textbooks might be limited. By using freely available resources that can be accessed online from anywhere we are providing equity to all students, not just those who have access to the (often expensive and overpriced) textbook. Don’t get me wrong, this is also an issue in non-distance courses for students as often the students we are teaching are struggling with paying rent and buying food. By encumbering them with a pricy textbook as well just doesn’t seem right, especially when much of the same material is available in alternative, open ways. It often just requires us, as the educators, to find and combine those resources.

Original photo by Carl Cerstrand on Unsplash and modified by Steven Secord using the memegenerator on

Which brings me to Day #4 – finding and using open educational resources (OERs). Our activity for today is to jump in and find a resource that we can modify for our own use. To start I’ve found an image on Unsplash that I’ve modified to use when/if I teach a course/unit on OERs in the classroom.


I was also successful in spending time going through some of the repositories to find Tony Bates’ book “Teaching in a Digital Age” which is licensed Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial meaning that I would be able to use the whole or part of the text in the above-mentioned course/unit.

I was highly impressed with the list of repositories provided in this module. I have seen some before, however, I’ve never seen all of these and I’ve been busy the past couple of months looking for resources to use in my courses this coming September. To be honest, I thought I had emptied the well of options, however, I was obviously wrong. It gives me hope that I might still find some useful resources for the education program I am teaching in this coming semester.

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