OER and equity

Posted on January 17, 2017


or, too verbose for Twitter R Us.

So I read on twitter that “Open educational resources () and open source software are the single best way to ensure for all students.”


Let’s talk about ‘equity’ and the adult ed folks in need of basic literacy and numeracy.


OER are starting to serve some people well.   IT’s an awesome adventure.

However, when I talk about adult ed and literacy and numeracy, I’m referred to OpenStax and OpenEd and… no, those materials are not designed for these folks.   The designers for learning MOOC is a single example of a real effort to get OER  materials designed and delivered to adult ed providers who need it, but it only chips at a few ice flakes on part of the iceberg.


I’ve been encouraged to give the #openlearning cMOOC a chance because it might not be as dry as I fear… but then I read statements like that.

It’s analogous to having an amazing library that’s “open to everybody” — well, except it’s in the nicest part of town, with no infrastructure for access and — erm, you don’t even want to be walking down that street if you don’t look like you live there and don’t know the hidden social rules. (And of course you have to have time to get there between shifts, and…)  Still, it’s OPEN!!!

It is open.  IT’s wonderful.   However, it isn’t equity. (Sorry, that’s my mathiness showing.)  And y’all wonder why only folks with graduate educations do MOOCs.

WHen I ask about adult ed and equity, and the answers are all about LTI and sharing protocols — again, I need time and training to even know what that means.   And frankly, based on my experience w/ Canvas…  knowing what they mean doesn’t help.  They’re utterly inadequate.     Getting units after an amount is asking too much. Logging in? THat’s our first weedout of the unworthy.  (The first of *many.* )

Only Canvas is the venue that *is* more open.   MOst “open” stuff that I learned about at the OER conference?  Oh, it’s open … to … faculty.   To major efforts at institutions. Oops.   Equity.  Right.

THen there’s UDL, and all the preaching that it’s best not to apply it retroactively.   This is a golden opportunity, people…. if you really mean that stuff about equity.   LEt’s do!

(And sigh, I did go back and do a note to self on Canvas.  YEs, I was told that ‘don’t assume people who insult and belittle you mean to be negative!’   and I do understand that that’s the culture… but I also know that nobody’s going to so much as notice whether I lurk or not… it’s so much like cycling communities, where people will drop you in a heartbeat and then wonder why no beginners ever go on the rides… they don’t *mean* to put you down but you’re such a Fred!)

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Posted in: MOOC