Exploring the Nexus of OER and Educational Technology

While increased access to the internet and computing devices has been instrumental to the growth and institutionalization of the global movement toward open educational resources (OER), technology choices (often made by educational institutions – and their vendors – on behalf of students) can serve to amplify and/or mute key features of openness. Indeed, the often unspoken relationship between OER and educational technology can be fraught with misplaced assumptions, red flags, value conflicts, and licensing complications.

That the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology has an initiative and policy position on OER and not on open source software speaks to some of the broader political and practical challenges facing the field.

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