From Learning in Coffee Houses to Learning with Open Educational Resources

Symposium Journals
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Journal Article
E-Learning and Digital Media, 2013, 10 (2), pp. 174 - 189
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What is `open about Open Educational Resources? How does education become `open when it is removed from the institutional housing of the school or the university and develops in public social settings? Has the Internet, in providing educational content without cost and free of copyright restrictions, provoked a unique and fundamental shift in what we understand education to be and who we understand it to be for? The authors analyse the persistent but elusive claims to `openness in education by examining two moments when education seemed to be released from institutional constraints to be accessible to `everyone. They look at todays Open Educational Resources and the coffee houses of Europe at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Their focus is the learner what constitutes access, the role of technologies in enhancing access, and the social and institutional constraints which are always in tension with the affordances of technologies.
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