This is a question I address at the OER14 conference at Newcastle on 27 April. I am taking the example of the Community Learning Innovation Fund. This was £4 million of Skills Funding agency money provided to 97 community learning projects across the country in 2012-13.
It was a requirement of funding that all materials produced were shared with others and the Funding Agency preferred use of an Open Government Licence rather than Creative Commons.
Materials and planning documents were shared by each funded project in a ‘Project in a Box’ and theortically made available. Some are still easy to find from the NIACE link page others seem to have moved from their original web locations.
I did conduct a brief online poll from participants and have some interesting results. Here are some headlines.
TRAINING STILL NEEDED
However the following questions suggest that for the majority the awareness is only skin deep!
Q: As a Community Educator are you aware of how to find OERs that you can use?
Q As a Community Educator are you aware of how to adapt OERs to meet your specific learners’ needs?
DOES IT MATTER?
With many community educators focused on learners rather than content it may well be that the issue of content sharing is less important.
However, it seems to me that we are all ‘missing a trick here’ and at the very least people need to know more about Open Education if they are to make the best resources available to their learners.|