The purpose of the Why Open Education Matters video competition is to raise awareness about the availability, uses, and huge potential for Open Educational Resources for teachers, students, and schools around the world. But of course you might be wondering, what actually are Open Educational Resources--OER, for short?
Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research materials. These might be full courses, coure modules, educational videos or animations, textbooks, or interactive content like games. The special thing about Open Educational Resources are the rights that you--as a teacher, student, or anyone--are automatically granted to use the educational materials. From a legal standpoint, OER are either 1) in the public domain, or 2) have been released under a copyright license that permits you to use, customize, and remix the work for free. We mean "free" in two senses of the word. First, users of OER get free (no-cost) access to the materials. Second, users of OER get free (free as in freedom) permission engage in the “4Rs.” You may:
* Revise: adapt and improve the Open Educational Resource so it better meets your needs
* Reuse: use the original or your new version of the Open Educational Resource in a wide range of contexts
* Remix: combine or “mashup” the Open Educational Resource with other OER to produce new materials
* Redistribute: make copies and share the original Open Educational Resource or your new version with others
Check out open education advocate David Wiley's explanation of OER and why it's good to be open below.