Donald Clark on why we shouldn’t worry about teacher re-use of OER

Donald Clark’s recent post listing significant obstacles or setbacks to the OER movement is pretty brilliant. One key point he makes that I hadn’t thought of is an “obsession with reusability”. He writes, “the obsession with the reuse of content by teachers, rather than straight use by learners, has led to an inward-looking attitude. Teaching is a means to an end and the most valuable OER resources are those used directly by learners.”

Alan Levine notes the rarity of actual instances of reuse/remix. Part of the problem goes beyond awareness, past discoverability, and right to the actual¬†conspicuousness of reusuable learning activities for everyday teachers. (I’ve talked about this as a key value of¬†Canvas Commons).

But I think Clark’s point is especially brilliant, and leads back to his implied observation that the most successful OER projects were designed not to foster teacher re-use, but to directly engage learners (Wikipedia, Khan Academy, etc). This suggests that if OER efforts focus on student re-use, teacher re-use will follow.