OER: Make up then break up | Megan Beckett
"Having gone through 2 major projects now to produce open educational resources (OER) from scratch, I know what it takes! We produce, source and aggregate all the different pieces together, whether it is text, illustrations, photographs, videos, simulations, concept maps, or all of the above. The result is a complete package, under an open license, for a specific purpose or context. As in our case at Siyavula, our open textbooks are produced according to the South African curriculum for Maths and Science. The whole package is there ready for teachers, learners and parents to use, for free. But, the benefits of an open license go far beyond just being free. Just to recap the 'OER mantra”', the benefits are:  reuse  remix  revise  redistribute ... You can access our open textbooks on their websites to read online, on mobile phones and on Mxit, You can also download them as pdfs and the source files (which for the moment are LaTeX, so not very accessible to the ordinary teacher, but plans are in the pipeline to use the OERPub Editor). This content can then be used by anyone to create their own version by remixing and revising it. But, we are still presenting them with the whole package (which is an excellent package in its entirety in my opinion :) ), but maybe a teacher only wants only the biology illustrations to create worksheets, or all the physics concept maps for revision exercises, or only the chemistry activities for practicals. I think this is more often the case than not with teachers when they create their own resources from what is available. I first started thinking about this last year at one of our review workshops with the Department of Basic Education where one of the curriculum advisors asked me if he could get a folder with all the Gr 7-9 illustrations in it to use in their tests in their district. So, although we were providing the whole package for use for free, he wanted access to a subset of this package (ie. all the illustrations) for his own remixing. And, he would have further benefited, and probably be more likely to take advantage of the open license, if these component parts of the whole package are easily accessible. In other words, in creating OER: make up for reuse, but break up for remix ..."