Dr. Blyth Abstract
This presentation explores the potential impact of Open Educational Resources (OER) on language learning and teaching in the 21st century. OERs are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits sharing, accessing, repurposing and collaborating with others. Relatively new to many foreign language educators, OERs are gaining in scope and quality and are supported by an increasingly robust community that includes scholars, educators and learners from around the globe. While most descriptions of OERs focus on the product—high quality digital materials that are free to use—this talk focuses on the impact of OERs on the process of language learning and teaching.
The presentation begins by defining the terms “Open Education” and “Open Educational Resources”, as well as the more abstract term “openness” that is a central feature of recent ecological approaches to language learning. Next, several exemplars of open foreign language resources are demonstrated (e.g., open courseware, open textbooks, open language tools). The talk ends by sketching out how the use and development of OERs is changing fundamental practices of students, teachers and textbook authors. In other words, the very process of how OERs are created, adapted, and improved is “opening up” foreign language education in potentially transformative ways.