Important: Unesco Replaces OER Acronym

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Today brings an important announcement from Unesco pertaining to open education. Those educational resources that have been referred to for the past nine years as “Open Educational Resources” are to be renamed. There are two reasons for the end of the use of the OER acronym. One is that there is continuing debate between those who believe these resources should be called “open” and those prefer to term “free” to describe them. Also, simply referring to them as “educational” resources has been shown to exclude many other areas where they have become increasingly important, such as research and training.

As a result, officially they are no more to be referred to as “Open Educational Resources”, or OERs. From 1st April on, they are to be known as “Freely/Openly Enabled Resources Supporting Training, Education, and Research”.

Unesco officials explained that while they realize that many people have become accustomed to the now deprecated “OER” terminology, it is important that these vital, renewable intellectual resources be renamed to something that highlights all of the areas where they are transforming education around the world. As such, it is expected that before long, those in the movement will become familiar with and happy to use the new term “FOERSTER” to describe these crucial resources.

Please make a note of it!

3 Comments

  1. Comment by CWE:

    It’s about time, too! Although the new acronym is long, it is pronounceable and much more inclusive than the deprecated exclusionist ‘OER’. This is one of the rare occasions that international bureaucrats get something right.

  2. Comment by Gene Loeb, Ph.D.:

    The concept of open and free education has for a number of years had a limited audience and group of participants. It is timely, that at a time when work in this area has matured and spread, the true meaning is reflected in a new acronym. It reflects the advancements in research and applications and the expanded uses in more disciplines and activities. Therefore, its promise is now becoming real.

  3. Comment by Sebastian Panakal:

    Well done. This is abundantly descriptive in spirit and deed. Thank you.

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