FRI: Keynote - Be prepared to resist: Critically evaluating the impact of openness in the developing world. (Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman)
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Dr Simon Ball
30 November 2018
Openness in education is increasingly presented as one of the ways in which we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, studies conducted by projects such as ROER4D and the OER Hub do suggest that open educational resources and practices have great potential for increasing social and educational equity in the Global South. However, openness is not a universal panacea. Barriers to realizing the potential of openness in the developing world include infrastructure challenges, a lack of locally relevant resources (especially in mother tongue languages), the release of resources in inappropriate formats, and the hazards of encouraging open online participation without also offering guidance about how to keep safe online. In this presentation I argue that the open education community should be prepared to resist uncritical promotion of openness in the developing world and instead that we should adopt collaborative approaches to implementing openness that help ensure initiatives are useful, effective and meet local needs.