OER adoption proceeding steadily – and organically
I read with interest the article on open
educational resources (“The textbook remix,”
May issue). I liked the line about the importance
of letting the use of OER develop organically,
rather than having it “dictated by institutional
policy.” Having been deeply involved in
UNESCO’s 2012 World Open Educational
Resources Congress and in drafting its Paris
Declaration on OER, I have been rather impatient
with the relatively slow take-up of OER. This
article reassured me that adoption is increasing
steadily. The considerable savings that students
make from using open textbooks should increase
Sir John Daniel
Mr. Daniel is a former president of Laurentian University and the U.K. Open University, and served as president of
the Commonwealth of Learning from 2004 to 2012. He has been closely involved in the development of open and
distance learning for 40 years.
Students are adults
as a university student from 1979 to 1983,
I would have been deeply humiliated if my parents had intervened in my relationship with my
university without consulting me, and I certainly
would only have asked them for help in an emergency (“Hovering in the wings,” May issue). Now,
as a professor, I am glad to say that I have not
personally had to deal with a modern “
helicopter” parent, but I know that our department has
had some real problems in the past.
Frankly, I have little sympathy for the concept. At age 18, a person is an adult. We should
deal with our students as adults, with all the
rights and the responsibilities that entails.
Dr. Hultin is a professor in the department of chemistry at the
University of Manitoba.
A step too far
i suppose one might package helicopter parenting in a variety of nice wrappings, but when I see
or hear of it, the alarm bells go off. Yes, universities are complex places, but most young folks are
tech-savvy and can figure things out if given a
chance (or a need) to do so. The helicopter parent denies the young high school graduate the
opportunity to grow up, as all of us had to do at
one time or another. Having one’s hand held
doesn’t facilitate that growing up process very
well for young adults.
Indeed, I worry about our graduates when I
know that their parents took care of business for
them in getting through. It’s bad enough that
most kids are raised in the place where they also
attend university, mine included, and often do
not have much extracurricular work (e.g., cook-
ing, cleaning, laundry, etc.). But taking care of
their university affairs? That’s just going too far,
at least for me.
Dr. Kells is a professor in the department of civil, geological and
environmental engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.
Je me sens appuyée… et sereine
je vous écris en réponse à votre éditorial, « Quand
les parents devraient-ils lâcher prise? » (le numéro
de mai 2017). Vous posez une excellente question.
J’ai des parents omniprésents, comme vous dites.
Lorsque j’ai décidé de poursuivre mes études au
doctorat à l’Université de Montréal, mes parents
m’ont aidée à déménager de Trois-Rivières jusqu’à
ma chambre en résidence à Montréal. Mes parents s’intéressent à mes études et m’encouragent
sans relâche. Je me sens appuyée.
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The open educational resources
movement is not only redefining
the concept of online textbooks,
it aims to reimagine and
democratize learning technologies
by Suzanne Bowness