Creative Commons Licensed Wikimedia Commons image by Pöllö

Creative Commons Licensed Wikimedia Commons image by Pöllö

Having failed to find a story of OER Reuse in the forest I took my search to the mysterious waters of Loch OER. My luck was a tad better having surfaced a written story of Latin Tattoos by Laura Gibbs and a not boring OER video by Brendan Murphy.

That’s not many stories in my collection, and I am committed to presenting such stories a week from Friday for an online presentation to Ontario educators.

With all the OERs out there, and all the ways people are creating and teaching with online materials, how can there so few stories of reuse? Is reuse a myth? a comforting story we tell ourselves as we push content online?

My belief is getting shakier.

Perhaps people are stuck on what an “official OER” is. I don;t care about the thing, or whether it is or is not an OER, have you incorporated something someone else made and shared into your teaching? I am invested in the reuse, not the status or quality of the thing.

Maybe everyone creates original content.

Nothing is a remix.

Other possibilities I have heard. “People are shy.”

Really? Teachers who get up in front of classes, in person or online are shy? They perform all the time! I’m shy.

I want to hear people tell their own stories. If you do not like your face on camera (my hand raised), do a screen cast. Put a stuffed animal on the camera. It’s the story, the story.

So, out there on the lonely ice, without any flicker of a sign of an OER reuse story, I pull into my lonely tent and do what desperate story seekers do. I did my own.

Rule of Thirds is sort of a two in one. It’s about my reuse of a web browser tool (which ahem no longer works) to help people see the Photography Rule of Thirds in web photos.

I used this in ds106 when we did Visual Storytelling and did a section on becoming better photographers. But I also re-used another colleagues strategy for having the students create a class resource of photo techniques.

But I do not want to use my stories, I want to use yours.

Are there really so few stories of OER reuse? It is that lonely out there?

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by Martin Gommel

Bueller? Bueller?

Bring me some stories please, I am ready to give up.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Alan, if you are keen on public domain texts as OERs, I just spent my summer creating a giant Myth-Folklore UN-Textbook with public domain and other non-copyrighted mythology and folklore texts:
    How it works here:
    If you would like something in praise of the public domain (I LOVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN), that’s been the story of my summer… I guess it’s kind of like a giant curated remix or something. Anyway, it will never be done, but it is less un-done than it was at the beginning of the summer, ha ha. If it would help, I could write it up! 🙂

  2. If I do an audio or video thing for the students, I’ll share it with you! Way less likely, though, since it doesn’t really fit for the material itself which is all text and images, except for the great LibriVox audio stuff … the students in turn are creating text and image material for their own stories as it is a writing class. 🙂

    1. Hi Beth- you do know I’m a big fan of Smarthistory going way back? Its a lot of OERs. But can you tell me a story of maybe on example of how one bit of it has been reused? That’s what I seek. Thanks

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