IPA Secretary General, José Borghino, spoke about Open Educational Resources (OERs) during a webinar organized to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day by the UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition.
Borghino explained that, for many years, educational publishers have embraced OERs as complementary to the core educational resources that publishers produce and distribute. Since teaching began, teachers have developed their own resources and shared them with colleagues. But teachers know that textbooks and other high-quality resources produced by professional publishers pay for themselves over and over again when measured against the cost of teacher-time. When surveyed, teachers are consistently positive about the quality and range of textbooks available in the marketplace and do not think they are too expensive. They also agree that publishers’ offerings reduce their workload considerably and that they save the educational system an enormous amount of time and money.
OERs work best alongside professionally published content but a resource pool built solely around OERs is not sustainable.
Borghino emphasized that educational publishers are always asking how classroom materials can best allow teachers to work with pupils to produce knowledgeable, socialized, confident individuals at the end of their schooling or tuition. He asserted that the best educational outcomes occur in countries where publishers are allowed to operate in open competitive markets which give teachers a wide choice of resources, where local content predominates, and where there is intense collaboration between publishers, teachers, researchers and governments.