Before the open educational resources (OER) (UNESCO, 2002) movement, CALL practitioners shared their work freely with colleagues. For the past four decades, the two presenters have been developing and maintaining OERs for CALL, where OER is taken to mean free and open to all as opposed to more formal definitions (e.g. www.oercommons.org). Here, they describe several OER projects and their motivations.
Presenter 1 started as a “teacher-programmer” in the early 1980s, developing Apple II-based exercises for his ESL students and sharing them freely with interested colleagues at conferences. He founded the Clearinghouse for ESL Public Domain Software at Ohio University in 1985, providing a home and distribution process for others’ free software. Soon after, he began donating his programs to the TESOL CALL Interest Section library. In the years since, he has made a wide range of OERs freely available. Among these are websites containing detailed course notes for his classes with links to other free resources, a website for a survey of unanswered research questions in CALL, various published papers, an ebook on foundations of CALL, and slides from dozens of conference presentations.
Presenter 2 became involved in the 1980s in trying to mitigate the digital divide. She taught programming in BASIC, using freely-available resources and very cheap computers, before moving to the Apple IIe and an interest in free software. She and others in the new CALL Interest Section began distributing software and maintaining the CALL Interest Section Software List, with special attention to free or inexpensive options. With the Web in the mid-1990s, a whole new arena for resource sharing emerged. She began her Tech Tips of the Month to help teachers, including those in low-resource areas, use the Internet effectively. Her website now provides resources for teachers, most Creative Commons licensed and free (with attribution) to teachers. She recently created a template to help those interested in project-based learning create their own open educational resource to share.
They conclude by discussing some of the challenges of OERs and describing their plans for future open resources, encouraging others to do the same.
For the past four decades, the two presenters have devoted substantial portions of their professional careers to developing and maintaining free and open resources for CALL. They begin this session with what motivated them to start working in this area.
In the 1980s, microcomputers like the Sinclair, Apple IIe, and IBM PC made CALL more widely possible. Both presenters, like others, were inspired then to begin creating and sharing free educational technology resources. Over time, even more teachers were involved in using CALL and sharing ideas with each other. The presenters describe some of the open resources that they created and shared, along with the stories behind them. They conclude by discussing some of the challenges of creating and disseminating freely usable material and describing their plans for future open resources, encouraging their colleagues to do the same.
Deborah Healey, University of Oregon, United States
Phil Hubbard, Stanford University, United States
About the Presenter(s)
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See this presentation on the full schedule – Sunday Schedule