The Access2OER project seeks to bring awareness to digital divide issues that effectively stop access to otherwise open educational resources.
Open licensing and public distribution of OERs is necessary, but not sufficient, for end-users to make good use of such OERs. An important consideration is the connectivity available to the end user.
Often, the issue of (lack of) connectivity is seen purely to do with the available technical (national) infrastructure, while capacity building and human resources aspects are neglected. However, roviding OERs in appropriate ways, as well as managing local networks carefully to allow access are paramount to ensuring access to OERs. Without such skills and best practice guidelines, even in scenarios where technical infrastructure is plenty, access to OERs is difficult.
Two concrete suggestions:
- When you design a website (or commission a website) you should follow appropriate web design guidelines, such as Aptivate's Web Design Guidelines for Low Bandwidth
- You should make sure that your local area network is well managed, for instance following the guidelines in the open book How to Accelerate Your Internet, that was specifically written for the international development sector.
Unfortunately it seems that many of these guidelines haven't yet penetrated into the OER community, hence the suggestion to set up the present 'Access2OER' project.
If you would like to join in, please contact me, or add throughts to this page. Bjoern is watching this page, and is looking forward to developing this project further.