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Open Educational Resources Battle Piracy

by Sri Ravipati

Campus Technology

Article excerpt

Only 1 in 5 Students Obtain All Learning Materials Legally

Students in higher education today are living in the era of the $400 college textbook, and many have had to find creative, more affordable ways to obtain textbooks. A new study looks at the ways that college and university students across the globe are accessing learning materials.

Our take

Pirates in Our Midst!

As educational materials have become increasingly expensive, some students—about 80 percent of them, in fact—turn to piracy to gain access to the information they need. Teachers are not immune to this temptation either. What role could open educational resources (OER) play in helping to minimize these issues?

Easy access to, and the ability to readily copy, online materials has increased the odds that many of these materials are accessed and used inappropriately. With textbooks and other materials costing students hundreds of dollars it’s easy to understand the temptation. However, it’s important for students—and teachers—to ensure that they are not violating copyright laws or plagiarizing the materials of others. In many cases OER resources exist that could offer the same, or similar information. School systems, teachers and librarians need to ensure that they are educating and informing students about using learning materials appropriately.