Freedom to be Active and Create

Image by wonderfully complex via FlickrCreate

Stallman’s four freedoms  caught my attention in Stephens chat with Jane Park  on OER. Stephen, roughly adapted them to the OER space as, the freedom to access, the freedom to adapt, the freedom to redistribute, the freedom to remix.

Stallmans four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

To me the important aspect of the four freedoms is in Stephens statement that, ” in order to learn, we have to be active. You have to do things; we have to create things. So learning, whether it occurs in the classroom, in a formal situation or informal situation, it involves not only accessing, but remaking, remixing, repurposing, and rewriting learning resources; the creation of learning resources; the redistribution of them.’

However, I work  at a community college where our mission is to serve the undeserved. How do we provide greater access, by remixing and redistributing learning resources these type of students? Greater access often means packing more students into a lecture  with no opportunities to create. Many students do not have Internet access or work at home moms taking distance courses  with few technology skills. Are the fours freedoms for the privileged?

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