Open Education Week: Open Ed Issues in Brazil

Last week marked Open Education Week, an online event dedicated to spreading awareness and answering questions about open education. Study.com's Sarah Wright attended several events for OEW, including a webinar about the use of open education resources (OER) in Brazil.

View popular schools

By Sarah Wright

oer ocw open education brazil rea

Open Education in Portugese

I've learned a lot this week about how the U.S. and Canada are making important changes to embrace open education, including details about government efforts to adopt open policy. Brazil is something of a leader on that front, and in a webinar presented by Carolina Rossini of REA, I got to learn a bit more about the challenges open ed advocates face in that country. REA stands for Recursos Educacionais Abertos, which translates to English as Open Education Resources.

The name says it all: this is a group that's dedicated to promoting the use of open materials in Brazil. Ms. Rossini, REA's founder, is a laywer, and her talk largely reflected that experience. Though she was addressing issues pertaining to Brazil, Ms. Rossini chose to conduct the webinar in English rather than in Portugese, and I'm grateful that she did. The talk raised a variety of interesting issues.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Copyright Exceptions and the Meaning of Open Resources

One of the thought-provoking topics that Ms. Rossini touched on in her talk is the issue of copyright exceptions for students. In the U.S., students have a fair amount of leeway in what constitutes fair use. Since my experience as a student has been in the U.S., it never really occurred to me how difficult life might be as a student in a nation where copyright law is more restrictive when it comes to education. According to Ms. Rossini, Brazil doesn't allow many exceptions when it comes to copyright laws for students. That's an interesting part of the open education debate that may prove useful in incentivizing the use of OER - openly licensed material is easier for students to use.

However, Ms. Rossini pointed out that the term 'open education resources' refers to a specific set of materials. It doesn't just refer to materials that are free, or Creative Commons licensed rather than copyrighted. OERs need to be licensed flexibly so they can accommodate collaboration and repurposing. This gets at the community involvement that she stressed repeatedly in her talk. Allowing for collaboration and alteration is what truly makes OER open - not just a low cost or relative lack of legal protection.

Content, Technology and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property issues aren't the only challenges facing the broad adoption of OER. Content and technology are also important. Ms. Rossini pointed out that all three areas - content, technology and intellectual property - present challenges to the open ed movement. The key is to make sure that all three elements are receiving their due share of attention, particularly in discussions with policymakers. Policy discussions shouldn't just focus on laws, because all three elements are necessary for the proper usage of OER.

To this end, Ms. Rossini shared an anecdote about a Brazilian politician she encountered in her work to promote open education in her country. This politician, who was relatively prominent at the time this story took place, talked about the fact that the tech department of his agency was well aware of open ed strategies, but that the legal department was relatively clueless. The point being made in this anecdote is relevant in any nation. Awareness is an issue, but it's not simply a matter of letting people know that open ed exists and is an option. Policymakers and their staff need to be properly and thoroughly informed.

For more information about Open Education Week, and information about our previous coverage of the open ed movement, click here.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • MBA - Health Care Management
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Administration - Food & Hotel Management
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
    • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
    • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
    • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your age?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Science in Business

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?