At last Friday’s Techforum Chicago, I listed intently during presentations about innovations in schools. One of the themes of the conversations was about creating content. Without exception many presenters and participants talked about creating digital content. In some cases it was stated in an arrogant fashion: “Nobody can do it better than me!”
In digital settings, students need to hear from their instructors. Learning in a digital setting is not learning alone. It’s not learning from a computer. The teacher is essential to the instruction and the learning. However, students need to hear from a variety of voices. The instructor is one of them. The others are experts in the field, who can communicate with students. The “not invented here” attitude is arrogant and a major error waiting to occur.
I’ve developed content. Developing quality content takes a long time; it’s a difficult task. From a design point of view, it’s better to borrow it, such as that from OER or what’s available from other resources. I’d prefer to borrow quality content that meets my students’ goals rather than to reinvent it because somebody else made it. From that design view, making your own content is the least desirable after borrowing it or buying it. Find and use quality content whenever possible before constructing it yourself.