Professor Rory McGreal is the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning/International Council for Open and Distance Education Chairholder in Open Educational Resources (OER); and director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University. He is also co-Editor of IRRODL (International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning). He created the OER Knowledge Cloud, a repository of research articles on OER. His previous positions include Assoc. VP Research, Executive Director of TeleEducation NB, a Canadian province-wide e-learning network, and Supervisor at Contact North/Contact Nord in Ontario. He received several national and international awards for open and distance learning.
Open Educational Resources (OER) constitute an important resource with the potential to facilitate the expansion of quality education and learning opportunities worldwide. New developments in information technology, especially with tablets, mobile phones and gaming devices, highlight the shortcomings and challenges for the education community. Such developments have the potential to increase access and flexibility in education by rendering it ubiquitous. More recently, educators are being forced to focus on the effects of “digital locks” (Technological Protection Measures) and restrictive licences that come with commercial online content and are turning to OER in order to take full advantage of the affordances of new technologies.