Have a Little Faith, Hold Out, “Open Education” Shall Be Free But For Who?

With the help and support of my colleagues willingness to share resources of things they have made with me, my life as a teacher has been made slightly simpler, enjoyable, more manageable, allows for more work/family life balance and I am a whole lot more appreciative of what it means to work together. Although these teachers who have made an impact on my teaching will never see this blog I want to shout from the rooftops THANK YOU!


When I first began teaching before I made any connections with my colleagues I was putting in significant time in the classroom; I felt like I never left the school and I was a young mom who was then giving up time with my baby. Then one day a teacher walked into my classroom and commented on how much time I was putting in; she said something along the lines of what unit are you doing, I probably have something you could use. She walked out and came back with a unit to share with me; I cried. 

I vowed after that day that I would be a teacher who shared whatever I could to help others. Fast forward to this month when we got our new grade placements and then to specifically today, my across the hall teacher came to me and said “here I put all my grade 5 files on this USB, take a look, use what you want, or don’t” I never asked for this, he just gave. What a great feeling this was. Is this what open education could be like? Just sharing of products without having to put a denomination behind it?

I then go back to COVID and creating my own videos to share with students; usually had to do with math lessons that matched our Jump Math student books; the amount of time and work that went into creating these “semi professional videos” was extremely time consuming but I wanted my students

YouTube open on an Android phone
Image credit: Shutterstock

to have access to the information they needed. It was hard to video myself, my work, purley for fear of judgement in how I teach, my words, my voice, my background, my everything… I am a very self conscious person. I did appreciate having access to other peoples videos on Youtube that I could include about the outcome. Again is this what open education could be like? Free access to learning videos to help supplement teaching?

I am left wondering what if YouTube created a supplemental space for open education. A space for educators to go that has a great search engine for finding material based around teaching and videos to support in class & out of class education. Videos that are screened for appropriateness, education based learning, ad free, etc. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful space? I wish I could type in Saskatchewan outcome 4.1 number sense place value and I could get supplemental & engaging videos to show a concept being learned. A teacher can only dream right?

Why Open Education Matters video brings up some interesting points that education is not fair for everyone; which is definitely not a new topic at all, what I am wondering about though in regards to open education is how fair is this idea anyways? In the video it states that “Tundo”, who had big dreams and the education he is getting is based off of old information; his school cannot afford new books or the latest learning materials. Now stay with me here, what are the chances that Tundo will even have access to technology and the internet/band width that it will require to even access open education? There is a major disconnect here that will need to be addressed before Tundo can even get a better education, if I am speaking truthfully I am also really struggling with what may appear to be a white heroism perspective at the moment or that only the privileged will be able to access open education but I am hoping I am wrong and reading far to into it. The right intention is there but who will truly benefit?


I leave you with this thought, and I cannot wait to read your responses…

Do you think open education could replace teachers? If quality education can be provided to students anywhere for free and constantly updated with relevant information could it be a possibility? If Covid lasted years and years, could we have seen a significant change in teaching, and needing less teachers to provide instruction especially if content was made easily accessible on the internet and one teacher could provide lessons to many, many children at once?  Could teaching become a self checkout situation? Elementary? Highschool? Post Secondary? Why or why not?

6 thoughts on “Have a Little Faith, Hold Out, “Open Education” Shall Be Free But For Who?

  1. Hi Christine! While open education has the potential to enhance and transform teaching, it is unlikely to fully replace teachers. Quality education involves more than access to information; it requires guidance, personalized support, and human interaction. The role of teachers extends beyond content delivery, encompassing mentorship, social-emotional development, and critical thinking skills. While technology can supplement learning, the irreplaceable value of teachers lies in their ability to foster meaningful connections and engage students in a holistic educational experience.

    1. I love this reply, and I couldn’t agree more, Jashandeep. Open education and online learning will never meet the individual learning needs of students to the same degree as in-person learning. Very well said!
      Christine, the idea of YouTube creating an open educational space for teachers would be incredible. I think you should pitch this idea to them! That would be amazing to be able to type in any outcome in the SK curriculum and find videos that other educators have made related to a specific topic. I’d definitely be willing to make my own videos and contribute to this. Out of curiosity, and if this did become a thing, which subjects or outcomes do you think you’d contribute to first? Which videos/subjects of other peoples’ do you think you would access on a frequent basis?

      1. If I was brave enough or even knew how I would totally pitch the idea!!
        Hmm if I could choose I would have to say I would like to see Social Studies be the first subject to have content added, I feel this subject has the least amount of available online content in the area of engaging videos; math, science, visual arts, and physical education I think have quite a bit already.
        What about you, what would you chose?

  2. Thanks for sharing your ideas and posing some great questions. First, I love the idea you shared about an open education Youtube channel. That is a wonderful dream! Second, will Open Education replace teachers? I sure hope not! Especially, in elementary, middle years and high school teachers are essential for so much more than content. Building relationships, social skills, regulation, compassion, support….the list goes on. Our list of titles goes on far beyond delivery content and this can’t be replaced!

  3. Christine, I love the questions you left at the end. I am not going to say that no Open Education will not replace teachers. I do not think that at this point in time, it will but who knows what the future holds. I also think that this depends on the age group in which you are working with. Elementary students still need to be taught the basics so that they would be able to teach themselves and keep themselves on track. I know that last Spring I took a class that was asynchronous. The prof had a video to tell us what we were to do and other than that we were on our own. I reached out a few times throughout the course and often received a response after assignments were due. I also think that families like human contact for their children and see the importance of their children being taught by a person. If all our interactions are with electronics we are not going to be able to interact with other people as we will not be able to read and understand emotions and body language. I think that a combination is perfect and that sometimes the OER’s are for the educator to use within their classroom and not for the students to use on their own.

  4. Hi Christine,
    I appreciate your thoughts on open education this week. I especially liked your youtube idea. It would be great to have pre-screened, age appropriate content.
    My hope is that open education will never replace teachers. As I have learned with my learning project, I was able to develop knowledge of a skill but I became better at the skill with the guidance of a great teacher (my husband) who helped me solve problems and apply my knowledge in a supportive way! The role of the teacher is evolving with the use of technology. Open education should benefit students and teachers across the globe!

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