open education & our culture of sharing

When we complete our teacher training, typically we know one educational resource quite well: our curriculum. That was my first glimpse into an open educational resource (well, one that you could easily find, not one that you could “edit”). I am in my ninth year of teaching and I confidently say I have never seen these open education resources (OERs) before our class last week. What I have seen lots of? Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT),, and many other membership based websites, many that require membership fees or paying for content, like on TpT.

These sites are what has been recommended for me. Ones that require you to provide credit card information and pay for a resource. Every teacher I know, especially those in elementary school settings, use TpT regularly for resources for their classrooms. I have no idea how much money has been spent paying for resources by colleagues. These colleagues are mainly new teachers, who are just starting out, perhaps already have some debt and many expenses getting their classrooms set up. How is this fair? I wonder how many of my colleagues have also never hear of OERs.

The site Alec showed us in class, Everything is a Remix, was really interesting to me, as an arts educator. I’d love to show some parts of the series to an older class to discuss. TikTok and memes are all remixes, without people even realizing it. CBC Music also does a fun feature everyday called “Distant Cousins” where they have listeners send in two songs that sound very similar, possibly on purpose due to sampling or completely by accident (and then get sued!).

Having students look at sampling would be a really fun unit – providing some well known songs using sampling, you could easily weave in some music history! One of my favourite samples was originally done by the sorceress herself, Stevie Nicks, in her song “Edge of Seventeen”, then sampled by Destiny’s Child and Miley Cyrus.

(Ok, 2 fun facts: 1 – Stevie Nicks is actually in this music video! And 2 – This is my son’s favourite song right now. Proud mom moment right there.)

Ugh, I just love Stevie so much. My sister named her golden retriever Stevie Nicks because we are so obsessed. And Fleetwood Mac is in a total revival (thanks to remixing!) currently with TikTok’s viral video using their song “Dreams”.

Ok! Enough of me being a music history nerd. I’ll leave you with song tunes for your Wednesday. Enjoy!

4 Replies to “open education & our culture of sharing”

  1. I love the comparison with music! I have seen a few Tiktok videos where they show completely different songs from different time era’s with the same underlying beat. It is interesting how unless you know the original song, you wouldn’t even necessarily notice. I remember when I was younger and hearing Madonna’s “Hung Up” song come out and vaguely wondering why it had such a familiar song. And then it clicked that all the nights of my parents blasting the ABBA concert CD in the living room that it was from their song “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie”. I think this was the first time I realized this concept of songs having a similar beat. The most recent one trending on Tiktok was that millennials love Olivia Rodrigo’s song “good 4 u” because it has a similar sound to Paramore’s “Misery Business”. And I can contest to this! Haha. Thanks for the insight!

  2. I’ve always wondered how many different songs and melodies there are! At one point, will we run out of unique songs? I’ve always enjoyed listening to and comparing similar songs, so I’ll have to check out #DistantCousins!

  3. I really appreciated you connecting your blog post to music this week. I wanted to do the same, but my brain is so dead that I couldn’t think of an appropriate remix of a song. Go figures. Anyways, I really like the way that you put your post together, and there were a lot of things that I took away to think about. Thanks for the great post, I look forward to reading more soon.

  4. Gillian Crocker says: Reply

    I love how you have tied OER to music! I immediately went to the need to spread education equitably around the world but open resources have truly impacted music and arts in general. Great idea for a unit too with so much relevance to the TikTok era we are in!
    Your post had me flashing back to this summer when I heard the Dua Lipa song ‘Love Again’ for the first time and instantly thought “What 90s song is this music from?!” Looked it up and found that it was from ‘Your Woman’ by White Town but was actually originally from a song called ‘My Woman’ recorded by Lew Stone in 1932 and written by Bing Crosby among others. How about that? I agree that artists need other artists work and it actually helps to make them all better. Originality does not always mean quality right?!

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