OER OpenGLAM Ontologies: Metadata for Educational Justice
Education was already moving online, when covid19 hit; now learners, K-12 to grad school and beyond seek and find knowledge virtually and voraciously, even outside formal schooling. Meanwhile, museum educators open treasuries of educational digital cultural objects to locked-down publics. OER OpenGLAM promises to free knowledge. Openness counters copyright and paywalls, but it can re-entrench cultural appropriation and omissions. Not “neutral,” metadata reproduces particular cultural perspectives and biases. A digital crossroads arises: the colonial legacies of museum collections and academic canons get reproduced in OER--unless interrupted. What is the pedagogical and methodological potential of metadata, for tracing and transcending the plunder and empire embodied in digital cultural heritage objects’ journeys? These encounters teach critical analysis, agency, anticolonial dreaming, indigenous data sovereignty. We invite educators to think through descriptive metadata and geographic taxonomy as useful platforms for recovering, reclaiming, layering, and liberating cultural knowledges and diverse ontologies.
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