At the start of this guide, the technical skills required for different kind of tools were stated as:
- Low-tech Skills: The simplest way to create educational resources is by using familiar word processing tools such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Libre Office. This software includes most of the features needed for standard content, and the file can be easily exported as a PDF or printed.
- Medium-tech Skills: Another common way to create or edit educational resources is to create a website or hosted resource. This could be in the form of a blog, a static website, or a wiki. WordPress can be a great tool for these sorts of medium-tech projects.
- High-tech Skills: There are a number of platforms that provide professional tools for authoring content, and some are very easy to use. This category requires the highest level of skills.
Using these categories, all the tools discussed in this guide will be ranked according to the skills they require. This should help faculty select tools most appropriate for their current technology skill level.
|Technology Tool||Low-Tech Skills||Medium-Tech Skills||High-Tech Skills|
Table G 1.1 Technology skills required for OER Tools
One general observation is that open source tools tend to require medium- to high-tech skills to use. One of the reasons for this is that these are technology tools designed by a global community. Most open source tools use other open source technologies which requires additional skills. For example, GIMP and Inkscape are open-source tools that can be used with any other open-source tools such as the TeX-based platform discussed.
To use the LaTeX based tools, there are proprietary and free editors provided. These options are designed to simplify the OER creation process. However, a user still must learn how to use these additional helper tools. For example, in conjunction with a MiKTeX installation on Windows, one can use either TeXnicCenter, TeXstudio or Kile which are open-source editors. Though they simplify the editing process, one must still learn to use these tools.