Topic 5: Explain the advantages and disadvantages to a content producer to making their materials freely available online

More than a decade ago, students visit library to do research, using physical books. However, education has changed over the years, due to the increase use of technology. Lecturers encourage students to be independent enough to source for information online. Classes are conducted in a way such that it is heavily depended on the Internet. For example, teachers use services like Youtube to deliver the lesson, as videos are way more engaging and interactive. Nowadays, blackboards are also common in college and university, where students can download slides and submit assignments. We can find massive amount of informations online. Our smartphones, tablets and computers have made knowledge within our touch. However, as much as open access benefits everyone, there are advantages and disadvantages, depending on the context.

Advantages
With the access to knowledge, everyone can learn, despite their age. The opportunity to learn extend to those who could not afford education. This can also benefit greatly on the poorer students in the rural area, as they may not have much opportunities to attend school. For example, I do not have to attend music classes in order to learn how to play an instrument because there are plenty of tutorials and free lessons online. It is possible for anyone to learn anything that they are interested in, with the online resources available. This is how shared knowledge multiplies, and it adds value to every individual who benefited from this free materials.

Disadvantages
There may be a lack of quality in the information found online, depending on the origin of the source. For example, information from Wikipedia would not be very reliable and is highly discouraged to use it in our research report. Furthermore, there is a risk of plagirism, as people might quote information without crediting the author.
On top of that, there is another issue of internet piracy. Nowadays, people hardly pay for media, and even expect songs or movies to be free since they have a choice to download the songs or movies illegally.
(Geib, 2013)

In conclusion, I have personally received a lot from having access to the free materials online. It has somehow provided me with extra information, more than what I can learn from attending lectures. There are many times I have to research on the Internet after class, to get an overview of what I am learning. On a whole, it makes learning much more enjoyable. Open access to materials online is great but we have to avoid falling over the edge into internet piracy. We have to take into consideration the type of resources we are using online, there are some which are free but some that require us to pay. If you want to know more, here’s a video on open access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L5rVH1KGBCY

Bibliography
Geib, A. (2013, October 25). Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Access. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from : http://www.edanzediting.com/blog/advantages_and_disadvantages_open_access#.VHQSIIcujwz