The advent of the cloud has fundamentally changed the meaning of “open” content. Open used to mean opening doors to your content so that visitors could come in and use it. Open now means placing your content “out there” in the cloud where it is integrated into the global whole.
An example of the first kind of open content is when a university places a course, for example a syllabus and lectures on French history, on to university webpages — letting anyone online visit those pages to study its course materials.
An example of placing content into the cloud is for the French history professor to write a post on her blog with a new nugget of knowledge from her research into Napoleon — and then to publish that post. By publishing the post she releases it as a node into the open cloud where it can network with all the other Napoleon nodes out there.
For OER to be open in the cloud, it must be unbundled with its cognitive content linkable at the node level. I would bet my beret that the opening into the cloud, like the Napoleonic nodes example and their connected patterns, is the Waterloo of education assets held closely to the chest by academic institutions.
Image: The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, Jacques-Louis David, National Gallery.