Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finding, Curating, and Sharing Open Educational Resources

We have all heard about the future of "21st century" education: student-centered, project-based, technology-based, and more "authentic" learning experiences. One of the best models of this future is the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, PA. Chris Lehmann is the founding principal of this progressive science and technology high school. He is quite the insightful leader and once said, "Technology must be ubiquitous, necessary and invisible." (Click on the links to read more.)

As we move toward the future and implement more technology into our planning, instruction, and assessment, it is important to keep this in mind. One of the biggest hurdles for teachers is finding educational resources online. With the introduction of the iPad and other tablets, the initial focus was on interactive textbooks created by publishers. These "ebooks" are cool and flashy but very expensive. The next phase was for teachers to create their own digital textbooks. This can be done but is also very time consuming. Considering we are all in the process of implementing the Common Core and new science standards, the content of these books is also very much in flux and subject to change. The current trend is to use OER - "Open Educational Resources". The "open" implies free resources that can be used by educators and shared with their students. 

The next few tech tips will go more in depth and suggest possible methods for each step:

  1. Finding open educational resources 
  2. Curating and sharing these resources 

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