In last week’s article, we discussed:
How teachers can benefit from open education resources (OERs)
However, according to an article on EdTech, the knowledge that open access course material and educational resources exists is slim. This is unfortunate considering that the movement’s aim is to provide more access, for which teacher awareness (in all grade levels) is essential.
So how can we as tutors and teachers begin using these materials that educators so passionately put online for all to use? Here are some ideas:
Know the barriers and limitations to OERs and how to overcome them
The OER movement is new, and may require a change of thought among leaders at your educational organization, or the company with which you work. Not only that, it may require some technical knowledge as the assumption is mostly that the material is made available through the Internet. Plus, you’ll need to be aware of what “open” and “creative commons” actually mean. Permissions can vary among educators who release their content. And sometimes “free” doesn’t always mean “open.” Here is a guide to open educational resources as a starting point for your discovery:
Start incorporating OERs as required reading material
This will not only help save the costs for student learning, it can expand the information a teacher has access to. Without filtration of gatekeepers at traditional publishing houses, you may be surprised what reading material you may find out there to ignite thought and ideas in the classroom.
Point students to OERs for their research projects
We live in the information age, so why force students to use books at the library? If the information they need is available online, and is just as good, if not more modern and up-to-date, then why not use it? Be sure to let them know where to find the OERs to include in their research papers or projects.
Use OERs to plan your course content or tutoring sessions
These can range from using Khan Academy (which we wrote about here) to iTunes U and plenty of other sources.
The site below lists open source resources for finding educational content:
This archive of posts on Open Education Week’s website also has some resources to browse:
Get involved with open education
As an educator, you too can help to provide open educational resources for the world to access. Just imagine, without knowing it, you may be helping a school in an underfunded community gain access to materials that could contribute to life-changing education! Your involvement can also spark conversation and awareness with others, further spreading the knowledge of OERs.
While there may be debate on the benefits of open educational resources, there is no doubt a positive side to them, which we have seen in this article.
Keep up to date with our blog, as we hope to discuss other similar terms and movements, such as open universities, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and open courses – all of which are built upon open educational resources. We also welcome your feedback and contribution to this topic! If you would like to be interviewed for a future article on these subjects, get in touch!