Wednesday, February 12, 2014

And this week, I explored OERs...

Aloha all -

Open Educational Resources (OER) are simply what they seem - OPEN (freely and openly offered) EDUCATIONAL (for teaching, learning and research) RESOURCES (online materials, content, tools, lesson plans, etc. ) for use by educators, learners or anyone who may be interested.  I had heard of the term OER but had never taken the time to explore them in more detail.  This week, I got that chance.

One of the advantages of OERs is that it provides access worldwide.  They help to increase collaboration of educators all over the world.  They provide  resources to developing countries that would not have been available otherwise.  As we move towards becoming a Creator Society, educators are able to share their work and help empower others.  Another positive is that OERs can be revised often so that information can be kept up to date versus paper textbooks which can sometimes become outdated rather quickly.  I also like the fact that you are free to tailor the items to fit your students' needs.  One think to consider when using OERs is to be sure to review for accuracy and quality.  I think that it is important to review for accuracy, relevancy and suitability for your audience.  Also, since the resources are from around the globe, evaluating for any cultural and language barriers is significant as well.

By reviewing OER commons and MERLOT, I was able to get a glimpse into the wealth of resources available and freely shared on the internet.  I see how one can incorporate these objects into your locus of control.  I also think that OER repositories may also serve to stimulate ideas for your own curriculum by seeing what other educators use with their students.  I was able to find some interesting items that I would consider using with my students.  I did notice, however, that the free online book in the lesson I was looking at was no longer free when I clicked on the link.  So it pays to be diligent in your review of each resource prior to use.  You can identify any issues early and revise as needed to suit your population.  To me, overall, OERs are a great thing!  It's just a matter of choosing quality items among the quantity that will work for your learners.

And how was your week? 

A hui hou,

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