Like many things Open Educational Resources is a term I have heard and even used but never been able to succinctly define. In the end from the various articles I explored I wrapped my head around the fact that as a school librarian I have three reasons to use OER.
1. Teaching Resources
The Frequently Asked Questions – OER for K-12 Educators does an excellent job defining Open Education Resources as it pertains to teaching resources:
- Anything from full courses to teaching techniques
- Available free forever, not just for a short time
- Free to adapt for your own purposes
I have used resources purchased from Teachers Pay Teachers with great success. However, in many cases you can’t see the details until you make the purchase and even after making the purchase the sources are provided in PDF form and not easily editable.
2. Professional Development
OERs also have a very strong learning aspect. This graphic from the OER video sums it up nicely. OERs are great for those of us motivated to learn.
3. Curation of information for our teachers.
Joining the OER (Open Educational Resources) Conversation – provides resources for school librarians and the linked article by Joyce Valenza date Feb 2016 mentions that Follett Destiny will be adding OER to their search features. A quick search of my catalog shows I already have that feature and don’t know how to use it. Add it to my list of things to do.
I am excited to explore resources available as OER both to help me in my day to day teaching and to further my learning and improve my teaching.
OER Search Tools
I explored two search tools. In the tools I explored was looking for:
- Lessons on MLA citations. Since MLA was updated a little over a year ago I figured this would show me the currency of lessons and I could also see how easily adaptable an older lesson would be.
- Research Projects for grades 9 – 12.
I easily created an account with OER Commons
I explored groups and found …..
- Media Literacy Education and Youth Media – a collection of 43 resources for teaching.
- I was easily able to find a lesson on MLA 8 and a very comprehensive research project.
- It was very easy to save lessons and you can create your own folders.
- I was quickly able to create a few folders to revisit in the future.
CK – 12
The materials in this one are STEM related and I was unable to locate anything that I would be using. Based on the student page I would definitely include this as a resource for my STEM teachers.
While I am not sure I love either of these search tools I look forward to working with my catalog to see what else is there and exploring other OER search engines like the ones listed in the Joining the OER (Open Educational Resources) Conversation article.