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Exploring the Nexus of OER and Educational Technology

Doug Levin

While increased access to the internet and computing devices has been instrumental to the growth and institutionalization of the global movement toward open educational resources (OER), technology choices (often made by educational institutions – and their vendors – on behalf of students) can serve to amplify and/or mute key features of openness. Blog OER infrastructure The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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Introducing the CARE Framework for OER Stewardship

Doug Levin

In a post of nearly two years ago (“ OERwashing: Beyond the Elephant Test “), I argued that the OER community lacked a reliable way to assess new entrants to the OER field, especially for-profit organizations, in terms of their support for openness and OER community values. It is for that reason that I am pleased today to introduce the CARE Framework for OER Stewardship. “The Care Framework for OER Stewardship.”

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6 Unbeatable Ways To Spot High Quality Open Education Resources (OER)

Wisewire

Since OER came onto the map in the early 2000s, the pool of available resources has grown into a vast ocean. With a wide array of OER materials at our fingertips, the trick now is not so much in finding OER, but on identifying high quality OER that can be used and transformed for our classroom needs. These credible sites offer a wealth of vetted, high quality OER resources, categorized and sorted for easy navigation.

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When is an OER an OER?

Iterating Toward Openness

tl ;dr – If a resource is licensed in a way that grants you permission to engage in the 5R activities, and grants you those permissions for free, it’s an open educational resource (OER) – no matter where you find it or how it’s being used. It manifest first with learning objects in the late 1990s, and then with open content and open educational resources (aka, learning objects with an open license) in the early 2000s.

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Some Thoughts on the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Iterating Toward Openness

There’s great news out of the recent UNESCO meeting in Paris, where member states unanimously adopted the draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER). Regardless of what other individuals, institutions, or organizations may think or say, UNESCO is the creator of the term “open educational resources” and, as its creator, UNESCO’s definition of OER is the canonical definition. The opposite of OER is TCM.

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Reducing Friction in OER Adoption

Iterating Toward Openness

Last week I promised I would write a few posts about reducing friction with regard to OER. In last week’s post I talked about how we’re making it ridiculously easy for students, faculty, and others to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of OER.

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Does OER Actually Improve Learning?

Edsurge

Regardless of where you stand on the debate over open educational resources, you’re probably wondering: Does OER actually improve learning outcomes? At least, that was one of the main takeaways from a short session led by Phillip Grimaldi, director of research at OpenStax, a nonprofit OER initiative out of Rice University. The so-called access hypothesis goes that students who have access to the textbook learn better than students who don’t.

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Some Very Bad News about the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Iterating Toward Openness

I recently wrote a brief essay about the wonderful new UNESCO OER Recommendation. For those of you who don’t want to read the full analysis below, here’s the key takeaway: Imagine what would happen if making copies of OER was illegal. “Access” is Nowhere Near Sufficient.

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How to find, curate, and assess OER

eSchool News

As schools and districts try to reduce textbook costs and digitize instructional resources, one of the struggles many teachers have is finding good repositories of open education resources (OER). The first step is to know how to access OER resources. However, access itself isn’t enough and the sheer volume of materials can be overwhelming. Accessing OER. How to find OER.

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Thoughts on Continuous Improvement and OER

Iterating Toward Openness

Recently I’ve been doing both more thinking and more roll-up-your-sleeves working on continuous improvement of OER. Improvement in post secondary education will require converting teaching from a solo sport to a community-based research activity. This is why Simon called for us to come together as a community – there are countless ways in which education needs to be improved, and no one person, institution, or organization has the time or expertise to do it all alone.

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OER: Some Questions and Answers

Iterating Toward Openness

Earlier this week I read an op-ed – sponsored by Pearson – titled “If OER is the answer, what is the question?” OER often shine in their variety and ability to deepen resources for niche topics. While it’s possible to build a complete course from OER, the finished product often lacks the scaffolding found in courseware authored by single author/editorial/product teams. What does the Drake Equation have to do with OER production and enhancement?

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Five Top Technology Trends In Special Education

Wisewire

(TNS) — Fueled by technological advances, changing state policies, and a continued push from advocates, ed-tech companies and researchers are crafting new tools and strategies to better serve students with disabilities. “Developers and [K-12] consumers are now very tuned in,” said Cynthia Curry, the director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning , more commonly known as the AEM Center. As a technology lover who is blind, Luis F.

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Nationwide OER Degree Program Launches Today

Iterating Toward Openness

In case you didn’t see it elsewhere, I’m republishing the press release from Achieving the Dream about the incredibly exciting OER Degrees work that launched today. Achieving the Dream Launches Major National Initiative to Help 38 Community Colleges in 13 States Develop New Degree Programs Using Open Educational Resources. The effort is intended to spark more rapid adoption of OER within higher education, beginning with community colleges.

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#DLNchat: Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Ed

Edsurge

Can open educational resources, or OER, truly create more equity and access? That was the question at the heart of our #DLNchat on January 9, which centered around OER in Higher Education. Our special guest, Lisa Petrides, creator of OER Commons, kicked things off by defining the topic at hand: “OER are teaching & learning materials freely available for anyone to use. Chatters agreed OER should be available for adaptation and redistribution.

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Part 2… Beyond the Technology Shine… Content Standard Nouns Meet 25 Free OER Education Resources

21st Century Educational Technology and Learning

Welcome to a series of posts that are dedicated to going beyond the shine of technology by examining ways to use digital tools to engage students in real learning. In this second post you will discover how careful examination of the nouns in a standard can help you find resources to assist in proper technology integration. Be on the look out for future posts entitled the ABC’s of PBL and Deeper Learning and also 40 great education sites to discover in 2015.

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OER Had Its Breakthrough in 2017. Next Year, It Will Become an Essential Teaching Tool

Edsurge

Open educational resources (OER) have long been touted as “the next big thing” in higher education, but the drawn-out hype has led many educators and administrators to wonder if it would ever live up to its expectations. Those days are over: 2017 was OER’s breakthrough year. To bring OER to more students and instructors, whole institutions needed to jump on board and plan for the widespread implementation. OER needs bells and whistles.

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Football, Commons, and the Long-term Sustainability of OER

Iterating Toward Openness

We have a similar problem in the open educational resources (OER) space. Many people are in the habit of referring to OER as a commons. However, beyond some superficial similarities (groups of people trying to sustain access to usable resources), the worlds of OER and the commons traditional studied by economists are completely different games. OER are not like the shared resources at the center of traditional commons. However, OER are not CPRs.

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OER is Growing at Religious Colleges, But Raises Unique Challenges

Edsurge

One popular draw to open educational resources is that these openly-licensed learning materials can—and are often encouraged to—be tailored for a particular professor or course. Communications librarian Kristen Hoffman oversees much of the OER work at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian university in Washington. Hoffman recently brought her question to the gathering of open education resource users and advocates at the OpenEd conference in Niagara Falls, NY earlier this month.

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Open Educational Practice: Unleashing the Potential of OER

Edsurge

It’s been a good year for open educational resources (OER). made commitments this year to establish entire degree programs based solely on OER. Governor Jerry Brown set aside $5 million for OER degree programs in California community colleges. And scores of school districts throughout the United States committed to adopting OER, thanks in large part to the #GoOpen campaign spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Education.

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'Better Every Semester': How Faculty Use Open Educational Resources to Improve Courses

Edsurge

So Hardy and a colleague decided to create their own lab manual—and make it open access. Much of the attention that open educational resources have earned focuses on their low cost. But OER advocates think open access course materials hold another kind of promise for students, too.

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An Obstacle to the Ubiquitous Adoption of OER in US Higher Education

Iterating Toward Openness

I now have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of general education courses and some specific degree programs will transition entirely to OER in US higher ed. I spent most of my thinking time last week wondering about obstacles in the way of the ubiquitous adoption of OER in US higher education and how we might overcome them. Observation 1: We Need Dramatically More OER, and Current Approaches Won’t Get Us There.

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?A Playbook to Go Open: 5 Steps to Adopting OER

Edsurge

Public schools now provide at least one computer for every five students and spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content, according to Education Week. As momentum for digital learning builds, some districts—80 percent according to the 2017 Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) K12 IT Leadership Survey Report —are using open educational resources (OER), which the U.S. But while many benefits of OER are visible on the surface, we must notice the fine print.

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5 ways to expand federal educational OER

eSchool News

Ed-tech groups rally in support of federally-funded, open educational resources. In a letter sent earlier this month, a group of ed-tech stakeholders urged the Obama administration to make federally-funded educational materials available as Open Educational Resources (OER). The letter was a response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s request for suggestions around how to strengthen the U.S.

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Transition to Digital: Improving Access, Affordability and Achievement in Higher Education

EmergingEdTech

With the increasing cost of a post-secondary education, many students opt to delay or completely forego purchase of required. Future of Education Technology Making the case for Education Technologies Mobile Learning Resources Open Educational Resources OER _ Miscellaneous Tools and Topics digital textbook best practices making transition to digital textbooks successful transition to etexts tips for transition to digital learning materials

On the Relationship Between OER Adoption Initiatives and Libraries

Iterating Toward Openness

As we work to move entire degree programs from commercial textbooks to open educational resources, we must answer this critical question – can all commercial materials be replaced with open educational resources? And as the copyright holders we are free to openly license our explanations, thereby creating OER alternatives to the All Rights Reserved explanations published and controlled by commercial publishers. The Object of Study.

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Futuring open education at the University of Mary Washington OER Summit

Bryan Alexander

Today I traveled to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to participate in the University of Mary Washington ‘s Open Education Resources Summit , organized by the excellent Steven Greenlaw. Some themes and ideas that have come up so far (I’ll add more as I can): there’s a strong sense of open education working within a complex ecosystem. For example, community college adoption of OER depends on the behavior of institutions that most of their students transfer to.

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Is Open Content Enough? Where OER Advocates Say the Movement Must Go Next

Edsurge

In response, open educational materials, or OER, have emerged as an alternative to expensive textbooks that disproportionately affect low-income students. OER have been around for more than a decade, and the sheer number of these materials—in the form of textbooks, courses, videos, software and other public-domain resources—are increasingly available online. But as more open materials become accessible, advocates for open education still see room for improvement.

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App of the Week: OER Commons

eSchool News

note : App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education , which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. OER Commons. OER Commons makes it easy for teachers to connect with other educators and find relevant materials.

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Futuring open education at the University of Mary Washington OER Summit

Bryan Alexander

Today I traveled to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to participate in the University of Mary Washington ‘s Open Education Resources Summit , organized by the excellent Steven Greenlaw. Some themes and ideas that have come up so far (I’ll add more as I can): there’s a strong sense of open education working within a complex ecosystem. For example, community college adoption of OER depends on the behavior of institutions that most of their students transfer to.

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OER: Free Like a Beer, or Free Like a Puppy?

Edsurge

Those in the puppy camp argued, with good reason, that free curricula and OER content were hardly free once the related costs and risks were factored in. And even the good stuff lacked the breadth and consistency to rival traditional educational publishing products. So the discovery, vetting, and alignment costs inflicted upon the teachers and districts that would try to embrace free and OER content would remain high. Education Technology Language Arts Technology in School

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Of OER and Platforms: Five Years Later

Edsurge

Five years ago, in an essay called “ 2017: RIP OER? ” I pondered whether this year would be the end of OER. The bulk of my concern was expressed in these two paragraphs: Open education currently has no response to the coming wave of diagnostic, adaptive products coming from the publishers. There’s certainly no one funding next gen OER. Much has been written about 2012 being “the year of OER.” Let’s hope it’s not the year OER peaks.

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The digital-first district where OER meets iPads

eSchool News

For students at Central Valley middle and high schools, accessing classroom lessons rarely involves opening a book. In high school math teacher Joe Sowinski’s classes, technology has changed class structure. The district is in the midst of navigating another drastic shift: rolling out custom, teacher-curated curriculum designed with free, openly licensed material, district technology director Ed Eimiller said.

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Open Educational Resources

Wisewire

There are many resources available online for educators to use in the classroom or for distance learning. In this entry, we will look at a few of the places where educators can find online resources that can help them provide high quality educational content.

The Role of Open Educational Resources (OER) in Making Education Available to All

A Principal's Reflections

I recently had the honor of traveling to the MIT campus in Boston and participating in a panel discussion on Open Education Resources (OER) at The Sixth Conference of MIT''s Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) with three illustrious advocates of these open resources: Nicole Allen, Philipp Schmidt, and panel moderator Steve Carson. Open educational resources” (OER) here refers to the many free learning resources now populating the Worldwide Web.

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CommonLit: OER Curation and Creation

NeverEndingSearch

She began developing the concept for CommonLit while studying education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Registered users can access related media, the article’s teacher’s guide and parent guide (designed to expand the reading and discussion experience at home), as well as the printable teacher and student PDF for off-line use. CommonLit is a fine example of OER curation and OER creation that belongs in every librarian’s toolkit.

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