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Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources
Open educational resources
Joe Lamy

Learners of all ages have a new best friend: Open Educational Resources, or OERs for short. They allow teachers to share learning materials, but it's not just teachers.

Free at last

Think of all the best presentations we could gather from all the best universities and teachers and researchers in the world. Kick it off with MIT, Harvard and Yale for starters here, but toss in some of the finest in the world, and you have a resource to share.

Another successful creation from the fertile fields of creativity included in OERs in the work of Sal Khan, the Khan Academy and thousands more independent contributors worldwide. Creative Commons allows open licensing to avoid copyright laws and share material easily.

Even a second grade teacher in Montana can create a cool lesson, set it out on the internet, and jillions of others can delight in the quality of learning experience. Or a college professor addressing Climate Change.

Teachers can revise, adapt and improve materials - all at zero cost to produce, other than time to create and share. Our current monetized supply of learning materials has run amok. Books are out of date by the time they hit the shelves, where they often stay to collect dust and are seldom maximized.

Contrast this olde-timey and stodgy strategy with OERs: free, adaptable, revisable, personalizable and playfully interactive for maximized applications. Once a learner can focus on the materials instead of the pressures from the classroom, many perform at higher levels.

The role of teachers grows to include mentoring and advising, directing and coaching learners to access their topics in detail and pursue the sources that assist in grasping the perspective they need. Learning is more about cultivating gardeners than cultivating a garden.

OERs empower creativity and develop technology skills for kids to share. Enjoy the slide show.

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