Why Should Educators Across the Globe Be Excited About the Growing OER Resources and Community

Why Should Educators Across the Globe Be Excited About the Growing OER Resources and Community

Open Educational Resources have gained a lot of attention in recent years and the educators have acknowledged it worldwide.

We are living in an era where you cannot think of limiting anything. The more you get will always be less than from what you could have get. And information is one such thing specially when the vast amount of it on anything from everything is available over web that just cannot be tracked.    

OERs not only get you added information but makes learning better by introducing better resources on concepts. Students, teachers and institutions; all get choices from various resources and can use the ones that are apt for their learning and teaching method.

Few benefits of OERs for faculty and students:

For Student:

Students have got Openly licensed learning materials are easy to find and access, encouraging more independent and flexible learning opportunities for students. OER courses allow students to explore materials before enrolling, making them better prepared before they arrive in the classroom. The benefits of OER for students include:

• Provide supplemental learning materials for courses

• Determine what classes or program to enroll in

• Better prepared for classes

For Faculty:

Technology has given this opportunity to teachers to create resources that can be used by anyone from the same community.

But why start from scratch every time you need to create a lecture or assemble a reading list? By using OER, faculty can easily supplement their lectures and learning materials with content that is already available for open sharing. By sharing their own work as OER, faculty can maximize the impact and visibility of their scholarly work across the global learning community. The benefits of OER for faculty include:

• Use openly licensed materials to build your own resources or update your existing resources from the new ones you’ve found.

• License your own OER so others can use it; after all education is sharing.  

• Promote your work to a global audience.

Also Read: Engage Students with these Open Educational Resources

Just to know a little more about the OER adoption, below is a list of amazing posts you must read and social media accounts you should follow:

-- David Willey, Founder of The Open School of Utah writes about OER in the following 3 context:

Adopting OER is for Everyone Involved: this blog will tell you more about how OERs are good for the teachers, students, institutions and even society. A great read to know about all the benefits of using OERs.  

On the Relationship between OER Adoption Initiatives and Libraries: can all commercial materials be replaced by OERs? Why we should use OERS? Why not libraries? Find out from this great blog.

Adoption As Linking: writes about taking sharing to adoption through revising and remixing. 

OERs: the good, the bad and the ugly: Tony Bates offers a critique of the open resources movement which examines where open content sits in the broader open education landscape. This post stimulated some excellent debate both in the comments and in several other blog posts.

It turns out that students do use OERs and it does save time: this post highlights results from a student survey and the likeability of OERs among students.

Understanding The Power of Open Educational Resources: a great read for all the educators to know in out about OERs.

Where Can You Find Relevant OERs:

One can easily find OERs from various websites or search engines use and share with others dealing with the same area of subject. A number of search engines and websites are mentioned below to search for Open Educational Resources.

These include:

Jorum – A collection of free learning and teaching resource, created and contributed by teaching staff from UK Further and Higher Education Institutions that can be used by the community for better resources.

OER Commons - Find Free-to-Use Teaching and Learning Content from around the World. Organize K-12 Lessons, College Courses, and more with this website.

Temoa - A knowledge hub that eases a public and multilingual catalog of Open Educational Resources (OER) which aims to support the education community to find those resources and materials that meet their needs for teaching and learning through a specialized and collaborative search system and social tools.

University Learning = OCW+OER = Free custom search engine – This is a meta-search engine incorporating many different OER repositories (uses Google Custom Search)

XPERT – A JISC funded rapid innovation project (summer 2009) to explore the potential of delivering and supporting a distributed repository of e-learning resources created and seamlessly published through the open source e-learning development tool called Xerte Online Toolkits. The aim of XPERT is to progress the vision of a distributed architecture of e-learning resources for sharing and re-use. 

OER Dynamic Search Engine - A wiki page of OER sites with accompanied search engine (powered by Google Custom Search) 

JISC Digital Media maintain guidance on finding video, audio and images online, including those licensed as Creative Commons.

Icurio: It is a powerful foundation of all the right content where you can easily rely on the resources of information. With teachers altered, standard aligned digital resources and a framework for curriculum development, this platform gives teachers more time and flexibility to create engaging lessons that are personally relevant and educationally appropriate for each student.

EOL: It is an online collaborative encyclopedia providing global access to knowledge about biological life on earth. Entries are composed as written content with one or more pictures usually in the form of color photographs. Content is provided by a wide variety of contributors but is reviewed for accuracy. All content on EOL is licensed under Creative Commons (CC) licenses, but each contributor defines what level of CC licensing is applicable to their content.

PLOS is a non-profit publisher and advocacy organization focused on science and medicine. Every article they publish is open access.

Pinterest Boards that can help you with OERs:

1) Richard Galin’s board, #REL#OER#REA will give you a lot of links and information about open education resources. 

2) Elisabeth Lindqvist: OER open education resources with more than 25k followers, you can expect some real good stuff from this board.

3) This board is a collection of Open Educational Resources (OER and include applications and tools that any educator would be able to use in their classroom!

4) Next Generation Global Education: know how learning Styles plus OER with educators from around the world are Global Curriculum continuum.

5) Here are some organizations that share learning objects via Creative Commons or other open sharing licenses known as open educational resources or OER.

Do you think OERs can change the face of education? Share your views with us in the comment box below. 

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