Open Educational Resources

It’s possible that this might be the very best time, ever, to be a teacher, to be an educator who wants to facilitate learning, to prepare students for their best possible life and to develop in the habits of lifelong learners.

One of the things that has, in my view, changed the environment in the last five to ten years is the massive explosion in the volume of available resources that teachers can use to support the learning process – especially when those resources are high quality and free! This is exactly the kind of thing that Clayton Christensen was writing about in “Disrupting Class”. these are the kinds of changes that mean we’re not looking at incremental change, but rapid change on a massive scale that strips away old assumptions about what it means to be an educator anywhere in the world.

There are so many examples that I continually come across. A few weeks ago i shared the way in which Sal Khan’s new Silicon Valley school was openly sharing all curriculum material, lesson plans and processes with any other school that wanted it – as part of contributing to a culture of mutual openness, sharing and collaboration. Great educators have long known that shared resources become better resources as more people contribute to them, mould them to local circumstances and the unique needs of their learners. Or, they simply bring something of themselves to make the material better.

There are no end of potential sources online for freely usable resources – perhaps the most obvious being Pinterest and Youtube. However, I wanted to share a very valuable link here. It has links and a brief summary of eight of the best sources currently available for open education resources. Whilst it’s slightly US centric (linking a lot of the available resources to the US Common Core Standards) this doesn’t preclude the material from being tweaked to suit those educators working with students towards other curricula.

THE Journal – 8 High Quality OER Collections

Enjoy, and teachers please feel free to let us know if you use any of these, how effective you find them and any other sources you would like to recommend.

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