Great news! An online PD course has been launched : Using Open Educational Resources(OER) to Create K-12 Curriculum, it’s a long-time collaborative work from me and Digital Learning Tree learning system. Time to play and learn!
Why OER course for teachers matters
In the contemporary educational landscape, emerging participatory practices, facilitated by technological and socio-cultural developments, have given rise to a new model of knowledge circulation. Such developments suggest that teachers need to foster “participatory learning,” where communities of learners work together to build and re-build knowledge. In this course, you will learn why Open Educational Resources (OERs) are important building blocks for participatory learning. The Common Core Standards also promote the idea that students should “use technology . . . to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.”
The new adoption of common core K-12 state standards provides an excellent opportunity to develop high-quality, openly licensed K-12 courseware that is aligned with these standards. Also, OER provides access to institutions and educators at no cost, to the means of production to develop their competence in producing educational materials and instructional design.
Teachers play a monumental role in facilitating opportunities for students to become critical thinkers, proactive citizens, and creative contributors to the world around them. But it’s crucial that teachers are afforded the same opportunities to grow and learn new cutting-edge digital-teaching skills for today’s “Digital Kids.” Teachers will learn how to build capacity in using OERs, sharing OERs and building OERs. They will connect with like-minded educators and communities, and establish a strong portfolio of an educator as a creator of digital curriculum and lessons.
The core principles of this course
Taking a leaf out of Designing with Teachers: Participatory Approaches to Professional Development in Education by Ioana Literat and Erin Reilly, we design this course with the core principles of participatory professional development in mind:
Participation, not indoctrination
Exploration, not prescription
Contextualization, not abstraction
Iteration, not repetition
The core belief : “collectively, we can be greater than me”.
I deeply admire all the accumulated efforts and knowledge since the beginning of OER movement. I choose a fictional OER Genie as the avatar for this course because OER is really a huge community achievement; it’s not possible to be claimed by any individual account. It’s more than 10 years old, so now is the tipping point where OER is going to make a difference in our education. My standpoint in designing this course is as a facilitator instead of a lecturer. There are a lot of OER resources out there. I strive to weave real stories, real knowledge, real activities, and real interactions together. But I also put in some valuable ideas from outside the OER field. Learners can explore each topic as deeply as they desire through extended resources and links . Working with Digital Learning Tree, we are doing our best to bring a “community service” to facilitate connected learning and peer review. Learners have abundant resources curated and choices given. The only thing we don’t want to do is spoon-feed learners. This relates to our belief that the true value of OER is much more than bringing the cost down.
This course is a “Course As A Service;” the content will be updated and upgraded as time goes by. You will always have access to the most up-to-date version.
It’s self-paced, totally online, with no time limit for learners. Your graduation depends on when you finish the required activities and put together your learning profile.
Learners will always be connected to our community and to the OER news updates. Weekly newsletters will feature learners’ tweets, notable activities, articles or projects and OER news. (Twitter hashtag #OERtree)
The quizzes are to help you catch the key points in each lesson. Its purpose is problem-based learning. (You might find it interesting that passing quizzes are not a required part to past this course, but taking quizzes definitely helps you learn.)
Peer feedback and peer review are required to pass this course.
Participation is crucial, but we understand that the commitment in a rigid time frame is difficult and not necessary, so there is no duration limit for you to finish it after you enroll.
The final project of creating an OER resource is required to pass the course. All the assignments and quizzes are to help you on the journey toward this final goal. The core of this course is project-based learning.
Personal blog and Twitter account are required to join this course. Learners always publish to authentic audiences. This way, they build strong digital identities and participate in the real world with real experience. (We’ll post great articles there too, with permission.)
To give the learning a fun spin, we give it an initial story (also see : A Message from 2038 – Help Education!), game terms (missions, quests), and badges to show off on your own blogs. Your experience point starts from zero and grow as you finish tasks one by one. The final achievement (and hence badges) really depends on the effort submitted. You own the learning. We will grow the story as participants’ stories will join into its development. Your story can change its direction!
After passing the course, learners can obtain 3 graduate-level professional development e-course credits.
OER is like a tree
OER content is like a tree. The content is never “dead.” Anyone can continue to “grow” on an OER object: adding transcripts, captions, translations, quizzes, different ways of expression; improving it; remixing with other stuffs; putting it into different contexts; transforming it for mobile learning(#mlearning), ubiquitous learning(u-Learning) or game-based learning(#GBL); making it more accessible… The possibility of branching and growing is endless, just like a tree in an open and organic environment. If you’d like to contribute or suggest to this course, you are more than welcome. (Maybe we can co-design the next course!) This course itself will grow too. And all the Google Docouments created by me (Jessie Chuang) in this course can be re-used and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
This course is all about steering your own learning in a way that works for you. Participatory learning should be embodied through autonomy, and hence mastery. At first glance, you might think your purpose is to pass the course and get the credits, but as you finish the journey, you’ll find that you’ve already built a strong portfolio for your digital identity – branding yourself. This course isn’t only about OER, it’s also about life-long learning. Even if you are a social media novice, it’s absolutely fine to take this chance as a starting point to begin learning about using Twitter, blogging, and utilizing Web 2.0 tools like Google Doc.
At the end of this course, the importance of mobile learning will be addressed. Learners will have the opportunity to work with me and our team from Classroom Aid Inc. to publish their mobile applications without coding a line. Teachers, it’s not a bad idea to turn your curriculum design into a real mobile app! (Related reading : Mobile Devices and Apps as Accelerators for #OER, OER in the Mobile Era.)
Syllabus of the course
LESSON 1 – INTRODUCTION
A message from 2038 – A story about the future needs your help
Why should I bother ? – History flow and the coming Common Core State Standards have created the tipping point for the development of instructional material from the adoption of aligned OER.
The core principles of this course –
- Participation, not indoctrination ;
- Exploration, not prescription;
- Contextualization, not abstraction ;
- Iteration, not repetition
How is this Course structured and designed ? –
- 6 parts will contribute to your final achievement : quiz(quest) + assignment(mission) + final project + peer review and feedback + participation + Personal Learning Network(PLN);
- 4 kinds of badges will be awarded depending on your learning outcomes ;
- You are the owner and designer of your learning but you’ll always be connected with the community of practice.
About peer review – Learners should build the culture of peer support(feedback) and capacity of peer review
LESSON 2 – THE STORY OF OER
The beginning of OER from open source software idea – Understand the community-driven spirit from open source software
Difference between OER , open education, open courseware and open access publishing
Important OER milestones
The spreading of the OER movements
Web2.0 technologies enhance OER progress
Open access explained
LESSON 3 – WHY OER MATTERS?
Why digital textbook is going open
From SETDA, traditional textbook model isn’t sustainable anymore
Cost-down benefit of OER (number and evidence)
OER will facilitate paradigm shift if we can learn from history
Evidence that learners can be trained more quickly using OERs
10 major reasons why OER matters
The freedom of remixing and why it’s important for education
Now, with open content remixing is OK
LESSON 4 – TEACHERS AS CREATORS
Teachers should be crafting learning experiences by orchestrating webs of content, tools, opportunities and connections.
OER Initiatives and the Vision from Maine
Trade Textbooks for Technology – Arizona
California Embraces Open Source Digital Textbooks
A collaboration of teachers, university faculty and industry – Virginia
Award-winning curriculum designed by teachers in Minneapolis
Open High School of Utah
A paradigm shift – Transforming Instruction by Design in Earth Science (TIDES)
LESSON 5 – ABOUT OPEN LICENSES
Free vs. Open – What’s the difference between “Free” and “Open” ?
About Open Licenses –
- Copyright, TEACH Act, Fair Use
- What’s CopyLeft?
- Creative Commons – details of how it works
- Public Domains
- Other open licenses
- What’s real open?
LESSON 6 – LOCATING OER
Basics, OER repositories, community sharing and curations
Learning Registry – You should learn how it works and register yourself to start using it
Learning Resource Metadata Initiative – You should learn how it supports end-user search and discovery of educational resources
CK-12 – What it has to offer, for free!
Some more quick start links – These portals give you a jump start in locating OER for K12
LESSON 7 – EVALUATING OER
Rubric for OER – Tools for rating quality of OER and aligning content to the Common Core Standards directly
Evaluating OER – You should learn the details of evaluation from several key considerations
Quality Control of OER as “Digital Textbook” – Management Approaches
LESSON 8 – Using OER for Common Core State Standards
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – Major resources for CCSS
Learning Registry and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – Locating CCSS aligned OER
OER commons – Locating CCSS aligned OER
From California – Locating CCSS aligned OER
From Washington State – Locating CCSS aligned OER
Integrating OER into Teaching and Learning – 8 steps to integrate OER into teaching
Contributing to the resources you use – How to be an active user / contributor of OER
LESSON 9 – CREATING OER
Growing Your Own Textbooks for Common Core – Steps toward taking control of your own curriculum : Aggregate, Curate, Collaborate, Create.
Remix culture as an educator’s habit – Learn about creativity and working with images in online spaces
A general guide – A general framework for collaboration
Open Creation Process – Learn from the principles of successful open software development
About “Learning Object” and Reusable Design
Technical details you should know – Learn IMPORTANT rules and tools about licenses
Lessons learnt from transforming teaching materials into OERs – A framework for transforming teaching materials into OERs
LESSON 10 – PARTICIPATORY LEARNING AS PEDAGOGY
What’s participatory culture ? – Learn why participatory culture matters and what it is
Pedagogy 2.0 – Learn the meaning of pedagogy 2.0 and strategies
Participatory Learning Design – Learn five core principles for participatory learning and more resources
The New Media Literacies – Principles for a new media literacy and why it’s important
Students as Creators – Real examples and a great talk about students teaching students
LESSON 11 – TOOLS FOR CREATING LEARNING MATERIALS
Social Software applications
Creating Quizzes and Polls
Creating on iPad
LESSON 12 – UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING AND ACCESSIBILITY
Basic tips for making content accessible – Basic principles for general purpose publishing
Complementary Supports for the Achievement of All Students – Learn about UDL, AIM, AT. What are these initiatives? What’s PALM initiative?
Universal Design for Learning – Learn a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn, and what resources are available out there
Designing OER with Diversity in Mind – Top 3 accessibility must-dos, common issues and suggestions
Link to related resources about special education
LESSON 13 – PUBLISHING OER
Visibility Strategy – Learn how to enhance reusability and visibility of OER : using open format, using open licenses, using educational metadata, granularity
5 Final Checks before OER Release
Useful Tools – Accessibility evaluation and repair tool and more
Best Practice Guidelines for Accessible Publishing
LESSON 14 – MOBILE LEARNING DESIGN
Mobile Learning facilitates personalized learning – Understand the benefits of mobile learning and the need of training and support
Mobile Learning is …. – The whole picture of mobile learning
How about OER in mobile era? – Learn the importance of OER going mobile
Mobile Learning Design – You will go through the following topics to re-design content for mobile learning :
- Design thinking
- Learning design principles
- Motivational design
- 6D for mobile learning
- 10 bullets for mobile learning design
LESSON 15 – MOBILE GAME-BASED LEARNING
Game-Based Learning (#GBL) – Learn about game elements and the most important 2 elements
A taxonomy of intrinsic motivation – Learn individual intrinsic motivators and interpersonal motivators
ARG (Alternate Reality Games) – Learn 7 key ARG features applicable to education
Augmented Reality (AR) – Learn the progression of AR, AR in education and useful AR products
Mobile Devices and Apps as Accelerators for OER – Learning content needs to be re-designed for accessibility and optimization on mobile devices. That’s a strong reason we need to advocate using OER.