January 6, 2012

What OER is your K-12 online / blended program using?

We are finding that many districts are planning for the use of open education resources (OER) to help build online and blended courses, and we are often asked for a list of open resources. We always note in these conversations that “open” doesn’t really mean “free”, because of the time that the district has to typically put into finding good sources, and the quality control that is required in many cases.  Still, however, a list of OER is valuable, and so we’ve been asking colleagues what OER sources they are using, and have created the list below.

  • Hippocampus http://www.hippocampus.org/ is a free, public website for high school and college students and instructors that provides National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) multimedia content as an OER resource. Some content from NROC and Hippocampus is available in Spanish. NROC is a library of high-quality online course content, and is a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), an educational non-profit organization committed to improving access to high-quality education for everyone.
  • Khan Academy: http://khanacademy.org  2100 videos and 100 exercises in math and other topics.
  • Curriki: http://www.curriki.org/Offers content in a wide variety of subjects, searchable by content area and grade level.
  • cK-12: http://www.ck12.org/about/   Uses  an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the “FlexBook” to generate and distribute educational content to serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning.
  • OER Commons: http://www.oercommons.org/  OER Commons has partnered with over 120 major content partners to provide a single point of access through which educators and learners can search for and access online content.
  • PhET (science simulations):  http://phet.colorado.edu/  PhET provides fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena.
  • Utah Open High School: http://www.ocw.openhighschool.org/  OHSU is a charter school that is committed to sharing its curriculum as an OER.
  • Kids Open Dictionary Builder: http://dictionary.k12opened.com/  Accessible definitions and glossaries that can be imported into lessons or online courses.

WikiEducator is offering a free online workshop for educators and students who want to learn more about OER, copyright, and Creative Commons Licenses.

The Departments of Defense and Education recently launched the Learning Registry: http://www.learningregistry.org/, a website designed to be a platform for sharing information about existing educational resources. It is not a repository on its own, but links to existing resources.

Updated 2/28/12: 

The Open High School of Utah creates all of their content using open educational resources, giving teachers a full year to gather materials and create their own curriculum before working with students. In a the February 2012 iNACOL Teacher Talk Webinar, they noted the following resources they use:

  1. NROC
  2. CK-12
  3. Flat World Knowledge
  4. Georgia Virtual
  5. Connexions
  6. Open Course Library
  7. SAS Curriculum Pathways
  8. Gooru
Some of the non-OER resources they use (some of these could also be seen as tools):
  1. Qwiki
  2. Vimeo – host screen casts
  3. Thinkfinity
  4. Articulate
  5. eLearning Brothers
  6. Quia
  7. Voice Threads
  8. Slide Rocket
  9. Smart Notebook
  10. Camtasia
Tools they use:
  1. Moodle – their primary LMS
  2. Google Apps for Education
  3. Open Class – a Google Apps extension
  4. Sophia
  5. Gooru (both tool and content)
  6. OER Glue

2 Responses to What OER is your K-12 online / blended program using?

  1. A significant emphasis OER discussions has been placed on the quality of OER. So, in that respect I think CK12 deserves a special mention for its quality alone. I heard in the Washington OER Bill discussion that CK12 FlexBooks are written and synthesized by experts, vetted by peers, and made available online for free access, downloading, and use by anyone. If that is true it takes care of the quality aspect for me. Now let’s come to Flexibility, which perhaps is the most essential element in a blended learning environment. Using CK12 FlexBooks for the past 2 years, I can tell you that they are brilliantly simple to customize and are adaptable to any device which makes resource based learning an absolute joy.

  2. Pingback: What OER is your K-12 online / blended program …

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