Can You Help Shape #GoOpen in Michigan?

openbooksAs Michigan moves forward as a #GoOpen state, there are a community of educators working to make the effort result in a meaningful adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs). Michigan’s OER initiative provides access to high-quality open educational resources to increase equity and transform teaching and learning.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) would like your input on OER that you and your colleagues might be using as they prepare to launch a portal here in Michigan.

Might you take about 5 minutes to help? Here’s the survey.


Open is Awesome – Using OERs with #GoOpen

The US Department of Education (USeD) has identified support for the production and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a strategic priority.  As we see digital resource availability and usage increase in our classrooms, we still have some issues to overcome before OER can be a larger contributor to innovation in education.

From ongoing research, we still see limited reuse and repurposing of OER by educators, manifested by a tendency to use OER as supplementary rather than primary materials. In addition, both lack of awareness and lack of digital and pedagogical skills on the part of educators contribute to limited utilization.6555467293_abe94016b5_m

As a practical application, teachers don’t have to create all of their course content from scratch, they can add and import OERs into their courses housed in a Learning Management System like Edify, supported by the Kent ISD.

As educators, how can we tap into these vast OER collections that will help our learners develop the skills required in the 21st century?   In the next few months, you will notice a bigger push by USeD to bring awareness to what OER are, where you can find them, how they can be used, and how to get your educators trained in using them.

In the meantime, if you or your district would like to know more about how to use OER in your teaching and learning practice, please contact Ron Houtman at Kent ISD for custom professional learning and consulting around this exciting area of education.



#education, #oer, #open, #professional-development, #research

New Primary Source Sets for Education

If you’ve not visited the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) in a while, you really should take a look.   The DPLA just released its second group of Primary Source Sets about topics in US history, literature, and culture, along with new features for navigating this growing project. DPLA

DPLA Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources.

Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide.

These are a fantastic way to use primary source materials as you continue to create your blended learning courses, and engage your students in their own inquiry, discovery and making sense of their findings.


#educational-technology, #history, #oer, #primary, #social-studies