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

Thousands and thousands of FREE magazines, journals, professional publications, and newspapers.

mel michigan electronic libraryDid you know that you and your students have access to thousands and thousands of magazines, journals, professional publications, and newspapers?  The Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) is a one-stop shop for all of your academic research needs – and it’s FREE!

It’s quick and easy way to find specific titles in databases or obtain a list of suggested sources by subject (14 preset subjects with 100s of sub-categories).  Take a look at the left column at the MeL homepage and you’ll see a link for Magazines & Newspapers.  This takes you to the Full Text Electronic Journal List search screen from which you can Find e-journals by title or ISSN, Browse e-journals by title or subject, and Search for keywords in e-journals.

Unsure of what you might be looking for by name? Change the search index (by clicking on the down arrow next to “Title begins with”) to “Title contains all words” and enter a keyword to produce a list of all publications that contain this keyword.  The results of a search include title(s), ISSN, coverage dates, and link(s) to the specific MeL database(s) containing the publication.  Coverage can vary among the databases so be mindful of the dates listed for each resource.  A link to this e-journals search is also found at the alphabetic list of MeL Databases accessed from the top of the MeL homepage.

Make sure to visit today and see how your learners could use this to discover a cornucopia of primary resources for their projects.

#databases, #mel, #research