Posts Tagged 'Open Education Resources'

#10Ways to Support the Open Education Movement via Social Media

I just posted the blog below on Curriki. Given the topic, I thought many Literacy is Priceless readers would enjoy it as well. To see the original post, click here.

A colleague of mine recently sent me the Mashable post, “#10Ways to Support Charities Through Social Media”. As a follow-up, I thought it would be fun to create a list specific to Open Education Resources (OERs). So, here it goes…

  1. Write a blog post about OERs—If you find a great free and open education resource on sites like CurrikiOER Commonsand Flat World Knowledge, write a short post about it! Teachers are always looking for great free classroom content online that has been endorsed by a fellow educator!
  2. Share OER stories with friends—If you’ve written a blog about OERs, post a link to the entry on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, or Google Buzz. Or, just post a link to the resource itself. Curriki makes this process easy! Open any resource on Curriki and click on the “Share” button at the top of the page. This will allow you to share the gift of free lessons with your social networks in a click!
  3. Follow OERs on Twitter and Facebook—We tweet @Curriki. To find other OER tweeters, go to Twitter Search and type in #OER. Many OERs have Facebook fan pages as well.
  4. Support OERs on Awareness Hubs—Several websites have popped up to support non-profits in their work. Take a look at Facebook CausesiGive and iSearch to start!
  5. Find Volunteer Opportunities—OERs are always looking for enthusiastic educators to share their knowledge with classrooms around the world. When you visit an OER like CurrikiConnexions or FreeReading, most have explicit information on how you can donate lessons, expertise and time from the comfort of your own classroom or home. Check out the Curriki donate page to start!
  6. Embed an OER Badge on Your Site—Feel good about connecting teachers in need of high quality online content with great OERs by putting a widget or badge on your blog, website, Facebook page and more.
  7. Organize a Tweetup—Meet OER fans offline at events like the upcoming Communia Workshop in Turkey or the ISTE Conference in Denver. Or, create an event in your hometown. For tips on how to organize a successful tweetup, check outMashable’s guide to tweetups.
  8. Talk about your love of OERs on Video—Then post the video on YouTubeVimeo and other online video services. Even though the OER movement is growing stronger by the second, many people don’t know about it. Connect great teachers with great free content. Spread the word about OERs!
  9. Petition for the use and creation of OERs in your School Districts—I am always surprised when I meet with schools districts unaware about OERs (especially the cost savings of OERs!) or districts that don’t allow teachers to put district-created lesson plans online open source (Wouldn’t a teacher in Cambodia benefit from a math resource from your district or county and vise versa?! Were tax dollars used to create that content?! Hmm!). Use tools like Petition Online and Twitition to rally for the use and sharing of OERs within your district and beyond!
  10. Organize an Online Event—Invite your friends to a tweet-a-thon and tell them to tweet great OERs to the world during a specific time period with a hashtags like #OER or #IloveOERs!

Social media is the perfect tool for spreading great ideas. Tell Curriki how you are using social media to support the OER movement by posting a comment on the Curriki blog, this blog or by sending a tweet  to @Curriki.

From one OER fan to another,

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education

@bon_education

Note: The image above was created by Fred Cavazza and is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

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Curricula 2.0: Improving Education Access and Quality

Tomorrow I will present my paper, “Curricula 2.0: Improving Education Access and Quality” at the Gulf Education Forum in Dubai. To read the paper, I welcome you to view the document on Scribd below. -Anna (@bon_education)

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Education is Priceless

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.

- Benjamin Franklin

Gotta love Ben F! Lucky for us, education doesn’t have to come at such a steep price thanks to the growing open education movement

Last week while reading Open Education News, I learned about the January 6, 2010 launch of NalandaU (Chennai, India)—a free online university that aggregates video and course content from universities such as MIT, Stanford, Yale, Berkeley and the Indian Institute of Technology. As Nalanda’s blog points out:

Apart from watching the videos, the students can take notes in the page and access them later – organized by courses. They can also connect with their friends in Facebook who are also in the same virtual class, and share information. The course pages also have related courses that the student can take next and improve the knowledge further. Selected courses also have online quiz that the students can take to get their grades, and can manage their transcripts from a central location. It has a simple search tool with search suggestions and course results organized by broad topics.

The site has been designed to reduce distraction and information-intimidation as much as possible. The information available at each page is organized well, unintimidating and more homogeneous, and when playing the videos you can go full screen or hide everything other than the lecture by using “Dim the lights” option.

NalandaU is a wonderful site of reference and study for educators, parents and high school/university students wishing to brush up on subject matter knowledge, explore new areas of interest and connect with subject-specific enthusiasts around the world. Course topics range from the American Novel to the History of Economic Thought to Mobile Application Development (see more courses here).

I wonder what good ol’ Ben would have thought of NalandaU? Off to explore some Nalanda U courses on entrepreneurship

Anna

@bon_education

PS Curious about the original Nalanda University? Learn a bit of history here. Moving to the other side of the globe… For more tips and quotes from Benjamin Franklin, click here.

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Eliminate the Education Divide: Notes from the Middle East

Last week Curriki (one of the organizations my company works with) was awarded the Qatar Foundation WISE Award for innovation in education. As a result, Dr. Barbara Kurshan (Curriki Executive Director) and Peter Levy (Curriki Strategic Development) came to Qatar to accept the award (watch interview here).

After Qatar, Dr. Kurshan and I spent five days in Dubai chatting with ministries of education, universities, CEOs and teachers about our next initiative to create an Arabic language version of Curriki–i.e. a free and open source Arabic language curricula repository and online community. Our five days of meetings were VERY exciting as there is much enthusiasm in the region to support the use of English and Arabic open education content.

To learn more about Curriki, open education and the work Bon Education is doing to support the integration of education technologies into classrooms across the Middle East, I welcome you to listen to the Dubai Eye Nightline interview with host James Piecowye above. Curriki and Bon Education were also featured in a recent Khaleej Times article, “Improve Arabic Content on Net, Urge Experts“. Exciting times indeed!

Thanks for listening and reading!

Anna

CEO, Bon Education

@bon_education

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The Teacherless Classroom

I just published this post on Curriki’s blog, would be curious to hear thoughts from Literacy is Priceless readers…

Empty Classroom

In his recent New York Times article, “Virtual Classrooms Could Create a Marketplace for Knowledge,” author Anad Girdharadas writes:

In the autumn of 1963, the American magazine Popular Mechanics heralded an innovation that seemed bound to change the world: the ‘teacherless classroom’ … Fate and technology have pummeled many professions since 1963, from bookseller to travel agent to auto worker. But teachers have resisted the powerful forces reorganizing industry. The dream of the teacherless classroom has remained just that … Today the dream has returned.

Citing examples such at the Open Courseware Consortium, to iTunes U to Curriki, Girdharadas points out that education is no longer a seller’s market, where deans decide what you know, at what cost and where. With an increasing number of university professors and subject-specific enthusiasts putting their course materials and expertise online in multimedia formats, students (poor, rich, young and old) have a significant number of options when it comes to where to get (or rather how to build) an education. Furthermore, with this abundance of free or almost free courses and education resources online, universities and other certificate granting institutions have to compete on quality, price and convenience more than ever before.

Taking all of this into account, what do the aforementioned changes and market pressures mean for teachers and professors in terms of their role within the classroom and education marketplace? Or, as Independent Thinking founder Ian Gilbert writes in his forthcoming book, “Why do I need a Teacher when I’ve got Google?

Scott McNealy, Founder of Sun Microsystems and Curriki, states that educators will have to re-envision themselves as coaches. Their focus should move increasingly towards motivating learners and customizing materials to individual students, often including the work and expertise of others in the process. Or, as this Edutopia article points out, “It is better to coach than cajole”.

What do readers think? With the recent digital education explosion, how will (or rather how should) the role of the teacher and professor change? Where will educators teach/coach? How can we better prepare educators for their new roles and responsibilities in education?

Anna

Founder, Bon Education

Twitter @bon_education

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The Anatomy of Open Education

Kevin Simpson (International Educator and Founder of Know Do Serve Learn) recently asked me to write a short article on OER for his newsletter. I’ve pasted a copy of the article below. To see the original post and to read Kevin’s full newsletter, click here. Thanks for the opportunity Kevin!

Anatomy

The advent of the Web brings the ability to disseminate high-quality materials at almost no cost, leveling the playing field…We’re changing the culture of how we think about knowledge and how it should be shared and who are the owners of knowledge.” - Cathy Casserly, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

With an increasing number of educators putting their lessons, curricula and learning objects online for others to use, customize and share, the open education movement is at a tipping point. That said, with so many educational resources available on the Internet, how does one go about finding the “perfect resource for class tomorrow” without losing too much time, money or sleep?

Before we get to the answer of this question, it is important to take a quick step back and understand “the anatomy of open education”…

What is Open Education?

Open education is a term that refers to education in which knowledge, best practices and learning objects (lessons, units, etc.) are shared freely via the Internet for others to use and under many licenses to modify and re-share.

Why Open Education?

The benefits of open education are many (customization, cost-savings, freedom to innovate, etc.), but one of the primary advantages of the open education movement is that of access. Anyone who has an Internet connection via computer or mobile phone can access millions of readings, videos, simulations, lesson plans, interactive courses and more… all for free!

Open Education and Teacher Effectiveness…

Research shows time and time again that teachers have the greatest potential to influence student achievement (North Central Regional Education Laboratory 2009, McKinsey 2007, Darling-Hammond 1997). Furthermore, the literature indicates that effective teachers tend to exhibit—commitment (to help every child succeed), information-seeking (intellectual curiosity), flexibility (willingness to differentiate), and passion for learning (drive to support student learning) amongst several other traits (UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning 2004, Kemp & Hall, 1992).

Luckily, the ethos of open education goes hand-in-hand with these findings, enabling educators endless opportunities to improve their craft. Thanks to the millions of people actively engaged in sharing their ideas and content online, teachers today have 24-7 access to continued learning opportunities, professional development, lesson planning guides and resources for differentiation. Take one look at sites like Edutopia, Discover Ed, and Connexions and you will be blown away by the number of free resources available to help educators continuously improve the content area knowledge, skills and expertise they bring to the classroom.

Where to Start—Finding the Perfect Open Education Resources for your Classroom

The following is a curated list of open education resources targeted at helping K-12 teachers find classroom and professional development resources quickly, easily and for free:

  • Curriki.org—“Curriki is a social entrepreneurship organization that supports the development and free distribution of open source educational materials to improve education worldwide.  The online community gives teachers, students and parents universal access to a wealth of peer-reviewed K-12 curricula, and powerful online collaboration tools”.
  • FreeReading.net—“FreeReading is a high-quality, open-source, free reading intervention program addressing literacy development for grades K-3. Schools and teachers everywhere can use the complete, research-based 40-week program for K-1 students, or use the library of lessons to supplement existing curricula in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. The site is also filled with free, downloadable supplemental materials including flashcards, graphical organizers, illustrated readers, decodable texts, audio files, videos and more”.
  • OERCommons.org—“OER Commons has forged alliances with over 120 major content partners to provide a single point of access through which educators and learners can search across collections to access over 24,000 items, find and provide descriptive information about each resource, and retrieve the ones they need. By being ‘open,’ these resources are publicly available for all to use, and principally through Creative Commons licensing, many thousands are legally available for repurposing, modifying and improving”.

To find additional open education resources of note, visit Bon Education.

The Future Cost of Education

A recent post on Mashable, titled, “In the Future, the Cost of Education will be Zero,” author Josh Catone shares a recent statement by VC and “Hacking Education” organizer Brad Burnham. He writes:

Knowledge is, as the economists say, a non-rival good… If I eat an apple, you cannot also eat that same apple; but if I learn something, there is no reason you cannot also learn that thing. Information goods lend themselves to being created, distributed and consumed on the web. It is not so different from music, or classified advertising, or news.

A nice notion indeed!

To the sharing of knowledge!

Anna Batchelder

Founder, Bon Education

www.boneducation.com

@bon_education

Make the world a better place!

What idea do you believe will help the most people?

I recently learned about Google’s 10 to the 100th initiative:

Last fall we launched Project 10^100, a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Your response was overwhelming. Thousands of people from more than 170 countries submitted more than 150,000 (or around 10^5.2) ideas, from general investment suggestions to specific implementation proposals. As we reviewed these submissions, we started noticing lots of similar ideas related to certain broad topics, and decided that combining the best aspects of these individual proposals would produce the most innovative approaches to solving some very pressing problems.

The result is the list you see below of 16 “big ideas,” each inspired by numerous individual submissions. Which ones should we make happen? You tell us. Your vote for one of these ideas will help our advisory board choose up to 5 projects to fund, at which point we’ll launch an RFP process to identify the organization(s) that are best suited to implementing them.

As a huge supporter of open education resources, I voted for idea #7 “Make educational content available online for free”. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every child or adult that wished to learn something could find high quality educational materials online or on their mobile to pursue their passions for free?! Furthermore, wouldn’t it be wonderful if those resources were organized in a way such that they were easy to find and immediately useful…

To cast your vote, click here. (Note: Voting ends October 8, 2009.)

To free knowledge!

Anna

P.S. I just posted a poll on the top right side of this blog. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading Literacy is Priceless.

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