Why should teachers care about Open Education Resources?
Current education technology articles say open education resources (OERs) are one of the trends teachers should focus on this year. So what are OERs and why should it matter to classroom teachers?
The World of OER
OERs are educational materials on the Internet that are created by teachers, education professionals, and authors worldwide. This content is free and created for use in the classroom. All content is protected under open licences like Creative Commons. However, the content can be revised, reused, remixed, and redistributed. This allows educators to change the resources for personalized learning.
OERs include resources like textbooks, lesson plans, courses, activities, and collections. Some popular OER websites are MIT OpenCourseware, Khan Academy, and Project Gutenberg.
Why You Need OpenEd
OpenEd is one of the top OER sites available to teachers at all grade levels. It is a valuable tool for creating assessments. Here are the 5 reasons you need to include OpenEd as part of your lesson planning:
Reason #1: It is free! There are quite a few free education websites on the Internet. However, after using some of the resources on those sites, you may be asked to pay. On OpenEd, you get over 700,000 resources for free. You can choose to subscribe to the Premium plan. However, there are plenty enough resources to choose from using the free subscription.Reason #2: It has the largest K-12 Educational Resource Library. Seeing is believing! I was skeptical at first about their library. Once I signed up for an OpenEd account, I was impressed. There is a huge amount of lesson plans, assessments, homework, quizzes, games, and videos for kindergarten through twelfth-grade. What impressed me the most was the variety of resources for the primary grades especially in science.
All of the resources are aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Once you set up a class and roster, then you can use this library to create assessments and assignments.
Reason #3: It is easy to create assessments and homework. The tools for creating assessments, lesson plans, and homework are easy to follow. The video tutorials are also very helpful. You can write your own questions or choose from the Recommend Questions or Find Questions search options. The question format is already determined for these two options. However, you can choose the format when you make your own questions. The assessments are done online. Their structure is based on current standardized assessments such as PARCC and SBAC.
Reason #4: Students can use the resources on any type of device. Access to OERs depends on the availability of devices. This is a huge part of OpenEd’s appeal. Students can take the assessments, view videos, and play games on tablets, laptops, or desktops. They can take it through the OpenEd site or by using their free app. The app, Common Core Quest, is available for Apple, Android, and Chrome.Reason #5: You can earn points towards a Premium Subscription. OpenEd’s Premium Subscription is $9.99 per classroom per month. This subscription gives you access to additional resources created by educational publishers. You can also earn Karma Points towards a free subscription for up to five months. All you have to do is create and publish content for your students and other educators to use. Once your students start using the assessments and homework, you will also earn points.
Intrigued? Stop by OpenEd.com, explore the resources, and create interactive materials for your classroom.
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