Using OER for Schools

         

 

                                  

   How Schools Can benefit from OER?

This work is licensed under CC-BY, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

 

1. Powerful Forces are Reshaping the Education System

  • Open Education Resources (OER)**
  • Always on' Mobile Devices
  • Social Media

** Teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for anyone to use thus providing open access to high-quality education resources on a global scale.

2 How Classroom is Changing?

  • Wide availability of OER is leading to new models of teaching & learning that aim to dramatically improve quality and access to education.
  • Entrepreneurs are offering Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) taught by the best educators free of charge to a global body of students.
  • Classroom is not limited to just four walls but becoming part of global network of people, ideas and creativity using popular social media tools and sites.
  • In a popular “Flipped classroom” model, students learn routine lectures at home while using valuable classroom time for quality discussion.
  • Educators and Students are increasingly opting for Open Textbooks,distributed as eBooks or in Audio format that can be read online or downloaded using laptops, tablets or smart phones at little or no cost.
  • The best of the breed content being taught in a local school, when made available as OER, can now reach millions of students worldwide


3. The Big Question facing Education Institutions

  • Is OER sustainable? Is it worthy of adoption by schools?
  •  Let us flip this question around and ask: Is Status Quo Sustainable?
  • Can you afford not to participate in the sweeping changes gaining momentum in education today?
  • Will your students be able to compete in the global work force effectively without it?
  • Will you be able to attract and retain the best and the brightest teachers in your school without it?


In fact there are compelling reasons to adopt OER:

  • Better Learning Outcomes
  • Excellent opportunity to learn from high quality top notch material
  • Students motivation who can review the course material at their own pace and time
  • Faculty development and recognition
  • The school cannot retain its competitive edge without it.


4. Issues and Challenges of OER Adoption

  • Awareness and Mindset: What are OER? How to motivate my teachers to use it? Why should I share my content for free? What is in it for me and my faculty?
  • Localization: The power of OER may not be realized unless the learning material is tailored to the needs of your students. MIT material may not be at right level for your students, may not be complete, may have extra administrative content etc.
  • Standards and Compatibility: There are no agreed upon standards for mixing and matching OER material from different sources and working with different devices
  • Resources & Commitment: Adopting OER and the new models of teaching require substantial resources and commitment. Does every teacher and class use OER as they wish or there is an institution guideline and central resources for them to use?
  • Potential Misuse of Social Media: it must be carefully monitored and best practices followed along well thought out guidelines.


5. Recommendations: To Adopt OER, Schools Must

  • Be Bold, Show Leadership
  • Educate yourself with the OER Movement and its Best Practices (start from http://www.oercommons.org)
  • Engage, Network, Partner with OER implementers
  • Explore your Options: Create a Strategy, Implementation Plan and Guidelines for OER adoption
  • Allocate Resources: Technical, Financial and Promotional
  • Promote OER, Train Faculty and Students for OER adoption
  • Don't let Technology stand in the way of adoption, start small and experiment. Adapt and Tailor OER to your unique needs.
  • Give teachers tools to select, organize and use high quality OER effectively
  • Track Progress, Recognize and Reward Effort and Performance

 

6. Faculty and Student Development

  • OER adoption and accompanying learning and teaching processes promote rich set of interactions among teachers, students and the learning community at large
  • The Teachers play the role of mentors and facilitators, guiding students in class through practical applications of the material.
  • Students take a direct responsibility for their learning.
  • This is a dramatic shift and requires different way of thinking, and behaving: giving up command and control of the class room on the part of the teachers and a positive engagement on the part of the students.
  • Teaching a class effectively in the new environment, influencing and motivating students, sharing information freely are not skills that all teachers posses naturally or can be left to learn on their own: they require special teacher training programs.
  • By the same token, special courses in 'soft skills' can become an integral part of the class curriculum. Students learn the skills to express themselves, respect diverse points of views, recognize and manage emotions, use Social Media safely and effectively.
  • The new learned skills will serve students well in their chosen careers and help them compete effectively in the global workplace.


9. With Open LearnWare, Teachers Can

  • Use an existing course (OER based or cross licensed) to teach their class
  • Customize an OER based course or build a new course
  • Monitor enrolled students and their progress

Benefits:

  • Reduced time to organize course material
  • Less effort in test preparation and grading
  • Reduced routine lecture time
  • Improved quality of interactions with students With Open LearnWare (contd)


10. How does Open LearnWare compare with existing products?

  • Solutions like Blackboard, Pearson, Moodle are
    • Resource Intensive: higher cost to setup, High Learning curve, High Cost of deployment
    • Inflexible in terms of configuration, integration with OER


11. In Summary,

There are compelling reasons for schools to use OER.

LearnWare makes it easy for schools to benefit from OER

  • Integrates OER, mobility and social media effortlessly
  • Easy to use
  • Scalable & Expandable
  • Flexible: can be deployed in many configurations
  • Cost effective