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Your Edtech Questions
42 minutes | a year ago
How can we leverage OER to make more inclusive curriculum resources?
Chances are, if you’re an LGBTQ student, you’ve never been able to see yourself reflected in the materials teachers use at school. That’s because curriculum that is inclusive of the LGBTQ population is rare to nonexistent in most schools. That’s just beginning to change. A few states are revising curriculum standards to include the LGBTQ representation. But the biggest hope for spreading inclusive curriculum is through openly licensed resources, also known as OER, which can be freely shared. OER allow teachers to find inclusive curriculum and customize it to their needs. In this episode of Your Edtech Questions, Sabia Prescott from the New America think tank talks about the nascent efforts to create OER curriculum that’s LGBTQ-inclusive.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
How are open educational resources (OER) like a free puppy?
Open educational resources are the education world’s version of the sharing economy. OER is curriculum and other learning materials that are shared without cost and without copyrights. That allows users to adapt the materials any way they want and freely share their new creations with anyone. That’s different than copyrighted materials, which are protected intellectual property that restrict sharing. With OER, there’s no revenue stream to protect. Sounds like a good deal, right? It is, but, like a free puppy, there is care and feeding involved. For starters, finding them, vetting them and understanding how best to use them takes a lot of time and resources. Kristina Ishmael, an OER specialist for the Washington, D.C.-nonprofit New America, offers an OER primer and describes what’s involved when a school wants to start using OER materials. She explains how materials from the Office of Education Technology (tech.ed.gov/open/districts/launch) and the New America website (www.newamerica.org) can help educators get started so that they experience more joy and less annoyance from their new puppy.
46 minutes | 2 years ago
How do teachers working in under-resourced schools do innovative things with technology?
Michael Bonner, a teacher, author and speaker, has attracted much attention for his innovative teaching methods at an elementary school in North Carolina where the vast majority of students come from low-income homes. The school went through 14 administrator changes over the course of six years. So, the school’s 1:1 iPad initiative foundered as the lack of administrative continuity resulted in an absence of leadership for technology use and training for teachers. Bonner talks about how in that vacuum, he and his colleagues banded together to help one another learn to use technology effectively. They also found help in online communities where they connected with other educators who were happy to share how they were successfully using technology for learning. Bonner’s advice for teachers in such situations: Don’t wait for help to arrive and be fearless about asking for advice both face to face and online. Also, he says, don’t fear failure or the occasional chaos that comes with trying something new.
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