Open Education Resources – A Teacher’s Perspective


open-edu-contentOpen education is a global movement that has existed for a number of years and is continuing to grow. The concept is that education institutions such as schools, colleges and universities are placing their learning materials to share via the internet, so opening up the doors to education. There is a tension between education being a commercial enterprise and the idea of organizations now releasing their teaching resources entirely for free. These teaching resources are often called “open educational resources”.

What are open educational resources?

Open educational resources, abbreviated to OER, come in all shapes and sizes. An OER might simply be a photograph, or it might be a video of a teaching session or lecture, or the lecture notes. Alternatively there are some that come in the form of entire teaching units or modules including all the content and assessment. What makes the resource “open” is the fact it is released with an open copyright license attached to it, for example the Creative Commons license.

How a Student Benefits from Open Education Resources

Online-LearningWhile there are undoubtedly many out there who only see education and knowledge as a commodity which is to be sold to the highest bidder, there are others who maintain that education should be a right rather than a privilege, and knowledge should be freely accessible to all. There are so many nuances for each side of the argument that chances are it will take dozens of years, if not more, to find a solution which is going to be acceptable for both sides. However, there are some out there who have taken an initiative to bring free knowledge to everyone in the form of open education resources.

What Are Open Education Resources
The concept behind open education resources or OERs is simply for educators to share learning materials on as many subjects as possible so learners can access them easily and for free. As of now, more and more educational institutions around the globe are creating their own open education resources, and reusing those produced by others.

There are many out there who believe that these resources should be looked at as the start of a new era for education, which is fair and accessible. However, there are some who claim that it is a movement which will prove disadvantageous in the long run, maybe not to learners, but to those producing materials. There is a staff cost to producing materials, and OERs need to be released onto the internet or housed on specially designed repositories. There is an on-going cost of sustaining the open education movement.

While not qualified to provide an opinion as an expert, I can share a student’s point of view on the matter which should prove quite valuable because after all, open education resources were mainly made for student consumption.

The Benefits of Open Education Resources for Students
Open education resources offer a number of advantages for students and indeed informal learners who may choose to use them. They provide access to high quality learning materials to assist with their studies. This may be because the student is finding them openly on the internet, or because tutors, teachers and lecturers are themselves recommending resources. Alternatively, a resource might just be used by a casual learner who is curious about a subject and just wants to understand more.

Open educational resources are made available on the internet and provide an accessible learning solution for anyone with an internet connection, whether they are using a computer or mobile device.

Many institutions post open educational resources that form entire courses, for example video recordings of lectures, accompanying lecture notes and quizzes to test subject understanding. This is making access to learning much easier to afford for those on a very limited budget, such as myself. If developed further, the whole concept of open education could lead to a more intelligent and well educated society, which in turn will benefit everyone.

Innovative and Fun Educational Resources For Your Child

Education 1Children aged 4 – 6 years old are in their formative years. They are often referred to as kindergartens or preschoolers. This is the phase where children are starting to discover and comprehend the world they are living in. In addition, this is the time when they started to communicate and socialize with other people .

These days, homeschooling is gaining its popularity among parents. Parents get to spend more time teaching their children and they are more able to closely supervise their learning abilities and the knowledge that their children gain. Homeschooling also prevents school related accidents and violence.

Kids enjoy ways to learn in a fun way and it should be maintained that way. Unlike boring and formal approaches in many schools ran by the government or private institutions, homeschooling programs offers alternative way to teach children creatively. Being the teacher of your child, lesson should be interactive. You should be creative and be as resourceful as you can. Make sure that you make the learning enjoyable for you and your child especially knowing that kids have very short attention span.

There are so many online educational resources that parents can opt to try. Just one click and you’ll find various books, worksheets and visual aids online. On the other hand, parents should bear in mind that these resources are used to supplement their lessons

The following are good resources of educational materials and visual aids online:
1. Letshomeschool.Com

2. Abchomepreschool.Com
3. Splashesfromtheriver.Com
4. The Back Pack Proudly sell new and used text books as well as curriculum packages, science videos, Spanish worksheets, and writing guides.
5. UsedHomeSchoolBooks.Com
6. Best Homeschool Buys – sells second hand home school books
7. Educational Accents Book Store

Consider the following tips before buying online educational resources

Preschool Curriculum Downloads – fun, large and vibrant work books are the best for children. Educational toys, games, simplified work sheets and activity notepads for math will also help. Look for self – review worksheet to evaluate the learnings gained by your child.
Avail of bulk orders – make a list of what your child may need to fulfill homeschooling education. Creating a list will help you prioritize of things that you needs over the things that you want. Buying in bulk orders is relatively cheaper and will spare your from last minute shopping stress.
Browse for sites that offer rewards, discounts and other sale incentives. Be sure to check the background of these sites to avoid online scams and fraud.
Homeschool education is proven to be an effective approach in teaching children. It is encouraged to cater to the expectations of children entering kindergarten whether they are home schooled or not.