This post is cross-posted from my contribution to WWW on Technology Integration in Education. Enjoy!
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4383230458/
As the Internet weaves its way into most homes and schools venture into the 1-to-1 arena, there is a hot topic that keeps coming up. That topic is textbooks! Will they stay? Better yet, should they stay? I, personally, am not a big fan of traditional textbooks. They take too long to publish and print, they often contain errors, and they are always out of date! However, I do think it is important for teachers and students to have reliable text to access for their academic work. This brings me to this week’s topic – Open Educational Resources.
There are many examples out there as this trend continues to grow, but I want to focus on a couple of my favorite for you to check out!
HippoCampus claims to be “Your Free One-Stop Educational Resource.” It is full of content, problems, quizzes, electronic textbooks and much more. It covers Algebra (English and Spanish), American Government, Biology, Calculus (English and Spanish), Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Religion, Statistics, and US History. Academic Earth states that it contains “Online degrees and video courses from leading universities.” Imagine showing your students an overview or segment of a topic explained by an MIT Physics professor. With a shift in pushing College Reading Standards, I think this is a definite must see!
MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Education) and OER Commons (Open Educational Resources) are both great resources for searching for ideas, lessons, and online resources to cover specific topics. I will say that these two sites can be overwhelming if you visit them without a specific topic in mind. For example, if I search for Astronomy at OER Commons, I will receive 2, 267 options to work through. However, if I search for stars, it narrows down to 101 options. You can continue to narrow the search with keywords and by choosing material types.
The four sites featured this week, will definitely help you find new content, material, and/or lessons for your classroom! I challenge you to visit at least one of the sites and look for new information for your classroom! As you explore and learn more about Open Educational Resources, I hope you will leave us a comment and share your finds!