iLC Engage: Volume 4
A Season of Giving: New Resources Available
December 14th, 2017
iLearn Collaborative believes, as does the U.S. Department of Education, that openly licensed education resources can increase equity by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high quality learning materials that have the most relevant and up to date content. Moreover, when teachers and students have access to co-create their learning materials, modifying content to reflect their interests and cultural context, we nurture the school climate of agency and ownership essential for student-centered learning. This is why we support our members in participating in the Open Education Resources (OER) movement.
“Open Education Resources make it possible for teachers to focus deeply on their students, to take the time to learn and apply innovative instructional practices,” shared Judy Perez. “Without the building blocks of high quality, customizable, digital curriculum, teachers spend their time refining content, greatly slowing the progress and potential of technology in the classroom." The power of Open Education Resources goes beyond the individual classroom, however. “OER makes it financially viable for district and network leaders to roll out student-centered learning initiatives, powered by technology, in each and every classroom,” Perez added.
By accelerating the use of technology in the classroom, Open Education Resources have created demand for a variety of other services. “We can now provide cost-effective options ranging from basic infrastructure around Internet access and IT support, to Learning Management Systems, to speciality content and formative assessment software solutions,” shared June Marcel. Teachers can leverage technology to do everything from helping their students explore STEM careers, to finding the right strategies for supporting learning differences, to enabling iterative project-based learning. “We have been working with vendors, based on feedback from our membership, to negotiate discounted access to these services. The list of participating vendors grows monthly!” added Marcel.