7. Curating Open Educational Resources (OER)

Chapter 7 Curating Open Educational Resources (OER)

Essential Questions

What is the difference between collecting and curating resources?
What are open educational resources (OER)?
How might educational websites provide interactive and engaging experiences for students?


Log into the OneNote Class Notebook for your section to access the Peer Team Teaching Planning Guide for this week.

Teaching is an information-rich profession, and a teacher’s efficiency and effectiveness can be improved with knowledge and skills in selecting from an over-abundance of available resources, organizing them in accessible ways, and sharing them in a meaningful manner for others to use and re-purpose.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes. — Creative Commons

Open Education “…is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge.”
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Video by Open Washington: Open Educational Resources Network (http://www.openwa.org/)

The U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen Campaign (see also #goopen) encourages schools and states to invest in openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.

Spend some time at OER Commons (https://www.oercommons.org/) to discover resources you might use. Realize the power of OER is not just that they are free to use but licensing under Creative Commons allows for re-mixing, re-using, and re-purposing of individuals’ creations.

The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/)

Watch this video for more information on Creative Commons and fair use guidelines:

The process of selecting, organizing, and sharing OER, though, is critical for teachers to master.

Collecting vs. Curating

We have all collected web-based resources by bookmarking in a browser to be able to visit them later. This is collecting — saving something for our own use and enjoyment. Curating is a bit different. When we curate, we are thinking critically about resources, considering how they can be used in a specific context, and purposefully sharing them with others. Annette Clancy (http://www.inter-actions.biz/creativity/-the-difference-between-collecting-curating) explains “Collection is additive. Curation is subtractive. Collecting is for yourself, curating is for others.” Nancy White shares a chart illustrating the differences between these two activities:


Differences between collecting and curating resources arranged by criteria

“A curator is an expert learner. Instead of dispensing knowledge, he creates spaces in which knowledge can be created, explored, and connected.” (Siemens, 2007). Read the digital essay Curation as a Tool for Teaching and Learning for a more thorough explanation of teacher as curator.


Types of Curation Tools 

Social Bookmarking – You probably already keep bookmarks of your favorite websites to go back to whenever you might need them. Social bookmarking takes it a couple of steps further, allowing you to access your bookmarks from any internet-enabled device, organize resources in a searchable manner by tagging, and share your bookmarks with individuals and groups who share your interests. In this course, you are getting to know the social bookmarking tool Diigo well, as we are posting, tagging, and sharing resources with our EDTC 3123 group. In the Resources section of this chapter, there are links to more social bookmarking tools you might like to try.
OER Commons and Open Author –  OER Commons offers a digital library and network of resources curated by educators. Open Author is their tool that helps you build Open Educational Resources, lesson plans, and courses (on your own, or with others) — and then publish them, to the benefit of educators and learners everywhere.

Standards Connector – A Standards Connector is a collection of digital resources that is specifically organized based on a set of standards. Here’s an example of a Standards Connector a group of teachers created for an integrated unit on Colonial Era Pennsylvania http://thewongsters.wikispaces.com/Learning+Standards+Connector+Table.


Types of Websites

Archival and Primary Source websites – A type of educational website that provides original historical materials for students to access and analyze.

Collaboration websites – Communicate and collaborate with others around the world in order to create students who are competitive and globally-minded

Educational websites – A source of Internet-based digital content, often designed with K-12 learning goals in mind.

Exploration and Discovery websites – A type of educational website that allows students to engage in online explorations of topics of interest.

Lesson Plan websites – A type of educational website featuring lesson plans and related teaching materials.

Realtime and Recorded Data websites – A type of educational website that presents scientific data for students to access and analyze.

Skills/Practice websites – A type of educational website that provides basic learning activities for students.

StudenttoExperts websites – A type of educational website that supports exchanges of information between students and adult experts in organizations outside of school.

Virtual Field Trip websites – Online learning adventures where students are able to visit far-away places using their classroom computers.

ISTE-T Standards

2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

  • Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the ISTE·S.
    • Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity
    • Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress
    • Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources
    • Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning

  • Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.
    • Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations

Key Terms

interactive video conferencing
social bookmarking


Social Bookmarking and Standards Connectors
BagTheWeb http://www.bagtheweb.com/edu For any topic, you can create a “bag” to collect, publish, and share any content from the Web. Beyond most social bookmarking or curation tools’ capability, BagTheWeb enables users to build networks of bags. This way bags can be linked together to provide rich and complete information about any topic.
TES Teach with Blendspace https://www.blendspace.com/
LiveBinders http://livebinders.com Organize your favorites into “binders” with tabs and sub-tabs and share or embed those binders.
Pinterest http://pinterest.com Pinterest is a site where you can “pin” (or collect) photos you find on the internet. The photos link to the webpage or blog post where the photo is located, so you can read more about it.
Standards Toolbox http://www.standardstoolbox.com/
Symbaloo http://symbaloo.com Is a highly customizable graphic page with “tiles” creating a “webmix.” Share your webmix or use those others have put together.

Learning or Classroom Management Systems

Collaborize Classroom http://collaborizeclassroom.com Complements classroom instruction and engage students in online activities, assignments and discussions that allow for deeper participation inside and outside the classroom.
Coursesites https://www.coursesites.com Online course creation and facilitation service that empowers individual K–12 teachers, college and university instructors and community educators to add a web–based component to their courses, or even host an entire course on the Internet.
EdModo http://edmodo.com Helps connect all learners with the people and resources needed to reach their full potential.
MyBigCampus http://mybigcampus.com Part social network. Part LMS. Part professional development. All for K12. And all safe.
Rcampus http://www.rcampus.com/Comprehensive Education Management System and a collaborative learning environment.
Schoology https://www.schoology.com Schoology is a free web-based learning management system (LMS) built on a social network. Schoology leverages the familiarity of popular social media tools to improve communication and collaboration.
Wiggio http://wiggio.com/academic.html Students and teachers use Wiggio to collaborate on projects, case studies, labs, study groups, and class initiatives.
Wonderville http://wonderville.com/ A social learning site for students and teachers in K-5.
Class Dojo http://www.classdojo.com/about A classroom management system that digitally tracks students’ behavior using avatars and by giving/taking points.


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