Teaching Tips from AE – Web 2.0 Tools Part 1- Open Educational Resources


(Music Playing) American English American English Teach and learn American English Welcome to Teaching Tips from American
English. In part 1 of this Teaching Tip topic, Melanie Brooks will examine the
significance of open education resources, some examples of OER, and where to find
quality OER for your English language classroom. Welcome Melanie! Greetings! My
name is Melanie Brooks, and today I want to talk to you about using free and Open
Educational Resources to impact learning locally and globally. Let’s get started!
Today I’ll show you what Open Educational Resources are – they’re also
called “OER” – and also where you can find high-quality OER for your English
language classroom. Do you ever wish you could make a
million copies of some resource for your students without worrying about
copyright? Well, I’m going to show you some ways that you can do this with Open
Educational Resources. Let’s get started with a short
description of Open Educational Resources, as I said, also known as OER.
Because the idea of Open Educational Resources is fairly new, we are still wrestling with the exact
definition for it. For our purposes today, we will define OER as any type of
resource, digital or otherwise; any resource that can potentially be used
for learning; a resource for which copyright is either in the public domain
or under an open license, such as Creative Commons; and lastly the resource
must be free. Some examples of Open Educational Resources include course
materials, course modules, entire courses, videos, tests, software, online tools,
materials and techniques. In the OER model, creators of materials have
licensed their work under an open license, so all materials are totally
free. In addition, depending on the license
type, you may be able to alter, translate, or build upon the works to fit your
educational context. This includes the ability to translate
books into local languages and adapt to contextual needs for free. So the only costs incurred would be in
printing. Lastly there are multiple distribution channels. Most Open
Resources can be distributed in print, through mobile devices, or online, so
schools and parents without sophisticated technology or high-speed
Internet can still use them. Because of the distinct advantages of the OER model,
I believe that Open Educational Resources really can begin to equalize
education for all. Let’s explore some resources that you
can use in your classroom. There are a number of online Open Educational
Resources that are in the form of textbooks or materials that you can
either download “as is” or modify to fit your needs. Let’s talk about where you can find a
few of them. The first website I want to talk about is called College Open
Textbooks. An Open Textbook is an integrated course-associated learning
tool that is in the public domain or has been open licensed, as I touched upon
previously. This website lists open textbook by subject and includes peer
reviews of each text. The Merlot collection consists of tens of thousands
of discipline-specific learning materials and learning exercises
together with associate comments and bookmark collections. All of these items
have been contributed by the Merlot members community, who have either
authored the materials themselves or who have discovered the materials, found them
useful, and wish to share their enthusiasm for the materials with others in the
teaching and learning community. Another is MIT Open Courseware. “OCW”is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. It includes EFL-specific resources, such
as full courses including video lectures and all materials. Some examples of
courses they offer include “Listening, Speaking and Pronunciation for High-
intermediate ESL students,” “Expository Writing for EFL Students” and “Advanced
Speaking and Critical Listening.” We all know about TED Talks and how amazing
they are. But do you know about Ted-Ed? Ted-Ed originals are short, award-winning animated videos about various
topics. These original animated videos come paired with questions and resources,
and they make up what are referred to as Ted-Ed lessons. Lastly, OER Commons is a dynamic digital
library and network of Open Educational Resources. There are specific resources
for EFL teachers. The OER commons includes lots of other resources besides
books. You can download a course, a unit, a class activity and much much more. Although I have listed a few of my
favorite resources, there are many many more that we just don’t have time to go
over today. So I’d like to give you this tool to find your own OER. The Creative
Commons search is an online tool which allows you to search for music, images,
video media, and the web in general for items that are licensed under the
Creative Commons. As you can see from the image, you can enter topic as your
query and then choose which site or media type you want to look for. Summing
up, my hope is that today you have gotten an introduction to what Open Educational
Resources are, why they are important in education today, and a few places you
might be able to begin exploring these resources for your classroom. Please be
sure to check out part 2 of this series, which focuses on making your own Open
Educational Resources to share with others. Thanks again and I’ll see you
next time. To check out other great Teaching Tip videos, be sure to subscribe
to our American English YouTube channel. You can find resources for teachers on
the American English website by clicking on the link listed here, and if you
haven’t already be sure to like us on the American English for Educators
Facebook page.

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