Why OER? Teachers Tinker.

Why do Open Educational Resources and Technology go hand-in-hand?


A term that gets thrown around a lot in K12 is RTI, which stands for ‘Response to Intervention”.  It applies to special education, but more broadly, refers to how teachers are adapting curriculum to fit the needs of their students and then measuring/documenting the students’ response– and hopefully their gains.  One of the ‘pluses’ of OER (open educational resources) is that it gives teachers the freedom to take an online lesson or resource and adapt it into multiple parallel resources, each addressing a specific population in response to a particular need.

The idea of adapting your lessons to fit the needs of the students is not a new idea— but it is sometimes one that we forget about when bringing technology-enhanced lessons into the classroom.  No traditional teacher worth their salt would consent to teaching the exact same lesson, with the exact same wording, in the exact same order over and over again without regard to their actual students!  We have made some amazing advances in technology and delivery– but this movement in ed tech has ironically led to the development of engaging, thoughtful, and beautifully designed resources that can be, essentially, static.  When we limit a teacher's ability to freely adapt the curriculum, and the only freedom a teacher has is to alter lesson settings, we have stripped them of their job.

Teachers tinker.  Open Educational Resources, used inside a platform that allows granular control of the curriculum— give teachers the ability to do what they do best.  

Here are some great sites to get started in your search for OER.  

Open Ed https://www.opened.com/

OER Commons https://www.oercommons.org/



Sarah Weston

Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University, holding a BA in Mathematics Education and earned her M Ed from Western Governors University. She has built over 20 courses using OER and currently oversees all course development and teacher training on building with OER at Mountain Heights Academy. Sarah was awarded Utah Charter Educator of the Year in 2010; the first online educator to receive the award. She was also privileged to be awarded 2011, 2013, and 2014 Best of State in Curriculum Development. In 2015 and 2015, she was awarded the Open Education Excellence Award for Outstanding Site and Outstanding Courses.

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