Monday, April 30, 2012


I found this article about open educational resources very interesting.  The scenario about Dr. Bartlett was very insightful. It gave a good introduction to OER's and was easy to follow. The first thing that really stuck out to me was that OER's are a collection of different sources and different types of sources such as textbooks, simulations, syllabi, and many other things. Colleges, libraries, to commercial organizations such as publishers create these open educational resources and allow them to be shared for free or at little cost. The second thing I found interesting was how MIT has the largest OER and other colleges and universities have replicated it. It is accessible to anyone, not just people who are part of the school's community. The third was the radical idea that someday OER's could lead to people getting a college education online or a "degree" online for free. That seems a little far fetched for me but we will see i guess. Lastly, it is continuing to grow and it is a way to address the rising costs of education, and they have the potential to facilitate new styles of teaching and learning.

What surprised me about all this and going to the website in Mr. Smith's blog is how easy they can be to find and how helpful this one is. Another thing is that it is all free. Some of the the collections I was looking at were really easy to follow and read. The one about assigning homework and how we as future educators should be courteous of the students and what may be coming up and not overloading them. The article gives a lot of good information. Another one was just the collection on online textbooks that maybe as a student I can go and look at and it may be of some use to me for a class or just general knowledge. With all of this great stuff available to me at the click of the mouse makes me wonder how much technology will continue to grow and how scary it could be to see it grow to where a need for teachers isn't really important anymore. People can go online and access information and get a "degree" from that. Technology is limitless. It will continue to grow and break new barriers we can't even think of today. To me its scary but also exciting at the same time.

When I went off and did some research on my own by looking up OER's i found a couple that were interesting. The first one was MERLOT. This site is like the Commons OER in the regard that it has arts, science, and other topics to look into but more professional if that makes sense. This site seems like it is more for college range students than younger people. It would benifit me as a student going and looking up information on here. They also give reviews on things you'd be viewing. Another OER was PBS Teachers. This site is designed for teachers obviously and allows teachers to look up lessons or activities for grade levels preK-12. I could definitely see myself using this site as a teacher. Finally, as a learner i could see myself using the Smithsonian website. I mean I don't know if it is fair to use it, but as a learner what is better to use than this website that is attractive and very knowledgeable. It very well organized and just so much interesting information to explore that I can sit at my laptop and do it for hours.


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