District leaders offer tips for embracing OER
- A panel of educators offered insights about open educational resources and shared experiences from their own schools and districts in a recent webinar hosted by the Consortium for School Networking.
- Andrew Marcinek, CIO at Worcester Academy and the Obama administration’s first OER advisor, told eSchool News the shift to digital resources has to follow a shift in pedagogy — to project-based learning, competency-based models, blended learning, and the changing role of teachers as facilitators of learning.
- Experts also said cross-departmental collaboration is important during such a shift, as is stakeholder engagement in selecting digital resources, and schools can leverage their learning management systems to organize digital resources, making them most accessible to teachers.
The Obama administration has been particularly supportive of open educational resources as a way to share high-quality content with districts that might not otherwise be able to afford it. Just like many other initiatives over the last eight years, this one has been championed with equity in mind. The administration has asked researchers applying for federal funding to make their published content openly accessible and encouraged schools to adopt more OER resources into their curricula.
While this push has been welcomed by many, it has its critics, including Michael McShane, director of education policy at the Show-Me Institute in Kansas City, MO. He sees long-term viability issues in both supply and demand of open educational resources.
- eSchool News 5 questions to answer about OER use
- Education Dive OER critic: Obama administration may be going too far with #GoOpen support
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