Thursday, February 18, 2016

OER Commons - A Good Place for Common Core Aligned Resources

There are a lot of Open Educational Resources out there, which is exciting if you are a teacher, as you can find myriad of lessons and ideas.  The big issue with OER is of course the quality of what you find, does it really align to your instructional goals, and naturally, do you have the time to search through possibly hundreds of resources to find that perfect fit.

In my recent work, I have been exploring The OER Commons website, which is a digital library and network of Open Educational Resources. It allows you to search, with a search feature that really lets you refine down to exactly what you are looking for - whether that be full lesson plans, videos, full units of study, online courses, etc. You can also review and comment on resources, which is a nice feedback feature that allows for others to gain from those who have used a resource. You can create your own content to share or link to others and collaborate.

Fig 1
What I particularly like, as a certified Common Core advocate, is the Common Core Hub, where the OER Commons digital librarians have organized thousands of resources so that they are specifically aligned to the Common Core Standards, even the Instructional Shifts for ELA and Math.  There are also some CC Online Courses and other supports for educators. The search within the Common Core Hub allows you to find resources down to a specific content standard in the Common Core.Including the Grade, Domain, and standard. In Fig 1, you can see where I have narrowed my math search down 5 resources (from over 3000).


Once you narrowed down the search, you can look at your results, click on them for more
Fig 2
information,where you will see the standards written out, be able to view the resource in full detail.  If the resource has been rated by others (there are some that have, many that haven't yet, since this is still relatively new), you can see a rubric of how well the resource supports the standards (Fig 2). This will be a really powerful support for teachers, since finding OER resources that are of quality and actually support your instructional goals can be a challenge.  It will of course require those who use these resources to take the time to write a review and provide feedback, but that is part of the collaborative environment the OER Commons is trying to foster.

Again, there are many places to go to find OER but I like what I have explored so far on the OER Commons website, in particular the ability to find Common Core Aligned lessons, resources and educator support.  Worth exploring.

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