Digital Directions - Fall 2012 - (Page 42)

Open Educational Resources Surge I Spurred by the adoption of commoncore standards by nearly every state, the movement for open digital resources is growing as educators realign curricula By_Katie Ash n Utah, the state department of education is pulling together textbooks aligned to Common Core State Standards made up entirely of open educational resources, or OERs. South Dakota officials have created a repository of open education materials aligned to the common core for teachers. And at the national level, the education organization Achieve has launched a set of rubrics designed to help educators evaluate both the quality of OERs and their alignment to the common standards. “I think the common core has been a catalyst for OER—for examining it, for discussing and developing and adopting OER,” says Reginal J. Leichty, a partner in EducationCounsel, a Washington-based education law and policy-consulting firm. “There are windows for policy change, and common core has just by its nature necessarily caused this conversation to begin.” Spurred by the adoption of commoncore standards by nearly every state the movement for open education resources is seeing a surge in interest as districts re-evaluate and realign their curricula. OERs, which are free to use, remix, and adapt, also engage teachers more fully in curricula, allowing them to more easily differentiate instructional materials for students, advocates of the movement say. “As a consequence of this historic national transition to these common standards, there are a lot of states going through the exercise of, ‘OK, how do we ensure that our resources are the right ones? How do we do that in a way that’s affordable? How do we work with our peers to develop it?’ ” says Leichty. “With OER, you don’t need to adopt one rigid model that was adopted by one of the major states. You can adopt and adapt and tailor those resources to unique state needs.” EducationCounsel is working with schools to help provide policy advice to those that are embracing open education resources. Karen Fasimpaur, the president of K12 Handhelds, a Portal, Ariz.-based company that focuses on mobile computing in education, is also an advocate for open education resources. “There’s a renewed interest in [OER], particularly at the state policy level, because

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Directions - Fall 2012

Digital Directions - Fall 2012
Editor's Note
DD Site Visit
Bits & Bytes
Shifting to Adaptive Testing
Tailoring the Tests To Special Needs?
Choosing the Right Device
Bandwidth Demand Rising
Are You Ready?
Where’s the Money?
High-Priority Virtual PD
Online PD Destinations
Virtual Ed. Dives In to the Common Core
Open Education Resources Surge

Digital Directions - Fall 2012