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7 sensational ways to use OERs

By Team ISTE 3/10/2016

Open education is one of the most exciting trends in learning and teaching today. The sheer number and diversity of lesson plans, videos, webpages, MOOCs, webinars and other formats is changing the game of education for both students and educators. But it can be difficult to cull through everything out there.

We know that a little guidance goes a long way. That’s why we put together a list of some of our favorite free resources, along with advice from educators about how to use them with students:

  1. Google CS First ignites interest in computer science. Instructional coach and teacher Janice Mak offers a step-by-step guide for using Google’s computer science curriculum. The online modules include tutorials, activities and historical perspectives. The package comes with scripts that allow anyone, regardless of programming experience, to teach the course in school or as part of an after-school club.

  2. Storytelling through digital threads. Many teachers love Twitter for how it connects them to other educators and useful resources. But Twitter offers another way to learn. In this post, Technology Director Chris Bigenho explains how his students collect tweets from users around the world to study international events as they’re breaking.

  3. 5 resources to connect your students to real scientists. When it comes to educational resources, nothing’s better than real live experts demonstrating work they’re passionate about. Ben Smith and Jared Mader offer five sites that connect students to scientists working in their fields.

  4. Get your students on the road to digital citizenship with a digital driver’s license. Let’s face it, every student today needs to learn how to be a good digital citizen. Yet, embedding those lessons into the curriculum has been a challenge for many educators. Gerry Swan and Marty Park explain how to use the Digital Driver’s License project, a free and easy-to-navigate resource that schools or individuals can use to teach and measure digital citizenship proficiency.

  5. Find free and fair-use photos. There’s no shortage of photos on the web. But good digital citizenship requires that we know how to properly find and cite images. Keith Ferrell, an educational technology coach, offers a list of places where students can find fair-use photos.

  6. 5 standards-aligned lesson plans. One of the best-kept secrets in ed tech is the Project ReimaginED resource library, a treasure trove of lesson plans aligned to the Common Core and ISTE Standards. Chip Cash, a high school math teacher and Project ReimaginED leader, shares some of the best lesson plans posted in the resource library.

  7. Teach students to code with Code.org’s free resources. Coding is a key discussion topic among educators and policymakers around the world these days. Even President Obama has unveiled an initiative called Computer Science for All to empower students to learn the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital world. In this post, Janice Mak shares some of the most exciting free resources offered by Code.org.

Turn to the EdTekHub to find free resources and advice from experienced educators on how to implement technology in the classroom.

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