Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources or OER. What does that mean? Well the name is pretty self-explanatory, OER are resources available on the internet for little to no cost. How do I feel about OER you ask? Well, personally I think they are FABULOUS. First of all, the resources displayed are provided by people with licenses, and even though this doesn’t insure complete accuracy, you can be pretty confident that the resource being viewed is legit. In addition, I like open educational resources because they have so many benefits for me as a student, learner, and future teacher. Say I have a physics class and am struggling with understanding the material the way my teacher explains it. I could use an OER to help find materials that would make it easier to understand, like these video lectures on physics. Also, as a student and learner you can find full course textbooks on line for free, which is super helpful when it comes to the financial aspect of getting a college degree. Furthermore, when using open educational resources you can find quizzes to help test your knowledge and skills to find out if you are really mastering the material.

On another note, OER can be very helpful for teachers as well. Teachers can scope out OER and see what other teachers are doing and integrate that into their lesson plan to make the lesson that much more effective. The only problem I see with open educational resources is that it might weaken the bond and connectivity created between teacher and pupil. If a student could go on the World Wide Web to teach themselves the material, then why would they want to pay attention in the class? The student may rely on the OER for answers to their questions instead of establishing that connection with the teacher, and asking the person supplying the work the questions. Other than that I truly believe open educational resources are extremely beneficial tools for both teachers and students. To learn more and discover what all the hype is about, click here to experience open educational resources yourself!

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