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Wednesday, November 19 • 11:30am - 12:00pm
OER: Its sheer adaptable nature lends itself perfectly to district to district collaboration and adoption.

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No matter how enthusiastic superintendents, district technology directors, librarians, and principals may be about open educational resources (OER) and blended learning, the success of making the transition from traditional textbooks to OER is completely dependent upon the willingness of the individual teachers to embrace making the change. The most important aspect of building and promoting broad adoption of OER is making that transition as seamless as possible for faculty.

Paving a smooth pathway for OER adoption means accommodating all hardware options, Wi-Fi limitations, various states of flux schools may be experiencing with regard to their technology as well as accommodating variations in faculty tech savvy. Making adoption more feasible means educating teachers on just what OER is, where to find high quality OER, and how they can implement it in to their classrooms. This means making sure teachers understand the various copyright licensing options if they want to use their own materials. It means creating venues for teachers to collaborate with other teachers within their schools, districts, and states. It means understanding how find common core state standard aligned materials that correspond to their curriculum.

We have found that encouraging teacher collaboration as well as cross-district collaboration among OER users, and non-users, to come join in and listen, helps to build the "OER momentum".

In Staten Island, New York we are facilitating teachers across the district to come together by subject and grade to create courses, which will then be approved by the curriculum managers and superintendent. These courses will be fully common core aligned and adhere to their specific curriculums/syllabi yet the OER will still be malleable for the teachers to reconfigure and add additional materials. When one teacher finds a great resource or implementation strategy he or she can share it. Other teachers can decide if they want to use it.

Providing communication and collaboration opportunities for teachers and curriculum managers helps to create a comfort level for teachers that the OER is not only robust and of high quality but also has the support of their superiors. This in turn gives educators the freedom to comfortably use these highly adaptable materials to create customizable courses that accommodate the unique learning makeup of their individual classrooms. With teachers more aware than ever that
students are not one size fits all, this is an especially invaluable feature of OER.

We will share the knowledge we have gained from creating and using OER courseware on various devices in schools in Atlanta, GA, Amarillo, TX, Burlington, MA, Staten Island, NY, Charleston, SC and elsewhere, including specific OER materials, the pros and cons of going textbook-free, the challenges of implementing a 1:1 tablet program with real-life school infrastructure and how to keep the momentum of OER adoption rolling.

avatar for Meg Patterson

Meg Patterson

Director of Content and Research, Net Texts
avatar for Katherine Quinn-Shea

Katherine Quinn-Shea

Director of Marketing and Client Relations, Net Texts

Wednesday November 19, 2014 11:30am - 12:00pm EST
Virginia Ballroom

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