OER: Why it's Time to Switch
How can OER help you? Open educational resources (OER) are great tools for educators and in most cases, can even replace traditional textbooks.
Do any of the following apply to your school?
- We can't afford new textbooks
- Our textbooks are more than 3 years old
- We have eletronic devices, but do not use them effectively
- We don't have additional resources for students to go beyond the lesson
- Our textbooks do not align to standards
If any of the above apply to you, OER might be the solution! OER, by definition are "freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes."
Dr. George M is Science Supervisor at a Pensylvannia school district. His school district was struggling with a spending cap and the need to give a more modern look to their curriculum. As a solution, Mehler and his team found CK-12, an education non profit providing high quality math and science OER for free. His team used the CK-12 platform to create their own Flexbooks for science classes in grades 7-9.
Flexbooks are digital textbooks that fit the OER model and can be customized to keep up with the ever changing world. Best yet, Flexbooks are available on all devices and can even be printed for schools without access to electronic devices.
The team at CK-12 has also broken down the Flexbooks into concepts. Each concept is available in multiple modalities including video, text, practice, real world applications, interactive simulations and more.
Pamela C, Science Dept Chair and teacher at a Catholic high school found CK-12 when she began researching tools to use on the new laptops her school purchased. Today she uses concepts in her classroom to teach lessons to students in different formats. She also uses CK-12 groups, which are ways to group your students into a class. Using groups, Connolly is able to share resources to her science students and assign them practice to be done on CK-12. She even gets the results of her students' practice right in her teacher dashboard.
"It really is everything I need. There really is no point in spending on expensive textbooks” said Connolly.
If you're looking for a way to cut down on the costs of expensive textbooks, update your curriculum or give your students extra practice, CK-12 is a great OER for doing just that.