Sunday, August 7, 2016

OER and Teacher Preparation Programs

In my presentation last week at the Mn eLearning Summit, I included a slide requesting more participation by teacher preparation programs in OER development, curation, and masterfully teaching teachers how to use OER. Leaving all of that for institutes of higher ed to figure out on their own, or relying on the 'private sector' seems unwise. My hope is that the U.S. Dept of Education and each #GoOpen state and #GoOpen district explore how to include teacher prep programs in the #GoOpen initiative.

Teacher preparation programs are naturally and rightfully included in the converging synchronicity of LMSs and OER because the objective study of curriculum has always been a cornerstone of teacher preparation programs. Now, teacher preparation programs can be included dynamically in OER development, curation, and application in the classroom. Every OER course in every state can have at least one, and hopefully, more professors from a local university guiding OER development, curation, and revision. The teacher candidates who are students of the guiding professors will benefit by being included in the process as they begin their careers and take ownership of the content.

Using an LMS for instruction and assessment of learning is complementary to the convergence of OER and new methods of teacher preparation.  As I said in a post in January, "the LMS is the key to making OER more useful in both K-12 and higher ed. One of the reasons, I think, that LMSs have such a poor standing with all levels of education is that they haven't previously had OER. OER is the key ingredient to make LMSs really useful in either K-12 or higher ed. Without OER, LMSs can be an appendage or obstacle to teaching and learning. And, without an LMS, OER is often something that is harder to use than what we've always used previously - the textbook."

Including university faculty in OER will only enhance ongoing collaboration and help ensure that the quality of the content remains up to date.  It's not hard to imagine the significant benefits accruing to districts and students when they, too, are included in the collaboration. Everybody wins, well, except maybe some of the legacy publishers. But, worrying about the well-being of legacy publishers is not part of my current job description.

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