Tag Archives: Open Educational Resources

Digital Learning and Achievement

By Kim Jones, Curriki CEO

Tom Vander Ark wrote a blog earlier this month entitled “How Digital Learning is Boosting Achievement”. He pointed out that digital learning is proven technology, with extensive usage in business and in the military in addition to a rapidly increasing set of applications in K-12 education.

There are many success stories. The author makes four key points, and provides many examples to support these points; we just repeat a few of those examples here:

  • Blended schools can and do achieve high performance
    • Example: Proficiency in reading, math, science up from 68% to 88% in Mooresville, NC with laptops for all.
  • Hundreds of studies of online and blended learning are showing good results
  • Technology-enabled math products are demonstrating positive results
    • Example: Reasoning Mind claims struggling 2nd and 3rd graders could catch up to grade level in math in one year.
  • Digital learning is cost-effective in the face of a ‘decade of deficits’
    • Example: US Department of Education study shows 9 ways that online learning boosts productivity.

Mr. Vander Ark states “The digital learning revolution offers the first opportunity in history to extend quality secondary [education] to every young person on the planet.” And it also increases the college-readiness and career-readiness of high school graduates.

Image Credit: http://www.universityaffairs.ca

Curriki’s open educational resource repository is focused around digital learning content, including many videos, presentations and interactive resources. These digital learning resources are available to anyone on the planet with Internet access for free.

Broadband, tablets and the Cloud are all enabling technologies that support access to the best methods and the best teachers for anyone, anywhere, at any time. Personalized learning is spreading across the globe, and Curriki is proud to provide a free, open education repository as a Cloud-based service.

Got a Question for Curriki CEO Kim Jones?

Kim Jones, Curriki Chairman and CEO

I’d love to hear your questions, so please send me an email at KimCEO@curriki.org  and I’ll answer you in an upcoming  blog.

Why the big deal about Open Educational Resources and Curriki?

Great question!  Let me share my Top 3 list:

  1. Open Educational Resources (OERs) are created by our peers – educators, curriculum partners, and school districts – so they understand what works in the classroom.
  2. OERs are free. I’ll repeat that, they’re free!
  3. OERs are “mashable.” So if you’re a teacher, you can select specific OER resources and combine them with other resources you’re already using to generate your own custom teaching tools.

Curriki encourages you to add, subtract, and edit any resource that will make the materials better for your purposes.

Do I have to pay to download resources on Curriki?

No.

Does it cost anything to join Curriki?

No, membership is completely free! Curriki is designed to make your job easier, so join now.

I have specific needs – does Curriki have resources I can use in my classroom?

Yes! We’ve made it easy for you to search by grade and subject area. Use Advanced Search to browse by type of media to suit different learning styles, for example, or to find the highest rated resources.

I don’t have time to search Curriki every day, so how can I easily learn about new resources?

Sign up for Curriki’s monthly newsletter and subject-area emails (opt in when you join). For example, in last month’s emails, we highlighted the Top 5 Most Popular Resources in different subject areas. You can also subscribe to Curriki’s blog via RSS, follow us on Twitter (@Curriki) and join us on Facebook.

Do you have an opinion to add regarding OERs?  I encourage you to share your thoughts with our community.

Best Open & Free Educational Resources for Students

Photo by ~Brenda-Starr~ via Flickr Creative Commons

Share these top 10 Open & Free Educational Resource sites with your students: they are a great compliment to classroom instruction, and they can give students the opportunity to study personal interests in depth!

  • Curriki – Thousands of open educational resources for all subjects and grade levels for students to use in for personal pursuits or as support materials to what they are learning in class.
  • eThemes – “provides free, fast access to over 2,500 collections of websites, on topics ranging from Aerodynamics to Zebras and everything in between!”
  • FactMonster – Check facts quickly, and enjoy free access to encyclopedia, dictionaries, atlases, almanacs and more!
  • Finding Dulcinea – this website is a wonderful curated collection of best-of-web sites for kids with many excellent resources for elementary, middle and high school students. Upperclassmen especially should check out these guides for Applying to College!
  • Illuminations: Resources for Teaching Math - Filled with activities, lessons and links to math websites and study guides, this is a great resource for students looking to increase their math skills at any level.
  • Internet Public Library – An extensive online public library, this is a great research tool for students. The library also hosts collections devoted to kids and teens.
  • Khan Academy – Thousands of videos that provide a full course on instruction in a variety of topics, from social studies to statistics.
  • Learning Science – A fabulous site for science learners of all ages. This website contains an array of science websites and interactive simulations for students and teachers.
  • Open Learning Initiative – Carnegie Melon University is offering free courses in French, Physics through this initiative. Students may take an entire course, or access relevant topics for help in their own studies.
  • Shmoop – Free, student-friendly and jargon-free study guides in subjects ranging from Shakespeare to Economics and everything in between.
  • Thinkfinity Student Resources – A project of the Verizon Foundation, this website contains loads of interactive lessons, simulations and more, all easily searchable by grade level and subject area.
  • Wolfram MathWorld – This excellent, free resource from Wolfram can answer any question you have about mathematics, from arithmetic to linear algebra and beyond.

Hey, students! What open & free educational resources do you use? Let us know!

@Curriki

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Photo by ~Brenda-Starr~ via Flickr Creative Commons

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Creative Commons Speaks with Curriki’s Christine Mytko

I want my students and colleagues to understand that, by sharing materials, they are contributing to a collection … that will benefit learners far beyond the walls of their own classroom.

-Christine Mytko, Curriki Lead Science Reviewer

Last week, Creative Commons’ Jane Park spoke with Christine Mytko, a California Science Educator extraordinaire, about her involvement with Curriki and the Open Educational Resource movement. Their very informative conversation can be found here.

Mytko, the lead science reviewer for Curriki, discusses her perspective as a teacher on the impact that open content learning materials are having in the education community. She highlights the movement towards open source textbooks, including California’s Free Digital Textbook Initiative, what challenges educators may face when adapting an open content curriculum, and what steps the OER community must take to address these obstacles.

Finally, Mytko shares her vision of an open classroom:

Ideally, the classroom should be a place where students are not merely passive consumers … but rather active collaborators, synthesizers and publishers of their own work … rather than falling back on the default of full copyright, or worse, not sharing at all…This is a significant shift in current educational philosophy, but sites like Curriki are a great step in facilitating a move in the right direction.

Read the full article here.

@Curriki

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