4 Steps To Adopting OER

Open educational resources present enormous opportunities to enhance teaching and learning. One of the primary draws, of course, is that they’re free. This is particularly helpful for small school districts like mine or larger ones looking for innovative ways to stretch their resources.

Get recommendations from other educators. One of the main criticisms of OER is the poor quality of some of resources. But I have had the same issue with traditional curricula.  To find the right OER for my classroom, the first place I go for recommendations is other educators. I read articles and blogs written by teachers, and follow other teachers and math experts on Twitter and Facebook.

Test drive it in the classroom. Even if an OER has stellar reviews and testimonials from teachers, I like to test the waters before jumping in.  If the software is available as an OER so I accessed it online and poked around to make sure it was aligned to my state standards, the Iowa Core Standards. Then I tried a few units with my seventh-grade students to see how it would work in my classroom. I liked the instructional routines and activities for student engagement, and the coherence across units and grade levels.

Invest in professional learning. One of the best ways to support an OER implementation is to take some of the funding that would have been spent on curriculum materials and invest it in professional learning. Our middle school math teachers and principal attended two days of training developed by the curriculum authors and delivered by IM Certified Facilitators.

Be flexible. Even with high-quality OER, it’s important to remember that you may need to make adjustments on the fly to meet learners’ needs. It’s also helpful to collaborate with other teachers during common planning times or in professional learning communities to dig deeper into the units…

The information for this post was taken from an article by Sarah Martin in Smart Brief, follow this link for the complete article and a nice checklist for OER.