I was first introduced to the concept of Open Education when learning about the story of Aaron Swartz last semester in ECI 832. It was the first time I thought critically about how restrictive and limiting education can be, and how valuable information, specifically research and journal articles, are not easily accessible to many people because of the cost. Since then, I am beginning to see just how many issues there are with the lack of available, quality education for all. That is why I find it so exciting to learn about the Open Education Movement and the resources that are beginning to become available.
This inspired me to do some research into some of the Open Education resources available. Here are some of the sites I found that would be helpful for teachers and students:
Khan Academy– I have been using Khan Academy resources to supplement my math lessons since my first year teaching, I just never made the connection to Open Education. I didn’t know they had a wide variety of subject areas such as Science, Arts, Computing, Economics, and many more. I found that all of the resources and videos are very high quality, and the layout of the website is very user friendly.
CK-12– I created an account on CK-12 as a teacher, and was amazed at the things I was able to do! I played around and figured out how to create a “Flexbook”. I could create a digital textbook by adding resources from their site, or adding files of my own. It was fully customizable and I could even edit the content from their resources. When I was finished, I could save it in my library and even publish it to a PDF file- HOW AWESOME!!! I am so excited about this and I think it would be so helpful for teachers to create these for their students or lessons! I would highly recommend you check it out.
Some other Open Education sites I looked at were Saylor, edX, P2PU. These were great resources where anyone can take college level courses for free. So they may not be as useful in the classroom, but are still fantastic for the Open Education movement.
Here is a great TED talk by Anant Agarwal (the head of edX) about the importance of MOOCs (massively open online courses).