OER Fact Sheet for the K-12 (Primary & Secondary) OER Educator Network
Awareness, use and advocacy for OER is a pressing need in K-12 (primary/secondary) education. Despite the gains made by OER and openness within higher education, there is inconsistent and weak foundational understanding of OER by K-12 educators, whether a classroom teacher or someone with with mid and high level education related decision-making power. To meet SDG 4 (which is foundational to the success of the other SDG goals) K-12 educators need to have greater awareness of what OER means and the set of licensing and pedagogical practices involved. However, there are substantial gaps in this K-12 OER knowledge, within educators individually and collectively, and among countries and global regions.
As busy professionals with numerous demands and limited time or money, the internet provides a solution for establishing teacher awareness of “What is OER?”. I am proposing for the OER For a Better World project, the development of a concise and accurate fact sheet that would provide foundational OER understanding.
From my work with K-12 teachers, once they understand the foundational elements of OER, they quickly see the potential of open pedagogical practices and how the legacy of educational publishing now has a parallel alternative. What is missing, however, is an effective and concise foundational summary that supports educators with an overview of the main elements of K-12 OER. The fact sheet that I am proposing would fill this void and enable scaffolding into deeper OER understandings. The fact sheet would be on the BOLT website, available as a text file in an open file format, and made into an infographic. The CC BY licensing would facilitate revisions and remixes. This fact sheet would provide the following information: a brief overview of the history of OER; the role of copyright, licenses, and Creative Commons; the 5Rs ( Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute); attributions; links to key repositories; the benefits of OER; and initial challenges. The digital format would enable hyperlinks to more detailed information (e.g. Creative Commons licenses) but a summary overview of the foundational elements of K-12 OER would be assembled within the Fact Sheet. Teachers could receive an overview of the OER foundational elements and then pursue further OER understanding from the hyperlinks provided.
The fact sheet would be housed under a unique menu tab on the BOLT Multi-Author Blog. Over the last four years, I have been curating and populating this wordpress website with various K-12 OER related activities (e.g. the Multiply K-12 OER project – videos & podcasts; the 2 virtual conferences I organized through OpenCon, with archived presentations). There is some established traffic to the site, and thus the fact sheet would have a location that would be beneficial and not entirely without provenance. I am also in the firm planning stages of a global K-12 OER conference through the Open Education Consortium (date for some time in 2020, still to be determined) and will archive presentations either on the BOLT website or through the OEC/OEG. The K-12 Teacher OER Fact sheet concept would be a substantial support for this inaugural virtual conference, especially for educators who have no or little understanding of the key elements of OER. The Fact Sheet builds upon what I have been working at for the last several years and would also support the OEC/OEG launch into a broader and global K-12 teacher network through the possibilities of the virtual conference.
Constance Blomgren is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Athabasca University. As the project lead and producer of the Multiply K-12 OER media podcasts and videos were created, licensed with Creative Commons and now contribute to the current landscape of K12 OER awareness. These media are located on the BOLT Multi-author blog (http://bolt.athabascau.ca/) and they provide opportunity for the thoughtful development of OER teaching and learning practices within Alberta and beyond. The infographics and posters created for OER4BW also reside on this website. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and @DocBlom.
Kylie Fineday recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts at the University of Lethbridge. She is currently working as a Research Assistant under Dr. Connie Blomgren of Athabasca University on a project involving Open Educational Resources with a focus on the Art, Life, and Legacy of Southern Alberta artist Annora Brown. Kylie maintains a personal art practice and has also participated in multiple curatorial projects and museum internships. She also has some work experience as an educator and is passionate about the importance of education.
Verena Roberts BEd, TESL, MALT (Leadership and Training), MET (Masters in Educational Technology) is an Innovator and Educational Consultant based out of Calgary, AB, Canada. She is currently working as a Learning Specialist - Technology and consulting with the ABOER - K12 project and is a Learning Sciences doctoral student with UofC.