How to Locate #OER and Other Learning Resources Efficiently
Open Educational Resources can be as large and comprehensive as a course or textbook (including one enhanced with images, multimedia, and assessments), or as small as an image, video clip, or worksheet. OER can take virtually all formats, including print, audio, images, video, animation, and other types of instructional content, though they are most often thought of as digital and online to support ease of collaborative authoring and sharing.
Basics, OER Repositories, Community Sharing and Curations
Because users can modify OERs, they often tailor and combine them to create “best-of-breed” assemblages. For example, teachers, districts, and states are increasingly creating digital curricula by combining OER-based materials from multiple sources. A number of online repositories and communities are springing up to support these efforts, enabling users to search curated collections of materials, upload and share their own material, read and write reviews, create “playlists” of favorite resources, and interact with other users. In some cases, these interactions serve to improve and refine a learning resource over time.
Another new approach of capturing, sharing, and analyzing information about digital learning resources is the Learning Registry. Recently launched by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Learning Registry stores data provided by numerous sources about the content of various learning resources hosted in different systems, as well as information about how those resources are used by educators in diverse learning environments across the Web. Data published to and stored in the Learning Registry can serve as the basis for learning resource analytics to help recommend resources, detect trends in resource usage, and judge user experiences.
The new version of the Federal Registry for Educational Excellence (FREE) is powered by the Learning Registry, an open database for sharing digital learning resources. This partnership will provide our customers – educators, parents and students – with a broader inventory of educational materials from federal agencies and public and private organizations. More than 200,000 freely available resources are included in the new FREE. The new site incorporates responsive design for mobile devices. This means FREE looks great and works well for customers on smartphones and tablets.
While the best uses of the Learning Registry platform will result from the innovation of developers able to create content, tools and applications tailored to educators’ needs, you can experience the power of the Learning Registry right now using the simple search engine on its home page.
Learning Registry Collector (link to Google chrome extention, you can install it for convenience)
The Collector enables everyone, from educator to enthusiast, to easily share data into the Learning Registry (learningregistry.org)
The Collector organizes the workflow for you to rate online learning resources from web pages, using the Achieve OER rubrics (achieve.org). You can also say how resources are aligned to Common Core and state curriculum standards. Collector uses the repository of academic standards and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) provided by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN). More information regarding ASN can be found at http://asn.jesandco.org/content/what-is-asn.
Collector is open source and licensed Apache 2.0. Source can be found here: https://github.com/jimklo/TheCollector
Learning Resource Metadata Initiative
The scenarios are many – an educator compiling a syllabus or lesson plan, a student looking for a piece of information to complete a homework assignment, or a Ph.D. candidate conducting research for their thesis—but the outcome is often the same. In the current landscape of online search,individuals seeking educational content are spending far too much time sorting through pages and pages of content without satisfactory results.
This is the main problem LRMI sets out to address.
If all educational content—or at least a critical mass—is described in a consistent and uniform manner, web searches will return more relevant results, and it will become easier for search engines to provide filters by which users can narrow down results even more precisely.
The primary purpose of the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) is supporting end-user search and discovery of educational resources. The focus is on human discovery using search engines, not machine discovery.
The project will create a metadata extension that builds on the work of Schema.org, the recently-announced Bing/Google/Yahoo! project to develop and encourage use of metadata vocabularies that can be used to enhance search results. LRMI has the support of the open educational resources (OER) community and education media publishers (textbooks, software, services).
Our goal is improving search relevance, not driving specific action once resources have been found. This is consistent with the approach taken by Schema.org.
LRMI is co-led by the Association of Education Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Schema.org is not directly affiliated with this effort. They are not a sponsor, nor have they made any advance commitments to adopt the LRMI when it is ready.
Some More Quick Start Links
To jump directly to what you are searching for, use these links: (from open4us.org)
Gooru (for K-12, Common Core State Standards Aligned)
OER Commons (Common Core State Standards Aligned)
MERLOT is also the place to find online learning materials, web sites and educational digital libraries, you can perform Federated searches of other digital collections. And there are other Learning Object Repositories you can access through MERLOT.