Leveraging OER In Online Courses
Thanks to OERs, teachers no longer have to provide their students with outdated information found in textbooks. OER provide open licenses for the use, repurposing and dissemination of a myriad of education resources. Due to the fact that these resources are continually updated, it is possible to keep my students up-to-date with the most current coding materials.
In the last couple of years I have used OER to teach both beginning and advanced coding. Students in my beginner’s course are part of a global wave of school-aged children who are showing an interest in coding.
For my younger students, I use Scratch, one of the more popular tools used to teach children code. Invented by MIT, Scratch is an OER that enables individuals to program interactive stories, games and animations.
As an online instructor, I also realize how important it is to include instructional videos in courses, which is why I incorporate video tutorials found under Scratch’s Creative Common License category. Creative Commons is a wonderful resource and if you haven’t heard of them before, I recommend that you learn more.
After finding a video to include in my course, I typically incorporate related questions and assignments to accompany it. When brainstorming questions to ask my students, I employ the help of Code.org. Many of Code.org’s questions feature characters from games and films such as Angry Birds and Frozen. These characters are especially helpful to keep children engaged with coding.
Lastly, I require students to build and submit coding projects by using the Scratch program. With the help of EDUonGo, an award winning eLearning platform, I assemble all projects and resources in one place. You can view some of my students’ final project results at courses.vcancode.com.
OERs can really be a powerful tool for teachers who are looking to create online courses or implement blended learning. The OER resources I use are just a few of the multitude that are out there just waiting for you to tap into. With a little research and the right tools to pull everything together, creating complete online courses has never been easier.