Saturday, September 12, 2015

EdTech's New BFFs


Open Education Resources and Formative Assessment tools are a match made in edtech heaven. 

Sound confusing? It's not.

What is OER?

More and more, teachers are moving away from traditional text books -- even the electronic versions -- and turning to open education resources (OER). OER is the acronym for high-quality open-licensed educational materials that can be found online. They are also free, which means parents can often access them at home to see what their child is learning or help support their student.  

What is formative assessment?

EduCanon allows teachers to add
questions and activities to videos so
that  students engage with the content
more actively and find out which concepts
are most important to remember.
(Image: Andrew Fondell)
Students analyze the resources and complete activities with ed tech tools like eduCanon and others. The teacher has access to live data as the students work. The teacher then shares this data with the students and they discuss what next steps are needed to reach their learning goals. Together, they make personalized plans for what they will do and how they will accomplish it. This process of learning, assessing, discussing, planning, and learning again is continuous, real-time feedback loop. It leads to deeper understanding of content and mastery of skills.




All of these definitions don't really mean much without concrete examples from teachers who have used it in their classrooms and seen their students benefit. My colleagues Andrew Fondell and Glenn Blakney generously shared some lesson examples! To find out more, click here and read my latest article with Smarter Schools Project.