Ed Tech Program Embraces Open Educational Resources

Ed Tech Program Embraces Open Educational Resources

Student at laptop

Open Educational Resources are tools that are becoming popular among educators, and they’re only expected to grow as the benefits become clear. GSEAP’s Josh Elliott, EdD, director of the Educational Technology program, leads the charge and explains why OER can be a game changer.

it allows our students to be producers, not just consumers, of materials. It will make them more marketable, because they can point to what they have created and how many professionals are using it.

— Josh Elliott, EdD, director of the Educational Technology program

First, a definition. Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or low-cost tools – including textbooks, websites, videos, and learning modules – that are posted online and available for other educators to use in whole or in part in their own teaching.

“The benefits are obvious, the first one being that these resources are a great equalizer for schools with limited educational resources, allowing teachers to access materials that would otherwise not be available,” says Dr. Elliott. “The second is that these resources can be adopted quickly, whereas the adoption cycle for a new textbook can be five years.”

GSEAP’s Educational Technology program has been using an “open pedagogy” model for some time, and students use online texts in their courses. A grant from the Connecticut OER program will allow GSEAP to move toward implementing open pedagogy in all courses by next year.

Under Dr. Elliott’s guidance, GSEAP is developing the Fairfield University Student Open Publications where students will develop and share content related to OER.

“Rather than taking a test, students will create an online, standards-based unit of professional development that teachers can access and use,” says Dr. Elliott. “The benefit is that it allows our students to be producers, not just consumers, of materials. It will make them more marketable, because they can point to what they have created and how many professionals are using it.”

Recently, the Educational Technology program earned full accreditation by ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), making Fairfield University just the second university in the country to offer this certification to its graduates. ISTE certification is a nationally recognized credential awarded to educators who demonstrate effective use of technology in digital age classrooms.

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Last modified: 11-30-20 3:06 PM

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