Why we should embrace Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are open to the public. This implies that these materials can be legally accessed, copied, used and re-shared by anyone. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation. OER can therefore be termed as a global movement in education spanning many countries and initiatives to ensure that education is a right and not a privilege. In Kenya, such efforts are being spearheaded by education stakeholders such as Kenya Education Network (KENET) which is at the front line in providing Internet to education and research institutions to achieve its goal of transforming education and research using ICT. The transformation in education is achieved using educational technology. The country is in a period whereby ICT is revolutionizing society in a unique manner, therefore calling the need of changing the teaching styles in schools. Teachers should be willing to experiment new ways to ensure they are in line with the changing times. In the current times, digital literacy is taking shape giving the opportunity of using OERs in our curriculum delivery. Some of the OERs are the Khan Academy, Google Apps for Education, KICD interactive content and You tube for education.
Why Use OERs in Teaching and Learning?
In Kenya, the technological revolution is being harnessed to transform teaching and learning with one important aspect being access to and development of learning materials. That is why the ministry of education in collaboration with KICD are in the process of rolling out a new curriculum which advocates for critical thinking, creativity and digital literacy. Digital literacy focuses mainly on network enabled devices and should not be confused with computer literacy skills. Individuals are digitally literate if they have a broad range of digital skills and knowledge and a basic understanding of the potential uses of computing devices. Digital literacy skills include being able to use computer communication networks, being able to engage in online communication and social networks and being able to search, evaluate and use information channeled through digital platforms. Evidently, OERs are positioned to play the transformative role in terms of content delivery, learning activities and teacher/learner exposure.
OER Resource Guides: