Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started
This is the third week of the Blended Learning Essentials course and the topic this week was on Systems, Tools and Resources for Blended Learning. This course is offered on FutureLearn as part of MOOC from the University of Leeds in England which started three weeks ago. If you are reading this and interested to do the course, there is still time to enrol and complete last three weeks worth of contents and catch up. Here is the link if you wish to find out more and enrol: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started
This week’s theme is around exploring different types of Open Educational Resources (OERs) of which there are hundreds to choose from. This is where my mind boggles when I explore as I like most of them as each one has its strength and weaknesses. One of the caviar for OERs is because of their availability as a free resource but with a catch generally. I find some of these products whilst very good and free, they often demand certain add-ins which has to be paid for. Finding the right one that would meet your requirement will take time and effort but will be worth all the efforts. I find the case studies so useful as the bulk of the work is done for you which allow you to make informed judgement on various OERs available.
If you have the technical know how and are willing to invest time and efforts in researching the OERs you can make use of them really well. For example Moodle is a really good LMS environment but require investment of time and technical abilities to learn how to use it. I guess if you are getting it for free than time is something you have to factor in to pay instead. As I have heard people say often “there is no such thing as free in life”, lo and behold with all OERs I agree there is a catch generally.
Here are some of the Open Education Resources (OERs) I have explored and are recommended in the BLE course.
Using VLE padlet for blended learning VLE padlet wall
Audacity is a very useful and free audio software resource which has fantastic audio editing tool. It is so easy to download and use.
Camstudio is a great tool for free screen capture to use for creating various video learning resources.
Prezi is a freely available web-based tool that allows users to create multimedia-based stories for presentation and collaboration. I haven’t used Prezi but I have used Microsoft PowerPoint both from a desktop and online windows live version. This looks good to explore and I will check this out.
Two collaborative tools I have only briefly explored which I am looking forward to finding out more are Wikipedia or Mediawiki. I have used google docs which I find very easy to use but my colleagues don’t really like it. So it would be worth exploring other collaborative tools that would appeal to everyone.
I like the look of Socrative tool but not sure how I can implement in my own environment. I like the real time feed to check students understanding and their response capability.
Creative Commons License
I have copied the excerpt from the course which explains really well “Creative Commons licences mean that the creator of the resource retains copyright, but allows others to make use, copy and distribute the resource and may allow changes to the resource. There are six Creative Commons licences that can be applied to OERs, which give the user differing levels of rights to use and alter the resource. One of the common features of all Creative Commons licences is ‘By Attribution’, which means users must attribute the original creator, thereby ensuring that the creator is acknowledged in all subsequent use of the resource.”
List of OERs shared by the course providers:
- Jorum – free learning and teaching resources, created and contributed by teaching staff from UK FE and HE institutions
- Merlot – MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.
- Open University’s OpenLearn – The Open University’s range of free educational courses and resources.
- MIT’s Open Courseware – Free online educational resources from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- XPERT – repository of e-learning resources created through the open source e-learning development tool called Xerte Online Toolkits
- Khan academy – 3600 videos from across many disciplines
- TES – shared teaching resources of all kinds, mainly for schools, but also for the VET sector.
- OER COMMONS – open educational resources for all sectors.
Check my reflective blog along with few others below which were posted on FutureLearn:
Google Hangout video from the BLE course: Live Q&A session on Thursday, 19th November at 7pm