Before I begin, I’d like to shout out to Awesome Screenshot for making this blog entry so painless!
The following is a review of their website in terms of accessibility, interface, content, and visual appeal.
At first glance, their website seems open and their tag line of “Explore. Create. Collaborate” inviting. So far, so good.
Under their heading banner is a way to create lesson plans to freely share with other educators, like Teachers Pay Teachers, without the paying part. I was interested to see how many lessons or documents teachers are freely sharing with their colleagues, when options to be paid for this work exist (beyond your actual job, obviously). In order to create lessons or resources, you need to login through their system. I created an account in order to see what the process would be like.
As you can see from the screenshot, it looks like they use WordPress to create their lessons, as my avatar from WordPress is in the corner. The text editing is smooth and user friendly, perhaps because I was already used to WordPress.
I really liked that I could preview my lesson as a student or as a fellow educator to see what they would see when accessing it.
Next, I went to explore other “hubs” to see what they offered, or where they would take me:
The list seems massive! Unless I knew exactly what I was looking for, I think I would feel incredibly overwhelmed by the choices presented. Some of the resources were other ones Alec suggested in the Weekly Outline and some were new to me. The one that interested me the most was the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers.
It is a repository of professional resources for teachers:
This seems like a really neat resource to use as a teacher in order to inform practice, both as a professional and as a way to introduce things to students.
What was really interesting was this:
It’s a list of countries and organizations which have adopted the system created by UNESCO. The list of countries include places which are generally seen as “third world” or in need of reform in their educational systems. Does this mean that perhaps they’re taking more steps forward than first world countries in adopting a framework such as this?
OER Commons is a vast network of available resources for teachers and students to take advantage of. It seems user-friendly, authentic, and a really neat way to access numerous free lessons and modules to aid in teaching. I think by using this a teacher could possibly make their learning and teaching more global as the resources come from across the globe.