This blog post can be found on both www.oerschools.com and www.digilittleacorns.weebly.com.
At the end of the autumn term, English Martyrs’ School joined the growing list of schools in Leicester who have adopted an OER policy. This gives their staff permission to share work under a Creative Commons license and promotes Open Education amongst staff, pupils and stakeholders. The final version of English Martyrs’ School OER Policy, which will be circulated to colleagues in the new term, can be found below. This completes the first key activity, which was to “support your school governing body in implementing a school OER policy by December 18th 2015.”
The first draft of the OER Policy was presented to the Governing Body in November 2015, and during a discussion of the policy, a quality control amendment was suggested. There were concerns that, for example, resources may be shared online (with the School’s name on) that may contain spelling, punctuation and grammatical or other errors, or more concerning, that contain views that contradict those of the School. The Principal suggested that a note should be added to remind staff of the need for quality control and that any resources should be able to be removed from the public domain if they are deemed to not support the School’s ethos or damage its reputation.
The question remains, who is responsible for ensuring that resources shared under CC licences by school staff adhere to school policy and are of appropriate quality? The next OER Network meeting will be on Friday January 15th at St. Pauls, starting at 12.00 noon. I hope to discuss this point with other network members during this meeting.
The second key activity is to “ensure all staff members supporting learning in your school have a basic understanding and awareness of what open educational resources are, how to find them, and how to reference them by March 24th 2016, and to promote the use, creation and sharing of OER across the school.”
There are a range of strategies which we may be able to use to support staff development and awareness. These include the use of inset and formal discussion sessions; use of whole school assemblies; use of digital display and posters to reinforce awareness; working with young people to support staff in using and understanding OER; small, constant messaging relating to OER in the weekly Bulletin; working with school library staff; working with teaching assistants; working with trailblazers or more confident members of staff; using quick practical lessons with staff (i.e. how to find OER images, using advanced Google search to find OER; using the CC Licence search facility - https://search.creativecommons.org/ ); changing the image search engine default to search for CC Licenced Images and using resources from Creative Commons.
On 4th January, there will be time during the INSET day for a presentation to all staff. 40 minutes has been allocated, in which I will present the new policy, and give brief training into how to share resources under CC licences. I intend to begin the CPD session by finding out what the staff members currently know about their intellectual property rights. I suspect many will not be aware that the Governing Body owns the IP rights to resources that staff members produce during the course of their daily roles. Then, I will inform them of the work I have done so far regarding OER and introduce the policy, concluding with instructions for a follow-up session in which staff members will be informed how to use and apply CC licences and how to cite others’ work.
Some useful sites for information and resources were previously suggested: Creative Commons – about the licences: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/, School of Open: http://schoolofopen.p2pu.org/ and two US sites: https://www.oercommons.org/ and http://www.ck12.org/student/ and I will use these sites, and others to support the writing of the CPD session.
Then, as we need to “set targets around the production of OER to promote the work of the school and see that these are met by 15thJuly 2016”, I propose that each department will share at least one resource to the www.digilittleacorns.weebly.com website by this date. There should be time during the follow-up session to begin this, especially if during the initial CPD, staff members are informed of the need to bring a resource they have made and are willing to share with them.
Another key activity is to “support at least two primary schools in relation to staff awareness and use of open educational resources and support at least one primary (or other BSF) school governing body to implement a school OER policy by March 24th 2016.” This will be the focus of next term’s work. I plan to support two of our feeder primaries.
The final key activity is to “be an active member of the OER Schools Network in Leicester – supporting other members, encouraging primary school participation, sharing approaches and ideas, and promoting your work and the work of the other network members.”
So, what have I done to inform myself more about OERs?
“For those not in the know – a MOOC is a massive open online course. There are many of them out there and most are free to join. The particular MOOC I want to mention here is one called “21st Century Learning” and is hosted on EMMA (another acronym – European Multiple MOOC Aggregator). What makes this MOOC interesting is that it is free to join, you can dip in and out of it as you wish, and best of all, it has been designed and written by some of the best experts in the field, who are providing you with the benefit of their knowledge for free. And to make it even more appealing, if you do register and take a look around, listen to some of the videos and perhaps even post a question or two, you will have added to your OER knowledge, and this counts towards the CPD for the project. So, how do you enrol for this MOOC? It takes about 3 minutes in total. First you need to visit the site: http://platform.europeanmoocs.eu/ Then you click on register (top right hand corner). Go through the registration process, including verifying your email by clicking on a link in an email they will automatically generate. Finally, you find the course “21st Century Learning” and enrol on it (another click box). The course is currently live – so some weeks are not yet available, however, the OER session occurs in Lesson 3 – which is very much available, and of interest to this network.”
This is a useful guide which is suggested on Lesson 3 about OERs: https://jisc.ac.uk/guides/open-educational-resources and this is an interesting blog post by Prof. Grainne Conole on the effectiveness of OERs.
More to follow after Christmas! Wishing everyone a restful holiday.