I posted in diigo (inadvertently jumping the gun) about how much I really liked MERLOT. I’ve used this site for years but never really, truly understood the significance and value of this resource until we started examining and discussing this kind of content in M8. I think it’s still my most favorite, and I find all kinds of creative objects there, free. Another OER I’ve become acquainted with more recently is Khan Academy. This site is particularly good for examples in working math problems, in my opinion, but I’ve used some really good, clear, effective tutorials/short lectures on a variety of science topics, which I really like. One aspect that makes these sources of OERs more valuable is that they have more of a community presence – blogs, Q&A – than some other sites. I had the opportunity to explore Wikimedia Commons, which I thought would be a great resource for images and videos, and which was also very edifying about Creative Commons licensed content (with a shout-out to Erin and David here). I had heard of Creative Commons but honestly didn’t understand its purpose, until now. Surprisingly, one of my least favorite sites for OER was the MIT Open Courseware (OCW) site. Yes, there is a lot of material there, in a format that is somewhat searchable, but what I kept finding was content without the expectation that it would be completely usable as-is – that is to say, I found syllabi, assignments, readings and lecture notes that didn’t seem to be completely helpful outside the context of the f2f courses with which they had been associated. Many, many readings for some of these courses needed to be purchased, which seemed to contradict the idea of “open” courseware. Clearly the courses / course materials I viewed were not designed with learners in mind, but I guess you can do what you want when you’re MIT. However, they did have an awesome site for HS teachers, with some great examples.
Now, I like YouTube because you never know what you will find. (I liked flikr also for the same reason.) I usually can find something I can use on YouTube and my students (and my kids!) refer to it constantly. Using content from YouTube in an academic setting seems to involve some risk, which makes me worry. flikr is all CC licensed material – handy, but I had difficulty finding anything I could use. Like Ed, I’m glad we have librarians to assist with copyright issues, which seem to be beyond me.
(Andrew Becraft, https://www.flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/2936382833/in/photolist-5ttJje-eTomR1-HYvYr-d6nc27-9YFEs-5smanB-d6nc5q-9nJtds-bmgMe3-eUJ1Xp-5rsULK-9sHjmU-bZw1L-6GF4f8-d2Vnef-gXhY7-HYw6V-cuEvF1-7BxMie-7wkMni-64LMMp-5FDAHf-5KtHK3-dP2vP-dMskqA-6ykDAQ-fkRanA-gM6b7u-5UPckS-32MkQ1-9ZmXEq-AGLSh-eUV6Vs-51heMk-bVDyQC-fK8HY-5EmaqZ-7wW7Lg-aEis3K-aD8E7C-7wW8dD-79ohzj-f4JVx-dTAc1W-7wVSfF-7wW8Jv-7wWpeK-7x19T7-7x1eHC-7wWaqx)