Monday, March 25, 2013

OERs - Resources put together by my group...

Open Educational Resources...  This topic is relevant to today’s society and to all our diverse experiences and areas of interest.  It is applicable to K-12, post-secondary education, higher levels of education, and to all learners.
1.  Introductory Activities
  1. YouTube video on OERs – Open Educational Resources by intheacademia.
  2. Browse through the website to see if there are any resources that you might find useful.
  3. Please start by going to Wikipedia and read Open Educational Resources. This website features the definition, aspirations of the OER movement, the history, initiatives, and criticisms.
2.  Readings for this Topic
Below are readings that we felt would be beneficial to help aid in your understanding of OER.
  1. At the Educause site, please go to the “7 Things You Should Know About” (learning technology topics).  Review the 7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources.  Please download this resource and read it. The direct link is This should help you get a quick idea of who, what, when, where and the why of OER. 
  2. Also, a great site for you to explore, is the Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) published by UNESCO.  Read the section titled:  A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources:  Frequently asked questions.  However, you may wish to browse the rest of the document for discussions and resources.
  3. Another article to read would be:  OECD Education Working Papers No. 76:  Open Educational Resources published by OECD.  This will provide you with a world perspective on policy implications of the expansion of OER.  The benefits and associated challenges.  (Optional reading).

4.  Critique Reading
Read:  Open educational resources:  education for the world? (2012) by Thomas Richter and Maggie McPherson, located at reading discusses whether open educational resources can resolve educational gaps and educational justice throughout the world.  This reading is the one you will critique.

Issues with Resource Allocation by a fellow group

My Class readings on Resource Allocation in School Divisions. Lots of great resources to check out!! I am particularly interested in what Alberta is doing. See the "Emerge" document.

 Resource Allocation for Technologies and Funding Implications is a vast and complicated issue.  Technology is a very expensive and time sensitive endeavor. With the newest and latest technology being introduced every few months, school divisions need to develop a resource allocation strategy. This topic will allow you to delve deeper into all the questions of funding and choosing what best suits the needs of your division, school, teachers and learners.
To Watch
New South Wales provides a look at how they have chosen to allocate resources for technology based on the needs of each individual school in their division. (3:35 minutes)

Websites to explore
Alberta Education is exploring a 1:1 ratio in schools across the province. This is the link to their Emerge One-to-One Laptop Learning Project. Take some time to explore the different videos and reports on how their project is working.
The link below is the report for Alberta’s Emerge One-to-One Laptop Learning Project, but pages 18-22 in particular deal with the allocation of resources, not so much in a dollar value way but in the different areas that will require resources.  

Reading to understand the topic
Essential Conditions: Necessary conditions to effectively leverage technology for learning
ISTE outlines the conditions necessary for learning. This is a short one page  article.
 Allocating Resources to Improve Student Learning
This easy-read article provides “general allocation information” that helps us to understand the complexity of resource allocation.  It discusses the roles, responsibilities and resources needed for maximizing a student’s learning opportunities.
Blended Learning Implementation Guide
This guide provides information about creating a plan to implement technology into schools.

Read to Deepen Understanding
Top-Ten IT Issues 2012
This article addresses the top 10 IT issues in all businesses. Although all of the issues are important, please focus on issues 1, 5 & 7 , reiterated below, as the primary focus in this article:
1. Updating IT professionals' skills and roles to accommodate emerging technologies and changing IT management and service delivery models
5. Integrating information technology into institutional decision-making

Bullet 5:
  • How can IT leaders focus discussions regarding "technology" when planning school division initiatives, strategic goals, and projects , considering all of the requirements? For example, funding, staffing, tools, timelines, training, and recurring investment.

7.  Funding information technology strategically

Stretching Your Technology Dollar
This article has the 10 strategies to make the most of a budget for technology.  This article will bring understanding when considering our discussion questions (especially strategy #10).

Blended Learning on a Budget
Although this is an American article, it contains many visuals and organizers that help put into perspective the cost breakdowns and cost drivers when implementing technology into schools. The focus of this article is providing the necessary technology for a blended classroom model.

Mandatory Reading
"Extreme Makeover School Edition"
In "Extreme Makeover School Edition", author Shari Camhi describes the process of one school district as they endeavor to integrate technology as a means of improving student achievement.  With a limited budget they recognize that the resource allocation must be done strategically and purposefully.  While the reading addresses an American school district, the process is one which could be applied in Canada as well. 

My group's Project on the Digital Divide

The Digital Divide
The digital divide is a complex and multifaceted issue. There is some controversy over whether or not the digital divide still exists and if so, what constitutes the digital divide. Even the term is contentious. Some are no longer using the term "Digital Divide" and are favouring the term "Digital Inclusion" because calling the problem a divide constrains the discourse, which further contributes to the divide. Over time, the digital divide is emerging in a variety of ways, though most issues come down to access or lack of access, manifesting through a variety of limitations: cultural (this includes in some cases women being excluded from access to the internet), financial, broadband, technology, connectivity, skills, education/literacy, etcetera. All of the previous topics studied have touched on issues of divide: Does open education address the divide or cause it to grow? Is m-learning providing a bridge? Does digital learning privilige some and not others according to age (Digital Natives)? How do we go about integrating technology and allocating resources in a way that ensures inclusion? We invite you to reflect on all the course topics with an eye to digital inclusion as you engage with the following content and activities to learn more about the digital divide.
Content and Activities:
1. What is the digital divide?
Watch these videos:
  • The Digital Divide in Education A short introduction to our topic. (Direct link )
  • What is the Digital Divide? A video which explores some of the main questions about the digital divide, factors which separate digital users, and the impacts of the digital divide. (Direct link: )
  • Students and Teachers Points of View Although the video production is underdeveloped, this resource explores first-hand student accounts on how issues related to the digital divide impact their learning (Direct link: )
  • A New Understanding of the Digital Divide A short article on the current trends of the digital divide. (Direct link: )
View these infographics: A visual exploration of the statistics related to the digital divide from an educational and socio-economic perspective.
  • The Digital Divide Education perspectives (Direct link: )
  • Digital Divide Socio-economic perspectives (Direct link: )
What does the digital divide mean to you in your workplace? What are other contributing factors to the divide that haven't been mentioned in these resources that you have observed? (i.e. age?)
2. Does the digital divide exist or is it a myth or a problem of the past? What are some common myths about the digital divide?
  • Four Myths About Digital Divide Although this is an older resource, this article explores four predominate myths that surround the digital divide that are still making an impact on policy making today. (Direct link: )
  • The Myth About the Digital Divide This article addresses the “second-level” digital divide in a university setting, which is caused by several factors including: machine vintage; connectivity; online skills; autonomy and freedom of access; and computer-use support. (Direct link: )
  • "Bandwidth Divide" Could Bar Some People From Online Learning This article, posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Mar 4, 2013), examines the impact of connectivity, and the differences between those with access to fast connections versus dial-up speeds or access via a cellphone. (Direct link: )
  • The Digital Divide? It's at Your Local School, Too Explores an account from a teacher’s perspective on the access to hardware for inner-city families. (Direct link: )
  • Recent BBC News article on number of pupils without internet An exploration of the links between poverty, lack of access to digital learning technologies, and poor performance at school. (Direct link: )
  • IBM Predicts the End of the Digital Divide in 5 Years A provocative exploration on how the digital divide could be eliminated with cell phone access. (Direct link: )
3. How do we go about bridging the divide?
  • Bridging the New Digital Divide (Jan. 2013) (log in required) A current examination of digital divide issues related to how schools are funded for technology and the socio-economic division between schools. (Direct link: )
  • Can Video Games Help Close the Digital Divide This article explores an unusual approach that uses video games to bridge the digital divide and learning gaps for African-American boys in the United States. (Direct link: )
  • Digital Literacy is the Bedrock for Lifelong Learning An exploration of the links between income, access, the knowledge gap, and how teachers approach the digital divide in the classroom. (Direct link: )
  • Calgary Herald: Group to Expand Low Cost Internet A Canadian perspective on how a charity is finding ways to provide access to low-income communities in Halifax and the impact on quality of life for community members. (Direct link: )
  • Harper Government is Expanding Broadband Network in 68 First Nations Communities This announcement from the Federal Government website explores a partnership with Sasktel and Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) to enhance internet services in 68 communities, thereby helping bridge the digital divide by increasing connectivity for students in these communities. (Direct link: )
  • UNESCO article: Broadband “The Missing Link” in Global Access to Education This UNESCO report highlights global strategies for improving high-speed networks to promote the Education for All Millennium Development in order to fully benefit from ICTs. (Direct link: )
4. What are the next steps and who should be taking them? The answer to this question is determined by what one views as the cause of digital inequities. We've provided some examples of some steps others are taking and recommending.
  • Video - TED talk Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud In this TED Talk, researcher, Sugata Mitra, shares his vision for Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) and his goal to design the ‘School in the Cloud’ - a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other, using resources and mentoring "from the cloud." (Direct link: )
  • Video – TED talk Aleph Molinari: Let’s Bridge the Digital Divide In this TED Talk, Aleph Molinari shares how he empowers the “Digitally Excluded” through the creation of technology-focused community centers, providing access to internet and basic digital literacy programs. (Direct link: )
  • Article – Bridging the Digital Divide: Changing the Technological Landscape of Inner-City Catholic Schools (library login required) This article explores the Bridging the Digital Divide Program, a 1-year intervention program in five inner-city Chicago Catholic schools, which addressed technology installation and teacher technology skill development. (Direct link: )
What brick would you place (which aspect of the divide) to assist in building a bridge to cross the digital divide?
5. Optional resources to explore:
6. Article to critique: Digital Divide: Students’ Use of the Internet and Emerging Forms of Social Inequalities from Research on e-Learning and ICT in Education(2012) pp. 55-68. (Direct link: library log in required.
Abstract: In this article the authors (Eleni Sianou-Kyrgiou and lakovos Tsiplakides) argue that the digital divide is a divide in Internet use rather than in Internet access, and that new social inequalities emerge which are reproduced in different ways than in the past. They conclude that any attempts to examine social inequalities in higher education need to focus on the issue of the digital divide in relation to Internet use, which impacts on academic knowledge, students’ performance and transition to the labor market.
Group 5: Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell, Ryan Hicks, and Shuana Niessen

Video and Podcasts | Canadian Education Association (CEA)

Video and Podcasts | Canadian Education Association (CEA)

Ooooooohhhhhhh!!! A Canadian perspective to teaching! Podcasts, videos and blogs by Canadian teachers. I like reading (and viewing/listening) to what fellow Canadians are doing to inspire and innovate.