Sharing Learning Resources Strengthens Teaching Practice


ISKME’s “Teachers Advancing Common Core Learning” project builds networks of teacher collaborators around OER authoring and sharing


ISKME has been facilitating teacher authoring of open educational resources (OER) through working with a network of over 50 teachers in two states -- California and North Carolina -- during the past 18 months. This process of creating openly licensed, shareable content has been a new experience for every teacher who participated in Teachers Advancing Common Core Learning, or TACCL, a project advancing a model of teacher collaboration across disciplines.

Participating teachers are telling us how “open” is impacting their practices, now captured in a series of videos.

Our approach to OER creation is at the heart of how we define “open education practice,”, by connecting OER with deeper learning processes. Modeling and embedding deeper learning processes while engaging in OER authoring helps teachers integrate those required deeper learning skills into the curriculum. Deeper learning skills that this work emphasizes include critical thinking and problem solving across the disciplines. Teacher participants collaborated to design and share curriculum that engages students in close reading, drawing evidence from informational texts, and literacy-inspired investigation, in order to go deeper into core content areas.

Open education practice not only produces open content, it also brings about a new instructor collaborative workflow and flexible mindset as a foundation for new practice. To instill deeper learning, participating teachers have been asked to build new structures by demonstrating an openness to trying new approaches and, a willingness to extend their influence to other teachers while welcoming the influence of teachers outside their own sphere and core content area. Our experience facilitating the process of OER authoring shows that such collaboration supports implementation of change, specifically around Common Core implementation, which demands a wholly new support system for teachers to share ways to successfully shift practices. In addition, the new instructional shifts require a deeper, more targeted approach to subject matter, regardless of discipline.

Leveraging ISKME’s OER Commons teacher network, the TACCL teachers have been working together to build the knowledge and practice needed for effective Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation of lessons, units, and text sets in grades 7-12, in English Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies or Science. They are using our collaborative approach to build OER lessons that focus on close reading of texts across disciplines, in particular by deepening and integrating math practice in alignment with CCSS. A number of teachers focused on climate change for building student investigations through math, science, and ELA.

Rob Leichner: ISKME's Teacher Practice Network and Common Core

Resources used and created can be found in the project's group and Primary Source hub on OER Commons. Our work continues to show that a collaborative lesson-building approach is necessary and beneficial for scaffolding student learning across subjects, and by extension, for scaffolding deeper learning.

Joanna Schimizzi:  Using Open Educational Resources OER

March 08, 2016