OER Textbooks

ECM #149 OER: Teaching Without Traditional Textbooks

Amy Pace is a Presidential Award winning science teacher. She is using “free” OER textbooks for all her courses. OER stands for Open Education Resources which are often curated by experts via grants and other means. Of course, nothing is free. These textbooks take time, curation, and customization. Visionary states, districts, and schools might find a money-saving resource with OERs.

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Amy is on the textbook approval committee in Utah. The Utah Open Textbook project  teams up top teachers to curate and create OER textbooks. These textbooks meet state standards. You can print them for $5 a piece. Amy says,

“Teachers across the state appreciate the work that was put in by the team of teachers to create a high quality product that is ready for them to use.”

 There are limitations, however. Those who like a “classroom in a box” or want every single ancillary created and done for them, may not find a good fit in OER. But for those of us who take the teacherpreneurship approach, OER can be perfect.

OER Textbooks

Amy Pace is a nationally recognized science teacher who is getting excellent results from OER textbooks.

Revision is the key success factor for standards, textbooks, and practices that will succeed in the 21st century.

If you don't revise, it dies.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@coolcatteacher”]MY MESSAGE ON STANDARDS & TEXTBOOKS: If you don't revise, it dies. Vicki Davis[/tweetthis]

Notice how the State of Utah had the teachers create the textbook and then revise it just one year later. Teachers give feedback and it is fixed. A five to ten-year textbook revision cycle is no longer acceptable.

Today's show is an incredible collection of best practices and thoughts around Open Education Resources. Using OERs will help many struggling districts if they'll take the time to understand and use them properly.

[tweetthis ]If students are learning the information they need using OER, there’s no argument about quality. Amy Pace[/tweetthis]

Take Aways from Today's Show

[callout]Thanks for listening to Every Classroom Matters! We're now running over 50,000 downloads per month! Thank you. You'll notice a few changes in the next weeks as we've got sponsors who will be supporting the show. If you believe in the show and what we're doing, contact errol@coolcatteacher.com for more information on how you can become a sponsor. Thanks for listening. Remember – level up a little every day! -Vicki[/callout]

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere