The NMC Horizon Report is an annual report that looks at emerging technologies and their potential impact on teaching, learning, and creativity in schools. After reading the 2014 K-12 report, I initially wanted to look further into hybrid learning because, in the report, it sounded like it involved a blend of regular classroom activities and online components. However, as I began reading the related articles and looking at resources, I realized that hybrid learning was more systemic than classroom-based. Since I am looking for ways to flip my classroom, not implement a blended online/brick-and-mortar learning system, I decided to explore other options. Rereading the report, I realized that Open Educational Resources was really where I wanted to place my focus.
Open Educational Resources, or OERs, are free, usually in both economic and ownership (copyright) terms. OERs are a trend that, according to the Horizon report, will be drive “educational technology adoption in schools within three to five years” (Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. 2014. p. 10-11). One reason I chose to explore this trend is because I need resources for my own classes and do not want to spend the time to create them all myself. I was happy to find several quality interactive products for my students to use both for instruction and for product creation.
After looking at the examples and at what other students had created for this assignment’s artifact, I had a hard time deciding what to do with the information I had gathered. I knew that I wanted to do some sort of presentation, but I haven’t practiced with any screen capture software yet and I knew I didn’t have time to play with those. As I continued to look at open educational resources, I came across a discussion of Explain Everything, an iOS app. It costs $2.99, but even after just using it once I think it is absolutely worth paying for. Click here for to visit MorrisCooke.com and see a video demonstrating Explain Everything’s capabilities. I used screen shots that I took of the OERs with my iPad, so the resolution isn’t great, but it was really simple to import them into Explain Everything as I created slides. You can add items to a slide, then narrate, and then add more and continue your narration on the same slide. When your presentation is completely finished, you can upload it to pretty much anything. I chose YouTube, because I had included animation and narration. There were other video-hosting sites available for the upload, but I would have had to create accounts for them. It took about 15 minutes to render the presentation as an mp4 and upload it to YouTube.
Here is the link to my video
After an hour of re-recording, I decided to stop playing back my narration fixing it, so you will notice that around 7:30, on and off for about a minute, my voice is muffled. I think I covered the microphone on my iPad. I also realize that I forgot to revisit my informal student survey about the problems they had trying to use Google Classroom and Google Docs. Here is the link to the Google Doc where I wrote my questions and the number of students who had problems which problems.
*My final note – I enjoyed the suggestions on this post about hosting a BYOOER Party. It talks about working with your colleagues to collect Open Educational Resources that they, and you, have found or created. Why reinvent the wheel?
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A.
(2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The
New Media Consortium.