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Mar 7, 2012

SXSWedu: Sessions of interest

I am at the SXSWedu conference for the next couple of days and decided do some short blog entries about the sessions I am attending. I will continually add to these and may pull some of most interesting sessions out in order to write full entries. 

Moving Beyond Textbooks: OER in Support of K-12ed. Jason Neiffer, the presenter, is from the Montana Digital Academy. His session was a 50,000 foot level discussion of OER (Open Educational Resources): what they are, how to use them and different resources to find and curate the resources. His presentation was very interesting and had a lot of great links associated with it. I'm definitely going to explore OERGlue and see if it's as powerful as Jason had us all believing it is.  

Many people, myself included, believe that OER are the way to the future in K-12 education. Much will have to change to make this a reality but, as Jason stated, it doesn't need to start with a big change. Try this idea for one lesson, one module, one chapter in your classroom. That's a start. 

21 Ways To Use Social Media In Your Classroom: Howie DiBlasi gave a fast paced, energetic presentation of not 21 but 39 ways to use social media in your classroom. With lots of great tips for any level of socail media user the 159 slide presentation has more information than you may ever need to go through. Check out the presentation page of Howie's website to find and download the presentation in full.    

Our students use social media constantly and there is no reason for teachers or schools to fear it. Creating Facebook class pages, Wikis and class blogs can help keep students engaged long after they leave the classroom.

The Power of Open: Creative Commons Licensing and it's Global Impact: CEO of Creative Commons, Catherine Casserly gave an extremely interesting and informative presentation on Creative Commons. An alternative to traditional copyright and public domain labels, it allows the primary creator to get credit while allowing follow up users to modify, remix and reuse the content. It's an amazing site to go to in order to gather resources for your classroom and, once you get to a point where you are ready to start producing and sharing your own content, put it up on the site to share with everyone else.

Creative Commons, OER and social media may be the first steps to crowd sourcing curriculum.  Pulling resources from all over the world (and the internet) that are easy to modify and share will allow more collaboration during curriculum creation. My ideal future would be a classroom where textbooks are seen as supplemental and the presentations I have seen during the SXSWedu conference let me know that it is a realistic possibility.