Get Creative with OER Commons

Douglas Rushkoff (as cited in Richardson, 2010) uses a phrase “society of authorship” to describe the current knowledge sharing environment that we find ourselves in with the dominance of the Internet. Everyone with internet access has the ability to contribute content to the world and increase the knowledge share. In that spirit, open educational resources (OER) offer anyone the opportunity to share and to access knowledge.

OER Commons is a website designed to host open educational resources contributed by participants. It is essentially a digital library of lessons, simulations, worksheets, activities, textbooks, articles, and much more. Anyone can search the offerings and use the resources without requesting permission or paying a fee. There are more than 50,000 materials on the site and they range from kindergarten to university level. Educators can build their own lessons using OER materials or curate their own collections. If time is limited, educators can select collections of materials that have already been curated for easy use. Finally, educators are encouraged to contribute their own materials to OER Commons to build the knowledge collection on the site.


Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. 


Connect with Students

Adobe Connect is a program that many know for its web conferencing abilities. However, it can be much more powerful than just for video conference calls. In an education setting, you can conduct a webinar from just about any device you have at hand and get as creative as you choose. With an Adobe Connect account, you can create your own virtual room that you design with your own color schemes, branding, and layout. Once you’ve established your room, you can invite attendees (students) to watch a live webinar with video, audio, and screen sharing. Students can participate and engage with the instructor and the content through interactive tools such as a raise-hand feature, poll responses, chat windows, and Q&A windows. Additional apps can be integrated to extend the capabilities of your Adobe Connect room. Educators can record the webcast and edit before publishing. Recorded webinars can even be archived for later use.

In my practice as an adult educator, I would use the Adobe Connect program to hold synchronous discussions with students in an online course. As Dr. Michael Simonson (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009) says, distance education will continue to grow especially in the online environments. To be prepared to actively engage with students and retain the important social interaction elements of learning, I will use Adobe Connect to hold synchronous discussions with students.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Distance education: The next generation. Baltimore, MD: Author.