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