What Am I up to? #elearning #goals #projects #oredu

I stumbled onto a link to a blog that I had started a few years ago where i tried to document small health goals/victories. I didn’t get very far and right now I’m probably in a slightly worse place than when I started.

So, I’m not going to specify much except that I’d like to strap on the fitbit and see where it takes me in the next few weeks (1) – I’ve got my fingers crossed for a few more days like today, where the fog rolls in and just stays there all day. Glorious.

oceanside

I’ve got 3 good locations for walking – they’re not very long [unless I can stand the monotony of the beach for longer than 20-30 minutes in one direction], but I’ll get the mileage figured out and start documenting (2). Have been good about drinking water since late April, when I had issues with elevation, walking pneumonia and my ears, but I’ll want to start documenting how much of that I’m drinking, too (3).

If you haven’t used a fitbit, before, they are pretty cool. Can track your walking, stairsteps, sleep, and you can record your food/beverage/additional activities on the iOS app or online. Once I’m just back up to maintaining a routine, I might start thinking beyond that.

In terms of my professional life, I’ve been thinking about change as well… to put it very simply, have gone through some changes recently that have prompted further thoughts about change-making. I just think the 2015-16 school is going to be my season of change. Here’s hoping (4).

There are couple of online activities coming up that I am involved in or working on (and not really affected by potential change in my life circumstances, one of the things I LOVE about online learning). I signed up for the Learn Moodle MOOC that is starting next weekend (5). The intro forums are already open though, so we can start connecting with our classmates that are from literally all over the globe.

This summer, I am also building an online class in Moodle (6), utilizing Open Educational Resources (so yes, outside of the cost of printing any needed materials, instructional materials for this class will be free or at least will be sans a $200 basic math textbook. Booya!). I’m super excited about this – I’ve found my textbook-type materials (including this workbook from Scottsdale Community College). Feeling a little pressure because I thought I would be at the halfway point now, but I feel like I have so much more to get done. Still have to build the course, align with Quality Matters, find all videos I’m interested in using. Also, if I want to make any of my own videos (and I do), I still have that to work on as well. I’m flattered that my co-workers have faith that my course is going to be great, but I’m definitely starting to feel the pressure….

That’s what I’ve got floating around in the ol’ brain – sorry to ramble. Hope y’all have a good week…

Open Educational Resources – A Primer

Open textbooks have been discussed via email as an option for instructors at Tillamook Bay Community College. I was asked to provide a bit of a primer on Open Educational Resources and where faculty can start to look in order to explore these free resources. Here are a few questions you might have on Open Educational Resources and my attempts to provide you with some information to help you answer them. I thought I’d write it as a blog post in case others find this information useful.

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Free! Resources! To use! Open typically means that you can use, share and modify them for educational purposes with attribution (give credit where credit is due). Usually some form of a creative commons license applies. Click the link for more information.

How do I find them?

I usually stumble on to them. One website I frequent, Open Culture, has links down the right hand side to free movies, textbooks and more. Often you’ll have to look at the website for a resource (look for the badges mentioned in the Creative Commons License link above) or contact it’s creator in order to find out if it’s covered by a CC license.

When I was working at Southwestern, I was often looking for educational resources for their math instructors, and found a website called Merlot. It has resources for online learning in subjects ranging from Algebra to Sociology. Just click on “Search Merlot” on the main page and you’ll be on your way to exploring an overwhelming number of resources, depending on your subject area.

Another neat feature of Merlot is that if you click on a resource, you can get more details about whether it’s copyrighted or if it’s been created under a Creative Commons License.

Columbia Gorge Community College has put together a great page with additional resources pertaining to Open Educational Resources, including information on Quality Considerations when selecting OERs. They have also collected many links to different sources for OERs on that page.

Finally, one of my favorite resources is Twitter. Really. If you explore the #oer hashtag you can find resources, webinars and people to chat with.