|We, as a school district, have utilized OER to create thematic units for levels 1 and 2 in Spanish, French, German, ASL, and Japanese. OER and COERLL have been extremely helpful as we plow through the best resources for our program. OER first came to our district through attending ACTFL and meeting the staff of COERLL. I became very intrigued about the use of OER to build our new curriculum thematically. Research and the help of COERLL helped me implement OER into our curriculum and with our teachers. Last Spring, I was able to participate in the webinar hosted by COERLL as part of a week-long series they had showcasing OER. This led to last summer, me being able to attend TELL Collab at COERLL with Thomas Sauer. My desire to continue with OER was solidified in meeting with other teachers who are utilizing OER and the proficiency guidelines set forth by ACTFL. As we forge ahead, we continue to better our practices implementing OER and look forward to writing level 3 curriculum thematically this upcoming year. OER will definitely be a part of this. We have been curating authentic resources from videos, audio clips, blogs, infographics, etc. all found on COERLL's site and others like it. Even online cataloging systems such as Pinterest are a great source for OER. All of this has helped turn our program around to meet the needs of our student population better. |
We have coupled OER with targeting 90% target language use in our classrooms and as a result, we are able to provide a much more authentic means to language learning opposed to following a textbook. It was clear to us that proficiency was based not only on our instructional practices but the need to provide our students with authentic materials in a variety of formats. In order to do so, we were able to come together and begin searching for resources to help us meet our needs. It has not been an easy task by any means BUT it has been extremely rewarding to see our students grow in proficiency.
I often hear our teachers report that their students are able to actually SPEAK the language! It can't get any better than that. As a district, we have learned about Creative Commons and other means of utilizing and implementing OER in order for us to give credit where credit is due. We continue to build our resources and use Google Drive to organize our curriculum, documents, assessments, video clips, etc. One challenge we find with OER is making sure that the resource is available year-to-year...especially if it is a good resource. We're working on ways to ensure our curation work has longevity.