Maryland educators turn to self-created OER after workshops

Open educational resources are moving forward in Maryland.

The state’s education department created a series of cohorts of five to 10 people from each of the state’s school districts to participate in workshops to learn more about open educational resources, or OER — and even in some cases, to create their own.

“We met with [the educators] for two, three days and then we met with them again,” says Val Emrich, the education department’s director of digital teaching and learning. “Then, this past summer, we were able to use educators, identified by their school system to create resources for our repository.”

The state’s OER repository now has more than 200 new resources that were developed by the educators alongside content specialists and coordinators. The resources were vetted for copyright, accessibility, privacy and evaluation concerns and approved for entry into the repository once they met certain specifications.

“We did a deep dive into that, and the interesting thing was that after every session someone, at least one if not multiple teachers said every educator needs to hear this,” Emrich says. “Because they’re not aware of it.”

Emrich on lessons for other edtech leaders:

Emrich on her top priorities:

Emrich on broader edtech trends:

These videos were filmed and produced by EdScoop at the 2018 State Educational Technology Directors Association Leadership Summit in Arlington, Virginia.