Learning Hub Provides Much-Needed Distance Learning Resources


Oregon Open Learning Hub was launched to be a digital resource repository and collaboration space for Oregon educators

ONLINE – With the move to distance learning during COVID-19 pandemic, ODE recognized the need for additional tools for educators. The Oregon Open Learning Hub was launched on the Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons to be a digital resource repository and collaboration space for Oregon educators, administrators and other educational partners to curate, create and remix educational resources. More than 50,000 open educational resources are available on OER Commons, searchable by grade level, subject and standard. It is a great place to find lessons and units that can be integrated into a learning management system to support both teacher-facilitated and applied learning.

OER are teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain, or that have been released under an intellectual property license, such as those provided by Creative Commons, that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER can be full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge. While there are many resources available for free, openly licensed resources have the advantage of allowing educators to adapt them for their use and share these revisions with colleagues.

Digital Innovations Program Analyst Vanessa Clark helped get the Hub from concept to reality. “Open educational resources (OER) are a catalyst to shift to an equitable educational practice,” Clark said. “OER can be adapted to reflect the identities of students and the diversity of local communities, empowering students to see themselves within their own learning experience. This enables an eventual shift to elevating students as authors and creators, bringing about a truly student-centered educational system.”

Here are a few examples of OER currently in Oregon Open Learning:

  • A Grade 7 math lesson, Electric Motorcycle Race, written through the ODE-sponsored “Math in Real Life” grant. This multi-part lesson, contributed by an educator in southern Oregon, features Oregon and Washington geography as the backdrop for a motorcycle race, highlighting the ability to localize learning resources. ODE intends to publish all Math in Real Life lessons as OER on Oregon Open Learning.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has created and published an openly-licensed course called “The Art of Decisionmaking Online Course for Teachers and Students”. While not authored by an Oregon educator, this resource highlights the availability of resources in subjects such as economics and personal finance, which schools and districts may not otherwise have access to. Every Oregon student deserves access to high-quality, relevant learning resources. 
  • Science in Elementary Classrooms for Oregon Administrators is a course created by ODE education specialists. It showcases the ability of Oregon Open Learning to provide high-quality professional learning resources for educators and administrators across Oregon. OER can be easily customized for various audiences, contexts, and to incorporate the voices and perspectives of a local community.

More than 450 educators, specialists and administrators are already using the hub. The feedback received has been very positive with teachers saying they appreciate having solid resources they can modify for their classes and love seeing the perspectives that other educators bring to the material that they would otherwise not hear.

If you are a teacher or school administrator and want to learn more, please visit the Oregon Open Learning Professional Learning Group or email the Oregon Open Learning Team.  If you know a teacher, feel free to share this story with them. We look forward to having you join us! 

About Author

Peter Rudy is a Public Affairs Specialist at Oregon Department of Education

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