I must admit that I had never heard of online open education before this course. Once I started looking through the list Alec provided for us, I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed with choosing just one. I decided to start with TED Ed, I have viewed a few of their videos on YouTube and follow their Twitter account. I didn’t realize they also had lesson plans and a whole website dedicated to Education!
I think the website is very user friendly, here is just a snapshot of the homepage.
As you can see the tabs at the top clearly outline what you might be looking for and separate the topics. For a newcomer to the website, I also liked how they had featured lessons and videos right there for you to see, I really had no idea what topics they would have available for you so it was neat to see that they had a huge variety.
After further exploration, I even learned they had lesson plans. I feel like that is a duh moment but I thought it was just videos, like the TED talks on YouTube. Most of the videos and lessons seem too high for my grade level (Grade One), but I think with some poking around, I could find some that would be a good fit for my students.
Courtesy of Giphy.
One video I found that could be applicable was “Why are sloths so slow?” And though much of the content is probably a bit too advanced, I think I would be able to adapt it for them. Like Tayler mentioned, students would like the visual and learning about sloths. In addition to the video, there are multiple choice and short answer questions. There is also a section called “Dig Deeper” with extra information. Perhaps the most valuable is the “Discuss” section, which is pretty self-explanatory but it encourages higher level thinking and some creativity. As I mentioned these sections would be too advanced for my level but still valuable nonetheless. And I think they also give teachers a starting point for planning.
Another section of TED Ed they have is a “Series” section. THERE ARE SO MANY. I was getting overstimulated just looking at the topics. There is no way I could view them all but I started looking at the one titled “Things they don’t teach in school (but should)” There are a lot of good videos and lessons listed.
Some of the titles include:
-How to be confident
-Is binge watching bad for you?
-How to be more empathetic
And although they don’t all necessarily tie into Saskatchewan outcomes directly, I think there would still be a lot of value in showing them to older students. They would be a great point to start a discussion with and would no doubt be applicable to their current lives.
Overall, I think TED Ed might be my new favourite website, out of any! So many good topics to learn about, for young people and adults. So glad to have heard about it!
The next open education resource I checked out was Khan Academy. I had at least heard of it in the past so I decided to see what it was about. I thought it was just for higher learning (like high school and above). I was pleasantly surprised! They have everything from Kindergarten and up.
One thing I liked was how it was separated by grade and also by subject, so you have the option of how you would like it filtered. I ended up looking mostly through the Kindergarten level (because it’s from the States, their K curriculum usually lines up with our Grade One).
Here are some things I liked about it:
-practice questions (what I would consider a large selection)
-easy to navigate and manipulate the website
-offers it’s suggestions on progressing through various concepts (this is especially good for parents, as they don’t often know the progressions kids go through when learning)
-the starting quiz that students could do to see where they are at and the lesson recommendations
The one thing I didn’t like was how there was so much going on on the pages, I felt like I almost didn’t know where to look or what to do first. There are menus but I found it hard to decide which one to pick, the left hand side or continue scrolling down?
Overall it seems like a great resource! Way better than I was predicting! I might use it teaching but it is definitely going to be something I send home to families to use if they would like.