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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pearson Making OER Easier

Pearson Higher Education is trying to make it easier for educators to locate open educational resources (OER) with the launch of OpenClass Exchange, a collection of nearly 700,000 digital resources with simple search processes and built-in social tools.

“It’s iTunes-easy,” Scott Chadwick, vice president and general manager of OpenClass, told eCampus News.

The Exchange provides an updated search function that allows teachers and students to quickly access material by topic from sources such as TED Ed, Kahn Academy, YouTube EDU, and the collection of OER college courses from Open Course Library. Instructors can preview material that matches their search and click on a button to add it to their course.

“Educators are saying, ‘We can’t dedicate our lives to content searches,’” Chadwick said. “We wanted to address that, so we brought together as many really great learning resources as we could. A lot of them are video-based, which is intentional, but there’s also great simulations, courses, and e-book content.”

The social feature to the Exchange includes a “follow” function that allows students and teachers to create a network of peers outside the classroom. There is also a notification feature that provides users with automatic updates of OpenClass activities.

“From here, it’s about finding even more of the best resources,” Chadwick said. “We’re continuing to partner with organizations and institutions and anybody who feels like they have the best educational content and want to make it more easily available.”

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