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OpenEd: an umbrella OER search and LMS

As a librarian, I’ve been collecting and curating OER portals for teachers for years now.  I think it’s time to stop.

OpenEd  is doing a far better job.

When Adam Blum tried to help his struggling son master standards-aligned academic content with the help of free, online educational videos, he found the current search tools lacking and decided to take action.

And so, in October, he and his wife, Lisa launched OpenEd.  The free, open source site now boasts more than a million Common Core videos, games, assessments and sources.

A team of educators ensures the validity of the alignments.  Standards addressed reach beyond CCSS, including the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Geography Standards.

Resources originate from such publishers as PBSLearning, History Channel, National Geographic, LearnZillion, Kahn Academy, John and Hank Green’s Crash Course and Shmoop.  Teacher-created content is gathered as well.

OpenEd plays nice with most third-party learning management systems.  But, in fact, it is itself a free LMS that can be used for creating courses and organizing learning materials into playlists.  Existing courses may be cloned and modified. iPad or Android apps that allow students can to access OpenEd courses and assessments on their mobile devices.

Although its banner shares OpenEd‘s value for the flipped or blended classroom, its rich searchable library of content, from so many content publishers, makes it incredibly useful for all teachers, teacher librarians, parents, and students–flipped or not.

The keyword search–by standard or subject (Directory)–may be filtered by grade, resource type and source.  Resulting resources display with standards, grades, subjects, descriptions, ratings, and the opportunity to share on a playlist.  Buttons also allow for the easy sharing on Facebook, Twitter and via email.

Users may comment on items or report any for poor quality, alignment, copyright violation, inappropriate content, or spam.  (Note: Descriptions seem to be a little uneven and unedited at this point.  Some of the video grabbed from YouTube, does not credit the creator.  My guess is that this will be resolved as the community grows and offers comments.)

In this Hangout chat, Adam shared the back story of the platform’s development, as well as some of its features.

Here’s a tutorial from math teacher Brandon Dorman of the Fresno Unified School District.

OpenEd is open source, released under an MIT License. Source code for the API is available on GitHub.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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