Block 2 Activity 8 – An OER Course

digital skillsImagine you are constructing a course in digital skills for an identified group of learners.  It is a short, online course aimed at providing learners with a set of resources for developing ‘digital skills’.  It runs for five weeks, with a different subject each week, accounting for about six hours study per week.


I have chosen teachers as my identified group of learners.  Before starting this investigation, I looked for information about what digital skills were needed as a teacher.  The 20 digital skills every 21st century teacher should have, was a good starting point and from it, along with my knowledge training needs within my own establishment I decided to investigate:

  • Social Media for sharing, collaborating and learning
  • Blogging for sharing, reflecting and assessment
  • Podcasting as a teaching & learning tool – linking into Google Classroom and possible development of Flipped Classrooms
  • Creating videos from photographs and video clips using Windows Movie Maker – to be used to capture learning and to use as an assessment tool.
  • Introduction to Coding through Scratch.scratchcodeclub


Week Topic Resources Suitability (G/M/B)
1 Exploring Social Media tools for sharing, collaborating & Learning.


OpenLearn resources are short sessions which include hands on experience.


By the end of this study period teachers should be ready to collaborate, share and learn through their choice of social media tool as fits their needs in their establishment.

Social Networking – introduction (OpenLearn).

Week 1: Your digital Life – introduction to how digital are you? (OpenLearn)

Week 2: Getting up and running


What is Twitter- and how can I see who Tweets? (OpenLearn)

Getting started with social media – introduction to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (OpenLearn)

Exploring Google+ as a social media tool for sharing, collaborating & learning.

Social Media Examiner: Pinterest (Merlot)

Exploring Pinterest as a tool for sharing, collaborating & learning.





















2 Exploring Blogging as a platform for reflection, sharing learning and assessment.


Reading and interacting with these articles will provide the basis for learning to create a personal and/or class blog page using Blogger.

Stair Lesson – How to write a quality blog comment (Merlot)

Student Writing Blog in the English Classroom (OpenStax)

Blogging, a tool to reflect and learn (OpenStax)

Getting started with Blogger through Google Chrome








3 Using Podcasts as a teaching and learning tool (linking to future use of Google Classroom and to start to develop Flipped Classroom resources). The Real Beginners guide to Podcasting (Merlot)

How to create your own Podcast – a step by step tutorial (Merlot)

How to build a video podcast in 3 easy steps. (Merlot)







4 Creating and editing digital media through use of Windows Movie Maker.

Collect photographic and video evidence of learning and use these to produce short video clip.  Include text and audio.  Peer assess with other teachers and begin to plan across stages for introducing this skill to learners.



Digital Film School 1 – Introduction to using Windows Movie Maker as a tool to make a film. (OpenLearn)




5 Learning programming from Scratch. 1.  Learning Programming from Scratch (OpenLearn)

2.  Code Club – Work through Scratch Projects, Module 1 projects (download instructions for projects).

3.  Scratch website (MIT) to create Code Club projects.








On reflection this was an interesting but time consuming task.  It was really  useful having a focus for searching within each of the repositories given the amount of OER materials.  I found OpenStax very slow to search and the site crashed, however when it did respond I was able to obtain relevant OER to help with my planning.  The Merlot repository was good in that it included references to reviews, reviewers, quality and showed licences.  I spent a lot of time searching using a variety of different approaches to the topics I was interested in before I got what I needed.  Brushing up on my technical language is needed.  OpenLearn was best for short courses/activities and I found I could use several of these OER within one of my training sessions.  It was useful for me to investigate using Saylor as it had been referenced within the OER Evidence Report, however although the resources looked really good, they didn’t match what I was needing due to the length of time it would take to complete the activities.  It didn’t look like there was an option to dip in and out of courses.

During this process I did change the content of what I wanted to teach minimally and I think if I had longer investigating OER repositories I may have found other materials which could be used.  The time constraint imposed of about 6 hours a week made it important to include the best quality OER to provide basic skills from which learning could be built upon.

For future use of OER I will be more focused on particular repositories for particular types of learning and this should improve help me time manage resourcing OER to meet the needs of students/learners.

Resources used during this investigation:

Sovlonauts, Merlot, MIT, OpenLearn, OpenStax and Saylor.









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