One of the largest projects for Open Educational Resources (OER) I have been a part of is the MPCC.
This is a collaboration between over 200 school districts and organizations in MN that has developed curriculum and professional development to meet the needs of MN school districts. The courses developed are aligned to MN Academic Standards in the four core areas of English, Math, Science and Social Studies for grades 3-12. They are developed primarily from OER and have been organized and developed by licensed MN teachers. The courses contain instructional content, directions for teachers and activities/assessments for students. Reviews are focused on teacher support, student assessment, equity, accessibility, and standards alignment. http://oermn.org
In 2011, when MN Academic Standards were being updated in Social Studies the MN History course moved from 4th grade to 6th grade and was refocused as MN Studies. All districts in the state needed to address this change without any available vendor curriculum. A group of curriculum directors meeting at Intermediate District 287 determined that we could build the course collaboratively to save money and leverage our resources to build what we needed. Teachers were selected to develop and write the course. Before the course was finished the group realized that we could do this with 7th and subsequently 8th grade Social Studies and the MPCC was born. Districts wishing to participate joined by contributing a one time fee of $1 per student in their districts to fund the trainings and teacher writing teams. We quickly had enough support to develop 40 courses in the core content areas. This is the largest grass roots development of Open Educational Resources for K12 education in the country.
Continuing membership was optional and the group now develops professional development, elective courses and continues to update existing materials. They join at a rate of $.75/student.
The MPCC has won numerous awards from organizations such as: The Humphrey Institute; Amazon; MN eLearning Summit.
The courses developed use digital resources that are housed in Google Drive (making most suitable for printing) and embedded within learning management systems (LMS) so that districts can choose how they would like to implement. Some use them as the core content for their subject areas and some use them as supplemental materials. The courses include resources from partnerships developed by the collaborative like the MN Humanities Center; the Duluth Aquarium; Cultural Jambalaya and from national sources like the Southern Poverty Law Center/Tolerance.org and more. These courses are not online courses, they are created with digital content so that they can be flexible and used in any type of classroom setting.
Getting Started with the MPCC
Here’s a copy of the Implementation Checklist referenced in the webinar. We ask that districts go through this checklist to verify that the schools/instructors/support staff are all ready to begin the implementation of digital resources. Read it and determine if you think your district is ready for implementation. There is a lot more to do than to just give copies of courses to teachers.
Using a course
This is an example of how one course can be converted to online use. It took me roughly 20 hours to convert assignments and directions for the use in this setting. (This video is covered in the previous webinar video but has been clipped so that it covers a specific use case.)
Participating School districts have representatives are able to download courses for the teachers in their districts. Each course has a feedback form for teachers to identify any broken links/videos, or to suggest new materials.