Getting Past Working in Silos: Creating Open Resources for Teacher Education

The real threat is if colleges and universities lose their monopoly on higher education certification. -Educause, Open Educational Resources and the Role of the University

Why are we working in such silos in teacher education in Texas and elsewhere?  For instance, teachers must take a common set of assessments (teacher certification tests) to become certified as a teacher in Texas.

Why are there not free open-access tutorial, videos, podcasts, and other free materials to prepare students for this that can be used statewide? I realize there are commercial options for students and I have even written a teacher certification test prep book as a co-editor. However, it seems that we should be creating shared open and free shared repositories for our overlapping topics within teacher education as review materials for teacher candidates.

For instance, the state of Texas require that preservice teachers be prepared to know about the topic of dyslexia. Why are there not shared videos, study guides, and other items beyond the few resources the Texas Education agency provides? I think we need to take it upon herself to create such shared open access materials.  Here are a few ideas below that I think would really benefit the state of Texas.

  1. Competency-based podcasts and videos that provide concise overviews and micro lectures specifically on competencies addressed within the teacher certification tests. This could be reviewed and reviewed by teacher candidates.  They could include interactivity by embedding many quizzes that are self-checking, e.g., using tools such as Zaption. These multimodal review materials could be compatible with mobile learning.
  2. Review questions for the test that align with the test format. These practice questions could be on a platform that is mobile compatible such as by providing  questions using actual such as Socrative. This could also be arranged by competency.  This would also model m-learning or mobile learning for other instructors and also teacher candidates.
  3. Open educational resources for web-based content and articles that align with competencies for Texas teacher education could be created. This would be different than a Wiki in that it would simply be where we could collectively curate links and resources that support learning.
  4. Tutorials available state-wide (and beyond) on topics such as dyslexia could be created. I envision a web-based dyslexia tutorial that could be used statewide in Texas and beyond. This could include curation of video and other multimedia content related to the topic, a viewing of the documentary movie “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” (available on Netflix streaming) along with a study guide and a shared and open discussion board.

I think these ideas are a start and I intend on working on creating these resources (with an EC-6 English Language Arts Reading and a dyslexia focus) over the summer! These free and open resources would benefit students looking for support to be sure they pass their teacher certification tests in Texas. The shared and free dyslexia tutorial could be used by teacher educators across Texas and even by those people wanting to learn more on the topic. 

Defining Dyslexia: Overview of the Topic with a Mind, Brain and Education Perspective

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