Saturday, August 17, 2013

Embedding Digital Texts

"Education is the most fundamental public resource."(Bonk, 2009). The availability of information has significantly increased. There are so many ways to access content through the use of technology, and many of this access is free. Open course-ware, digital text, and other e-learning opportunities are a very useful tools for educators and provide resources at minimal costs. Similarly, these resources are easy to share with students.

With the increasing availability of materials online, the fees and costs for materials are decreasing  A single textbook for a typical math class may hit the budget for around $100. With the availability of digital texts, that price could be zero. All that is required is some creativity from the teacher and some some online searching through online courses, digital texts, and other open source learning environments . 

There are other resources available to help teachers create a virtual learning environment. Some of these resources will allow the teacher to create and manage a virtual classroom. These tools provide opportunities for learning without being in the traditional setting (Lakhan, 2008)  These virtual classrooms can be built using open source tools  like Moodle, Claroline, .LRN (dotlearn), Dokeos. Another realm of creating a virtual classroom is through the use of some Web 2.0 tools. A free tool like Edmodo will allow a teacher to create a virtual learning environment, be able to manage assignments, grades, and participation. 

Digtial texts, e-learning, and open course software are changing the face of education. There are so many resources available where teachers can enhance the curriculum with 21st century learning opportunities. To be able to include these materials requires the teacher to know where to look, or know how to search for the materials they want, and be able to share those materials with the classroom. These materials have the potential to change education and create a global community where resources are easily shared and accessed. Education is a free resource in many countries, and technology is allowing educators and students more opportunities to connect and share information. Using the tools and information available online will help education save money on software licenses, and other fees (Lakhan, 2008). In the end, this will allow for money to be better spent and provide quality 21st century education for students

 Here is a quick list of some popular places to obtain free resources for education. 

Free software for education

Free online classes and content materials

Free textbooks

Make your own course with these tools:  (the downside with this one is you need to have iOS tablet or laptop, it just doens't run well on a pc or linux)

Bonk, C.J. 2009. The World Is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education.                (Kindle Edition. ) Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint 989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

Lankhan, S. JhunJhunwala, K. 2008. Open Source Sotfware in Education. Educause Quarterly.       Retrieved from

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