HippoCampus and Open Educational Resources
Gary Lopez discusses the OER HippoCampus and how it is changing education
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20 February 2009
HippoCampus focuses on high school and community college.
There are basic necessities for an OER- it must be curricular, complete, of a high quality, easy to use, and a teaching tool.
Essentially, it must be as simple and effective as opening a text book.
NROC is unique in that it fuses content for high school and higher education; it has complete foundations for entire courses, and can be made flexible to the needs of the teacher.
Quality is of a very high concern- expectations are high for both students and teachers using this content.
When introduced to the state of Oregon, the content was met with widespread acceptance.
Flexibility can be brought to the teacher, district, or state- this makes the high quality content easier to use, no matter what the needs may be.
One of the first steps in integrating content with the repository is completeness of the curriculum- no holes left for teachers to fill in themselves.
This will phase out the need for textbooks, such as was done for history courses in Oregon.
Overall, there has been great success with both students and teachers alike.
Unfortunately, the biggest hurtle is sustainability- how can content that is given away for free continue to be updated?
The answer is administrators, teachers, and users coming together to support the OER.
The variety of ways to customize and utilize HippoCampus include customized sites and accessibility options (such as from an iPod).
The pacing can also be tailored for the needs of anyone- mildly autistic, ADHD, or students who simply need more time with the content.
This content can be adapted for pencil and paper use- exercises are embedded in the content itself, and parts can be utilized in presentations as the teacher sees fit.
OER success is measured by usage, so the ultimate goal is expanding the amount of usage.