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Tools to Modify OER and Maintain Rigor

Emerging tools providing guidance on how to modify OER and maintain rigor

Overview

OER offer educators the ability to modify instructional materials, a feature which was not available with traditional textbooks. One tension that exists for instructional materials providers is that they want to offer educators the ability to modify materials to meet students’ needs but do not want these modifications to reduce their alignment to standards or rigor. In order to provide guidance to educators, several instructional materials providers are in the process of developing new tools as a solution.

  • UnboundEd offers Enhance Instruction tools, a set of free professional learning resources and the digital version of EngageNY, which includes a streamlined articulation of daily objectives, preventing teachers from inadvertently reducing content rigor when cutting down an overwhelming volume of curriculum. Through these resources, the organization hopes to shift teacher practice and deepen knowledge of standards.
  • modEL Detroit (an initiative of StandardsWorks) developed Powerpoint slides that accompany each EL Education lesson, providing educators with a distilled and more manageable version of the curriculum. These slides include necessary prep work for educators and the day’s lesson in student-friendly slides with extensive notes for teacher guidance.
  • Illustrative Mathematics is in the early stages of developing a guided customization tool which provides educators seeking to modify curriculum with recommendations for areas not to change in order to maintain rigor and alignment.
  • LearnZillion transforms PDF versions of OER curriculum, such as EL Education, Illustrative Mathematics, and Odell, into more manageable formats with software. Their model takes lesson and source material (which teachers would otherwise have to take several hours to prepare) and puts it into a slide format in the right sequence using bite-size information, saving time and ensuring essential content is presented to students.
  • Teacher Advisor with Watson allows educators to customize lessons from a pre-vetted set of K-8 math resources, enabling deeper personalization.