School Libraries

Book Reviews, Research, Issues

OERs and the Library Learning Commons

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OERs or Open Educational Resources are free materials that can be used by students for instructional purposes and many teachers are starting to replace textbooks with them. At the very least, these resources can be used to supplement textbooks that presume that one size fits all learners. In a recent article, the case for OERs is strengthened.  Se it at:

In my own work with graduate students in the School of Information at San Jose state University, we have been creating several important resources that are examples of what the teacher librarian and their colleagues in a school district, a region, a state, or even from a nation, could create that suggests that the library learning commons can be an important factor in this effort.

Our first example is an entire fourth grade curriculum for fourth graders on California history based on the 2016 social studies framework developed by the State of California.  It is at:

This is a participatory site that invites both teachers and students to contribute as well as use the resources. We have found that so many wonderful materials are available from libraries, museums, state agencies, organizations, etc. But what is even more important is the fact that our students have created major lesson plans that encourage classroom teachers to coteach alongside their teacher librarian for a much higher percent of students who meet or exceed both adult’s expectations.

The second example is a Symbaloo webmix known as The Virtual Makerspace. It is available at: or, just google “Symvaloo the virtual makerspace”

Here, over 50 tools for various grade levels have been curated to provide any school the opportunity to have a free virtual makerspace alongside their physical one. The tools help kids and teens build, create, invent, and do things on their own without have to be required or “taught” how to do things.  It is a source worth checking out.

Challenge: What could your local teacher librarians do to contribute OERs that support the curriculum in your school?




August 10, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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