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Open-Source Talk and Revising Tech Standards

As I mentioned before, I attended two sessions at the NCCE conference last week that were great. The first session I went to, which was standing-room-only, was about open-source tools and content for teachers by Karen Fasimpur. She spent the first part of her talk explaining the different licenses that are available to create open resources, something that I wrote about awhile ago after I realized how much confusion was out there about those licenses.

She then went on to talk about how open licensed content can be used in the classroom and where educators could find those resources. Check out the K12 Open Ed wiki she created to find links to open licensed resources—like photos, videos, music, and sound effects—that educators can use (legally) for projects in the classroom. She's amassed quite a collection of useful links for those interested in open resources and the open educational resource movement, so poke around the wiki if that's something that interests you.

The second session I attended was about renewing the International Society for Technology in Education's NETS-A, or National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators. I sat in on a similar session back in October at the T+L Conference in Seattle, and it was great to see how far they've come since just a few months ago. The new standards will be unveiled at this year's National Educational Computing Conference in Washington, and although they're still collecting feedback, in about 3 weeks they'll be sitting down to read through everything to try and come up with the finalized version.

I was able to see a draft of the standards, which we were to compare to the old standards and make suggestions about. The idea is to move towards a more student-centered, 21st-century model of learning, and I believe that the new standards reflect that. Although we definitely had some suggestions in the group that I worked with, the standards are on the way to becoming more active, less prescriptive, and more in line with what the 21st-century classroom looks like.

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