Shauna Vorkink

Unlock OpenEd = So Worth Your Time!

Blog Post created by Shauna Vorkink Employee on Feb 16, 2016

What does the phrase 'unlock the power Open Education' mean to you?


Open Education to me means that we use the power of synergy and create amazing resources.  Two heads are better than one as the old saying goes... think about the possibility for 200 or 2000 heads contributing inspiration for you to use individually. Multiplying our time and efforts instead of all recreating the wheel. As an Instructor creating courses, my time was limited and even though I wanted the highest quality course design possible, the amount of time I could dedicate was never enough.  Starting from a template with ideas in mind always led to a better finished product. Pulling an entire course that was built and shared by another instructor allowed me to remix or reuse resources and spend my time improving the finished product. I would often take suggestions and ideas from 5 or 6 sources and recombine to create my own product.  Instead of trying to match up with a text book I didn't care for, knew my students wouldn't read, and was cost prohibitive - I could spend my time designing project based learning with real life scenarios. The idea behind OpenSource is that you are willing to share what you have in the hopes of contributing to a better future.  There is so much online content available to us. Open Education helps bridge the gaps for so many students and teachers.


Share a time when you leveraged OER for teaching and it (the resource or the experience) turned into something awesome!


One of the assignments that comes to mind was a specific time my Certificate students were asked to volunteer time in the community as part of their Portfolio Course.  One of my students recorded himself as he fulfilled this assignment using his Mobile Phone.  He used several free tools added music, a timeline, etc. to his initial recording.  He took advantage of CamStudio, Wordle, and other free online interactive options throughout his course to create his submissions. He posted the video in the course and other students were inspired by his sharing to go out and serve. As an instructor, it also inspired me to want my courses to be more interactive, rich in media, and to go above and beyond giving my students text to read and boring assignments to submit!


Name one (or more, if you want) OpenEd repositories or tools do you use and why?


Khan Academy

MyOpen Math


Movie Maker





Interactive Timelines


They make learning more enjoyable.  I think when you can engage more than one of your senses on content, it helps solidify the information in your mind.  A sentence of text describing an event is not nearly as memorable as a short video, an interactive poster with hot spots, some other visual or audio information that is appealing.


Anything else about Open Education you want to share (a poem, a music video, a wordle, a drawing...)?

(a.k.a. what's going to get your blog post the most views/likes/comments and win you the ultimate prize?)


Education is changing!  Designing for mobile devices, more personalized learning pathways, measuring successful outcomes, assessing the real learning our students are doing will all be topics we need to consider. Spending time in these areas for me is made possible by using great content shared by others and adapted to my classroom needs.  Be Open to New Possibilities.