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Open Educational Resources: OER Authoring Tools
A clearinghouse of OER, including learning object repositories, open course repositories, scholarly repositories, open textbooks, and information about open learning/education in general.
Free, open source application used to create flowcharts and other kinds of charts and diagrams.
Tools for Creating Audio OER
Creating basic audio files will require a microphone, probably a better one than the one that came with your device or computer. A lot of people like the Blue Snowball.
If you are recording music or other sounds that require higher fidelity, talk to a sound technician. If you can't find one among your colleagues, you can ask at a local guitar store or community theater group. Expect to have to pay, and be very clear about your goals, timeline, and budget.
Do NOT use Audacity for now. Current versions that are available contain malware.
Open Source audio editing software.
For obscure legal reasons, Audacity won't save your work as an mp3 file until you download and install the LAME codec too.
And here are some Audacity tutorials.
DarkAudacity is GNU licensed Open Source software for recording and editing audio files. It requires the LAME codec be installed as well if you want to export your files as mp3s.
DarkAudacity is a fork of the original Audacity software. Audacity was acquired by a Russian company and now contains spyware. The original Audacity team now maintains DarkAudacity.
Tenacity is GNU licensed Open Source software for recording and editing audio files. It requires the LAME codec to be installed as well if you want to export your files as mp3s. Tenacity is a fork of the old Audacity software. Audacity was acquired by a Russian company and now contains spyware. Tenacity is developed and maintained by volunteers.
Places to Host Your OER
It's ok to keep copies of your OER in your course, but that should not be the only place. Learning Management Systems like Moodle don't allow public access and aren't set up for organization and searching that way.
You may need to provide access in three ways:
Download the OER
Stream the OER or interact with it online
Download the source file
Hosted by your institution
Some educational institutions have streaming servers for audio and video, as well as space for faculty to store files.
Empire State College has LEARNscape for multimedia resources.
Hosted in the cloud
If your institution doesn't provide a streaming server and storage space, you can host your multimedia files in the cloud. The "cloud" means storing and processing data on networked facilities (computers somewhere on the Internet) rather than locally on your own computer.
Currently the best free option for hosting images in the cloud is:
Flickr - A free image hosting service (up to one terabyte) that allows you to create galleries and slideshows and mark your content as Creative Commons.
Here are several free options for hosting audio in the cloud:
Ipadio - which is especially useful because it allows users to record audio on their phones and upload transcripts.
iTunes isn't listed here because it is only a directory service for podcasts; it doesn't host them. See iTunes: "making a podcast" for more information on RSS feeds (the way the ITunes store generates podcast listings.)
Here are some free options for hosting video in the cloud:
YouTube - Is the most popular and receives the most traffic, but the learner may get lost among millions and millions of search results.
SchoolTube - For K-12. Contains many videos created by students as well as educators. SchoolTube screens content in order to protect children from harmful content or invasions of their privacy.
TeacherTube - For K-12. Contains content by and for educators.
Vimeo - Is comparable to YouTube, but a smaller user-base, less clutter from low-quality videos, and no advertisements.
Hosting other kinds of OER in the cloud
Scribd- Allows you to upload Word documents, which you can then embed in any blog, web page, or online course. Be mindful that 1. Scribd has shifted its focus to selling a monthly subscription to their ebook collection, and 2. many Scribd users use it to host junk and plagiarized content.
SlideShare- Allows you to upload Powerpoint presentations, which you can then embed in any blog, web page, or online course. You can mark your content as Creative Commons.
Google Drive - Allows you to upload Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint slideshows, which you can then link to - but not embed.
And remember to always submit your OER to be included in MERLOT so that it can be found by other educators!
A platform for creating, editing, and sharing Open Educational Resources on all topics, for all grade levels, and also for rating, reviewing, modifying, and using the OERs created by others. You can sign up to be a peer reviewer, and some of the OERs are formally peer reviewed. K-16.
A note about these tools
Not all of these tools are open source, but they do output open file formats. They vary in terms of accessibility. They are certainly an imperfect set, so if you have better suggestions, please contact email@example.com.