Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Sustainable Open Education Resources: The Way Forward for Digital Curriculum Delivery

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Monday, June 24, 2:30–3:30 pm
Location: 115A

Catherine Saldutti  
The only thing certain in the information age is ever-evolving content. EduChange pioneered the sustainable open educational resources model to provide dynamic, digital STEAM curriculum for grades 8-12 and to leverage its power as a vehicle for student personalization, professional development, leadership and technology pilot site opportunities.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees will benefit from the presentation if they arrive with a charged laptop that is internet-ready. Attendees should ensure they can connect to the internet via the ISTE Conference instructions prior to entering the session.

Google account helpful but not necessary.

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Open educational resources
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Science
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital age learning.
For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Grodecka and Śliwowski (2014) describe OER as “any educational resources…which have been made available for use under open licenses – which means that anyone can use, adapt and redistribute them…as long as they adhere to license conditions, such as attribution; the users’ rights are clearly specified and easily understandable.” It is important to understand that open means 'modifiable by the user'.

For a variety of reasons that surfaced in our own data collection that we will share with participants, EduChange decided after 16 years of experience with our STE(A)M curriculum for Grades 8-up that the benefits of OER outweigh the drawbacks if the instructional design framework accounts for dynamic implementation in an evolving technological landscape.

In 2017 EduChange coined the term Sustainable Open Education Resources (SOER) to describe the particular model we developed to address several pain points identified by schools and state education leaders, and to leverage the power of open resources to great advantage for administrators, technology coaches, educators and students. The SOER model partners EduChange as an external stakeholder who remains accountable to both schools and to the evolving landscape of learning technologies, STEM technologies, and of course the dynamic flow of information itself.

Through participation in this BYOD session, participants will engage directly with our materials and other participants to:

• Learn how SOER continually updates 1) authentic STEM technologies, 2) STEM educational technologies, including games, animations and interactives, and 3) productivity and creativity technologies within curriculum materials

• Identify at least 3 professional development benefits of SOER for teachers

• Explore curriculum materials that intentionally invite students to personalize the curriculum—students construct knowledge by writing and rendering approximately 1/3 of their digital ‘textbook’

• Brainstorm ways to modify the provided curriculum materials to incorporate apps, integrations and favorite tech tools, and share with the group

• Articulate at least 1 way that SOER could encourage tech tool pilots in their own educational setting over the course of a year, prior to purchase decisions at a school or district level

• Take home results and findings from our 12 years of in-school implementation in schools across 5 countries representing students of over 50 nationalities.

The Information Age requires educators to celebrate, not fear, uncertainty. The SOER model of curriculum delivery and implementation helps us a big step toward meeting that goal. This session will highlight why now more than ever, smart collaborations that preserve individual voice and choice yet leverage the power of shared tasks are essential.


The following outline assumes a 1-hour BYOD session.

(pre-start to 5:00)
Icebreaker: Participants will be seated at tables ready to use their laptops. As participants gather, they will complete a Google Form questionnaire, whose results will open the session and engage participants immediately in introductions and substantive conversations about digital curriculum. Participants will be able to retrieve these results post-session.

Introduction to OER: The presenter will define OER and paint the current picture of the digital curricular landscape, including common myths about OER. A backchannel will be used for questions throughout the session, and the presenter will select some to answer periodically.

Introduction to SOER in the EduChange STEAM Program: The presenter will introduce and disseminate the materials for the session, which will be sample curriculum and assessment materials that at least 3 different tech tools. OER and SOER will be compared to introduce the first participatory exercise.

(15:00 – 30:00) With a partner and individually, participants will complete part of a classroom activity that requires student input and choice, uses two different tech tools for authentic STEM, and engages in small group discussion.

(30:00 – 40:00) With guidance from the presenter, participants will work in small groups to share apps, integrations and other tech tools that a teacher could use to conduct the next part of the activity. This represents the teacher voice and choice aspect of an SOER curriculum model.

(40:00 – 50:00) Small groups will share their tech tool modifications for the materials, and will identify ways that SOER acts as on-the-job, immersive professional development.

(50:00 – 55:00) Individuals will complete another Google Form questionnaire that gathers information about tech tool and curriculum pilots in their local settings. How could an SOER model provide a fertile test ground for new tools?

(55:00 – 60:00) Upon revealing participant results, the presenter will close the session by comparing data from the session to data from 12 years of implementation in middle and high schools. Participants will walk away with additional curriculum samples and all of the co-created content from the session!

Supporting research

Bolkan, Joshua. (2017) Digital curriculum spending up 25% in 2016, most schools to increase in 2017. THE Journal, January 3, 2017.

Center for Digital Education. (2016) Guide to choosing digital content and curriculum. California: E.Republic, in collaboration with ISTE and COSN.

Council of Chief State School Officers. (2014) State of the states: open educational resources in K-12 education. Washington, DC.

Fullan, Michael and Quinn, Joanne. (2015) Coherence: the right drivers in action for schools, districts, and systems. California: Corwin.

Futuresource Consulting, Ltd. (2017) Sales of mobile pcs into the us k-12 education market continue to grow, as OS battle heats up," Press Article, 03 March 2017.

Grodecka, K. and Sliwowski, K. (2014) Open educational resources mythbusting. Open Educational Resources Policy in Europe, Creative Commons, October, 2014.

Kelly, Heather. (2017) Why Google, Apple and Microsoft are battling for education. CNN Money, May 4, 2017.

Saldutti, Catherine. (2014) STEM curricular designs for an information age. AdvancED: The Source, Teaching and Learning, accessed on 9/20/2018 from

Saldutti, Catherine. (2017) Open but no free: Sustainable open educational resources (SOER) in a secondary/polytechnic STEM curriculum. EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 6752-6760.

Tepe, Lindsey and Mooney, Teresa. (2018) Navigating the new curriculum landscape: how states are using and sharing open educational resources. Washington, DC: New America and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

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Catherine Saldutti, EduChange, Inc.

Catherine Saldutti has 26+ years of experience in secondary education as teacher, administrator, PD provider, evaluator, and instructional designer. She founded EduChange in 2000 and her team served 350+ NYC schools, plus others in USA, Brazil, Bahamas, Malaysia, Japan & Mexico. After 12 years and ongoing scientific review, The Integrated Science Program is powered by Sustainable Open Educational Resources (SOER). Catherine holds a patent for Concept Construxions, a pattern-recognition system that helps learners construct concepts and academic language collaboratively. Catherine earned degrees from Stanford University and The Harvard Graduate School of Education, with an independent study on International Technology Education.

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