Category Archives: SD2011

I Have Seen the Future — and it includes Open educational resources (OER)

I have been asked to give a brief, five minute, presentation on Open Educational Resources (OER) at our school’s welcome back event. Let’s start out with what are OERs?

Open educational resources (OER) are digital materials that can be re-used for teaching, learning, research and more, made available for free through open licenses, which allow uses of the materials that would not be easily permitted under copyright alone.[1]

A key part of OERs is that they are available under a Creative Commons License which permits the re-use and even re-mixing of educational resources.

There are a number of repositories available providing a range of resources from learning objects through to complete courses. Here are some examples:

To see more about what I’ve written about Open Eduational Resoures, enter OER into the search box on the top right of the screen.

New Mathematics Resources for Developmental Educators

On June 30th, I participated in webinar presentation on the National Repository of Online Courses’ new developmental math online materials. I blogged about this earlier. See for background info.

The project’s website is A recording of the webinar is available at this link. You may also download the slides.

These media rich materials may have some application to our fundamental level learners at Songhees. I will be following up in the coming days about piloting the materials at Songhees.

A few more resources

Here are a few more resources recommended by Wendy M at my meeting with her yesterday.

The first is a Vancouver model I had earlier recommended to my dean, wondering if we could replicate it here on the lower Island.

The following is a Ministry of Advanced Education paper titled Essential Skills: Focus on Aboriginal Workers. See

From the Métis Nation website, information on Essential Skills for Aboriginal Futures. See

Top 50 Entry-Level Jobs

Wendy M has been helpful, as usual, around things Essential, that is Essential Skills. She has directed me to a number of useful Essential Skills. The first is a link to a resource from Kingston Literacy called the Top 50 Entry-Level Jobs. They defined entry-level as follows:

An entry level job requires no post-secondary training but may require some job-specific training. In addition, entry level jobs may involve up to six months of on-the-job training. (See HRSDC skill levels C and D. For entry level-jobs, look for skill level 4, 5 or 6.) For example, the jobs 6621 – Gas Station Attendant and 6453 –Waiter are considered entry level.*

We used the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes to establish our definition of entry-level worker and specifically the skill level portion of the NOC structure, or the second digit. For “entry level,” then, we looked at skill levels C and D, or skill level digits 4, 5 or 6:

Skill Level C occupations generally require completion of secondary school and some job-specific training or completion of courses directly related to the work. Skill Level D occupations usually require on-the-job training, short demonstration sessions or instruction that takes place in the work environment.

*Adapted from the NOC website tutorial at

An examination of the numeracy skills required for each of these occupations will help inform me about what numeracy skills to focus on as I look at the new Fundamental Math curriculum.