Reusing Content to Keep Engagement Strong
You can boost the EQ (engagement quotient) of K-12 learning resources by reusing existing materials. Often, reuse can also improve materials by making them a better fit for students and budgets. Here’s a short list of the reasons why (re)creating learning materials makes sense:
This post complements material presented at a LACUECares educator development event held on November 3, 2020. You can find recordings of all event sessions here.
Our goal is to provide you with information that’s useful, engaging, and easy to use. Materials used in this and other PD event sessions were designed for and by K-12 educators. We welcome your comments or examples of successful DIY content reuse. Contact us today.
- Modify content. If teaching materials do not suit your target learners, it’s time to change resources to something more suitable to your students’ gender, age, cultural background, or religion.
- Address specific requirements. Sometimes, you must add materials to address requirements of a specific school or exam.
- Provide more practice. You might see the need for more practice in vocabulary, grammar, or other skills.
- Localize generic materials. Sometimes, information or activities in existing materials would be more effective if they were changed to reflect local culture, issues, or content.
So, what can you do to add useful teaching materials to your teaching portfolio, especially when time and budget dollars are short?
Create a little magic.
Starting with textbook or PDF files and a scanner, you can convert printed or scanned materials into digital formats. Then, in the Google Classroom environment, you can use Kami Scan and Merge capabilities to draw, type, write, annotate, or enhance PDFs or any other digital files. Often, this will mean chopping a scanned document into pieces and reorganizing the content into useful, customized lesson materials.
And here are some ideas to get you started customizing videos:
- Use videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, etc.
- Can voiceover videos with our voice/explanation
- Can embed questions throughout video to check for understanding
- Easy to share to Google Classroom
- Up to 20 videos at a time in Free library – no paid account needed
And the benefits? “Open Educational Resources and Collaborative Content Development,” a 2020 INACOL report, cites many content sharing and reuse benefits, including:
- Relevance. Teachers can create materials that are directly relevant to students’ needs and that reflect local content, issues, and concerns.
- Flexibility. Materials produced within a school can be revised or adapted as needed, giving staff members greater flexibility than a commercial textbook can provide.
- Reputation. Materials prepared internally can enhance your school’s reputation by demonstrating its commitment to providing materials tailor-made for your students.