A quick heads up on a new open educational resource (OER) initiative...
Last week, Amazon announced that it will launch Amazon Inspire, "a free service for the search, discovery, and sharing of digital educational resources." Once up and running this fall, Inspire will help educators quickly find resources they need in the classroom--for example, free lesson plans, teaching modules, worksheets, digital texts, and more. In large part, much of the content will be provided by schools and educators themselves. Then Amazon will use its services to organize--or even curate--the content, allowing instructors to find appropriate materials in an efficient way. In a press release, Amazon enumerated some of the services the platform will provide. It reads:
- Smart search — With smart search, teachers can explore resources by grade level, standard or even from a particular district. Educators can filter search results using more than 10 criteria to find great resources that best fit their needs.
- Collections — Educators can group resources into collections. They can describe the collection, curate the resources in it, recommend an order for going through the resources and share the collection with other teachers.
- Simple upload — Amazon Inspire offers an easy to use and intuitive upload interface. Educators can drag and drop files they want to share, add basic metadata such as title, description, grade and subject, and publish the content on the service, all in a few minutes.
- Customer reviews — Teachers can rate and review resources on Amazon Inspire, helping their colleagues around the country select the best resources for their needs.
- Accessibility support — Amazon Inspire has built in accessibility features. For example, educators can navigate Amazon Inspire using popular screen readers and users are also able to indicate the accessibility features of resources they upload.
Although Inspire is currently in a closed beta, K-12 educators can fill out a form here to get early access to the service.
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