Chapter 9: Don’t reinvent the wheel! Ready-to-use resources
Copyrighted, do-it-yourself (DIY) resources for adult learners
Numerous learning resources focused on introductory digital skills and knowledge are available online for free. Most resources are designed for learners to access and use independently, using a DIY approach. One example, often used by educators and tutors, is GCF Learn. Teacher guides and teaching tips are also available for most resources.
When using fully copyrighted resources, like all the ones listed above, educators can’t make modifications and can’t integrate them into their own curricula, whether online or in-person. It’s also challenging to develop activities that integrate literacy and numeracy practices and culturally relevant content and activities.
To fill the gap, literacy and basic skills (LBS) programs and support organizations also develop their own resources. In one example, a program developed introductory materials that contained extensive guidance for their tutors. On one side of a page were activities for the learner and the other side contained information for tutors. Programs also need to develop their own resources to focus on topics that are most relevant to the learners in their programs and be able to adapt materials to their expertise and interests. However, this work is time-consuming and is usually done without additional funding. Programs also work independently, unaware of what others are doing, and duplicate their efforts. Resources produced under a Creative Commons (CC) licence offer a partial solution to the challenges, as they provide content that can be shared and modified.
Share, adapt and make it your own using CC-licensed resources
CC licensing provides an alternative to traditional copyright. The aim is to encourage the creation and sharing of knowledge for creative and academic works that ensures proper attribution and allows others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.
A few digital resources and collections are available. All the resources listed provide open, shareable and adaptable materials for anyone to use and reuse in various ways. That means LBS programs could build their own collections using existing materials as a basis. Access to open-source content is only a first step. To make use of the content, in an effective and efficient way, educators with expertise also need to work together, with additional funding, to develop modules that are contextualized for adult learners in their programs.