About the collection
Advisory group members
Thanks to our advisory group members who represented community and school board programs in urban and rural settings, working with learners with varying abilities and different goals.
A little more about the project
Access to instructional resources and quality content has changed in a digital world. In the past decade or so, the amount of free, open-source instructional resources and learning content has increased substantially. Traditional educational publishers are now only one of many players involved in producing instructional content.
Open educational resources (OER) aim to address inequalities and ensure all students have equitable access to quality instructional resources and learning content. "The broad copyright permissions granted through openly-licensed resources allow users to freely download, change, combine with other resources, and share in ways that are not possible with proprietary resources."
While OER opens up opportunities for educators, particularly those in literacy and foundational learning programs that are often underfunded, new challenges arise. It's very time-consuming to find resources and build a personal collection. In addition, educators need to assess the quality of the resources. Do they follow sound pedagogical principles related to adult learning and literacy development? That is why AlphaPlus initiated this project. Working with a group of Ontario adult literacy educators and drawing on our technology, research, library, literacy and adult education expertise, we have done the searching, curating and organizing work on our end to support educators.
Filling a resource gap for Ontario adult educators
The open educational resources library complements other collections developed in Ontario, namely the comprehensive Literacy Resources and Discussion Forum, Task Based Activities for LBS supporting the completion of Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) milestone and culminating assessments and the Digital Literacy Library. Our collection is unique for the following reasons:
We feature mostly modifiable and open resources that instructors can make their own
Our focus on the core domains of reading, writing, digital skills, mathematics and numeracy, responding to the expressed needs of educators
Many of the resources are pedagogically-rich and help educators develop their expertise by introducing innovative strategies and approaches that are informed by research
We have carefully reviewed all materials and were highly selective
We have provided previews of most resources so educators can quickly decide if a particular resource meets their needs
All materials can be accessed with one click, making the search on our site more efficient for time-strapped educators.
Copyright or Creative Commons licensing information is provided for each resource. Every effort to provide accurate licensing and copyright information at the time of initial publishing of our site and its various pages has been made.
All of the resources that we feature are free and were created for educational use. We also indicate when sites provide the means to share, download and print files. All but two resources can be reproduced for learners in their entirety. The two exceptions are novels and short stories with a current copyright on ESL Bits and the Now Comment Literature Collection, sites from the US. When educators use US sites from Canada, they Canadian copyright laws apply. The US Fair Use and Canadian Fair Dealing Guidelines are distinct. In general, Canadian guidelines are more explicit, limiting allowable uses and reproduction to portions of copyrighted materials. US guidelines are a "balancing act," providing more flexibility and interpretation to non-profits and education institutions.
Creative Commons (CC) licensing, introduced 20 years ago, is an alternative to traditional copyright. Six different licenses describe various allowable uses of a developer's content. License holders choose their options based on three decisions:
Sharing (SA = share alike) which requires licence holders to apply the same licence as the original
Permitting or not permitting adaptations (ND = no derivatives)
Permitting or not permitting commercial uses (NC = no commercial)
Attribution is applied on all CC licenses (BY = attribution). And the use of any CC license implies that the content can be shared and reproduced in its entirety.
We have colour coded copyright and Creative Commons (CC) licensing information for each resource.
AlphaPlus is Ontario’s only organization focused on helping adult literacy education professionals to incorporate digital technology. We believe that through the use of digital technology in our sector, we can build capacity, create equity and access to learning, and enhance learning experiences. We work as a leader and guide, sharing knowledge and directly helping literacy educators and administrators to integrate technology in innovative ways that increase effectiveness and reach.
Learn more about AlphaPlus: visit alphaplus.ca