Learning objects that travel well


Why look for international learning objects if there is plenty of choice already in your own national language or in your own national repository?

A simple search on the web returns a lot of learning objects, unfortunately these are not often useful for teachers in another country.
Yet looking beyond national borders can result in a lot of opportunities.   
A learning object can be of good quality, yet not be useful for teachers and learners in other countries. Some supplemantary characteristics will make that learning object valuable in an international context.

Let’s define criteria for learning objects that travel well.

The home page of the MELT/LRE portal highlights some resources considered by users to travel well. 
Ex1  Nuclear power plant: http://www.nek.si/
Ex2  Normandy 1944: http://search.eb.com/dday
Ex3  Maths software: http://www.bookcase.com/library/software/win3x.math.undef.html

From these examples we can deduce some characteristics that make a learning object interesting from an international point of view. Of course the general characteristics that make learning resources high in quality apply.

Additional criteria are: 

  1. The first essential is that the there is need for little written or spoken language. If there is a language content, it should be supported by graphics or explained in an alternative way.
  2. Digital learning resources that travel well match the curriculum of different countries and are not tied to a particular national curriculum. They use terms that make sense in other countries and avoid the use of 'jargon' used only in the country of origin.
  3. Such resources are often highly visual and use animations to explain concepts.