Open Educational Resources

According to Wikipedia, "Open Educational Resources (OERs) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes."

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines OERs as: "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge"

In March 2012, the Why Open Education Matters video competition was launched by the Creative Commons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Open Society Foundation to solicit creative videos that clearly communicate the use and potential of free, high-quality Open Educational Resources — or “OER” — and describe the benefits and opportunities these materials create for teachers, students, and schools everywhere. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announce the competition with the following video:

The winning videos from this competition can be found at: whyopeneducationmatters.org

How has OER's Changed Education?

Open Educational Resources actually got it's start with the OpenCourseWare movement that seeks to engender a culture of openness in education to allow everyone, everywhere to access the education they desire, while providing a shared body of knowledge and best practices that can be drawn upon for innovative and effective approaches.

According to the OCW Consortium,

"Open Education is, at its core, about free and open sharing. Free, meaning no cost, and open, which refers to the use of legal tools (open licenses) that give everyone permission to reuse and modify educational resources.  Free and open sharing increases access to education and knowledge for anyone, anywhere, anytime.  It allows people to make changes to materials or to combine resources in new ways to build something new.  Open Education incorporates free and open learning communities, educational networks, teaching and learning materials, open textbooks, open data, open scholarship, and on and on. Open Education gives people access to knowledge, provides platforms for sharing, enables innovation, and connects communities of learners and educators around the world."

Watch this TedTalk by David Wiley on Open Education:

Dr. David Wiley is Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. He is also the Chief Openness Officer of Flat World Knowledge and Founder and board member of the Open High School of Utah. This video is available with text transcript on Youtube.


US Department of Educations #GoOpen Initiative> Office of Educational Technology Website  Find the #GOOPEN Launch Packet here!

Check out the following #GoOpen stories from the U.S. Department of Education:

In the News:
Collaboration is Key - Natick Public Schools #GoOpen Journey US Office of Educational Technology March 2016

More OER Resources: