What is OER and why is it important?
OER are teaching, learning, and research materials that reside in the public domain and can be freely shared, edited and re-purposed by others. OER capitalize on new improvements in technology and online educational content to offer students dynamic digital content that is openly licensed, organized, searchable, tagged, aligned with Common Core State Standards, and engaging for students.
Every year school districts across the country spend billions on instructional materials. Printed textbooks quickly fall into disrepair and their content lapses out of date, while costly yearly subscription fees for online content only allows states to lease (not own) materials. The huge aggregate demand represented by the nationwide need for new materials creates a unique opportunity for states to acquire higher quality, more effective content aligned to college and career readiness standards in a smarter, far less expensive, and far more flexible manner, and make these available to districts. With OER, states and districts can transition from expensive and rigidly controlled materials to new open instructional resources that are low-cost and can be accessed and used in distinct and improved ways from traditional materials. Most notably, their licenses grant permission for anyone to freely and legally use, adapt and redistribute the resources.
K-12 OER Collaborative/Open Up Resources
TLA was instrumental in creating The K-12 OER Collaborative, a non-profit dedicated to developing high-quality open educational resources aligned to state standards and packaged to include all of the key supports provided with traditional textbooks. In early 2016, The K-12 OER Collaborative relaunched as Open Up Resources. Open Up Resources is now engaging in its go-to-market strategy with full-year curricula in mathematics and English language arts. The middle-school math curriculum, developed in partnership with Illustrative Mathematics, is being tested in six districts. The three key attributes of the instructional materials which make them higher quality than anything else on the market include:
- Openly licensed (CC BY)
- Highly aligned to standards
- Accessible to all students, regardless of first language or special needs
Want More Information?
To learn more about our open education resources work, please contact TLA Partner Jennifer Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org.