Published: 01/01/2019 Pages: 81 Full Study Price: US$ 1,995
What Are Open Educational Resources?
Open educational resources have been available for use in K-12 schools for two decades, but they have not taken hold in mainstream fashion until relatively recently. Progress has been much faster in the college market.
That said, there has been a spike in interest and adoption in recent years, especially since the launch of the federal #GoOpen program in 2015 under the Obama administration.
The Free Software Foundation is credited with creating the first OER materials back in 1985. One of the first OER collections released to the public came from MIT, which offered almost all of its courses online for free and has since launched a high school site to assist teachers in tailoring the content to that age cohort. UNESCO first used the term open educational resources in 2002.
Open educational resources are learning materials that anyone can use, adapt, and share, all under an open license. They are often free or very low cost, but this is not a requirement. In addition, even when the materials themselves are available at no cost, necessary and complementary products and services, such as printing, professional development, and ancillaries, often come at a price. There are also significant costs associated with human resources.
Open educational resources are not copyright-free or in the public domain. Nor are they marketed under a traditional closed copyright where all rights are reserved to the owner, who must grant permission for any sort of use. An open license resides between these two ends of the spectrum. While not public domain, OER materials fall under what is sometimes called a “5R permissions” umbrella: they can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed, as long as the original is recognized and proper attribution given.