Educational Technology Review: Open Educational Resources

Michael Flosi

Open Educational Resources, or OER, are documents, lessons, activities, and other forms of media that can be used in a classroom or at home that can assist in a students learning, assessment, and research. For the most part, Open Educational Resources are freely accessible; however, there are some online sources that require a fee. OER allows equal access to information and a wide rang of knowledge that will ultimately increase educational culture.

Open Educational Resources is worth the time and investment, because they allow any person to access a mass amount of information at a push of a button. As stated before, OER are either free or cost a small fee. This would save school districts and colleges millions of dollars. Districts use an incredible amount of money on educational resources such as textbooks, reusable activity books, and other resources used in the classroom. Recently, Antioch Unified School District requested that the school board authorize an expenditure of $3.2 million for textbooks, which will most likely be out of date by the time they are used in the classroom. Open Educational Resources would eliminate a majority of the cost. Types of open educational resources include: full courses, course materials, units, open textbooks, open licenses (streaming videos), quiz/ testing sites, materials, lessons to support and facilitate learning.

Open Educational Resources ultimately sponsors high-quality open content for teachers and students, which can remove barriers and stimulates learning. Another positive aspect of OER is that content can be used, re-used and shared among students and teachers. Ultimately, Open Educational Resource creates equal access for all learners.

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