“Open Source” refers to online academic and educational material that is open for free use. It is a new trend that is reducing educational costs for students and opening pathways for teachers to expand, create, and compile diverse reading assignments more efficiently.

I am a student: What can open resources do for me?

The Open Education Resources Movement was organized in response to high attrition rates due to lack of student ability to afford educational materials. Students have reported being forced to charge up to $500 for just one textbook in order to remain in the class with a chance of passing! Do your research when registering for a class. Find out if the teacher already uses open educational resources. If not, find out if you can find open educational resources that fill closely enough with your class material. Use open educational resources to supplement your other texts when studying and completing assignments.

I am a teacher: What can open resources do for me?

First, open educational resources limit your preparation time. You do not have to go through multiple sources and piece them together yourself; you can do a quick web search to find segments of readings and videos on specific topics. Second, open educational resources have already been determined to be accessible under copyright laws, so you do not have to track down permissions. Third, your classes will be more affordable, so more students will have higher chances at success. Attrition rates will decrease. Whether you teach elementary, middle, high school, or college, there are open educational resources to suit you!

How Does Open Source Work?

The difference between open and regular materials is the copyright law. There are three levels to open licenses: public may use the textbook freely create, public may use and distribute copies of the textbook, and public may use, distribute, and adapt the textbook by revising it or combining it with other materials. Makes sure you check which type of license each resource is in before deciding how to use it. All licenses are under the category of Creative Commons, so that is the phrase to look for. Click here to visit the official Creative Commons website and learn more!

What Types of Open Source Material Are Available?

Open resources exist in every modality you can teach in! There are textbooks, videos, presentations, and audio files available. This makes it easy to teach to many learning styles and abilities. Make sure that your chosen content is formatted for accessibility by screen readers by clicking here to run it through WAVE, a web access accessibility screening tool.

Where Can I Find Good Open Resources?

Open educational resources has become well-known lately, which has increased the presence of both reliable and unreliable sources on the internet. OER Commons (click here for a link) and OpenStax (click here for a link) are the two most broad and reliable sites.

Open resources are available for teachers of all grade levels and subjects. They are easy for both teachers and students to access and use. They cut down on educational costs and attrition, and they allow teachers to broaden their instructional horizons. Whether you are a teacher, student, or school administrator, go check out some open sources today!

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