What are Open Educational Resources?


Open educational resources (OER) are freely available materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students.

Because OER aren’t confined to the same copyright restrictions as materials from traditional publishing companies, educators can modify OER to personalize lesson plans and make sure students are receiving the most current and accurate information available without waiting for an updated textbook.


Who uses OER?

Educators and school districts around the world are switching to OER because of the flexibility they provide to personalize learning and help all students succeed. Learn more about OER and the preK-12 districts using open resources across the country here.

Where can I find OER?

OER are available to everyone, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, and they can be found online in a variety of carefully curated repositories, including our Digital Content Warehouse.  

Are OER high-quality?

Educators and researchers create, review, and edit OER to ensure they are a good fit for their students. Educators know their students best, and OER provide educators with a broad range of high-quality resources, including assignments and professional development, that empower them to customize lesson plans to meet the unique needs of every student.

Research demonstrates that students perform just as well—if not better—when teachers use high-quality OER in the classroom.

How do I know if a resource is open?

The key distinguishing characteristic of OER are their open licenses, which communicate the permissions to share and adapt the content, while ensuring that the creator receives attribution for their work.

Open licenses are a simple, legal way for creators to keep their copyright and share their work—like an image or textbook—with others under the terms and conditions they choose.

How can I share my content with an open license?

The most common way to share materials as OER is by applying a Creative Commons (CC) license. The CC licenses are standardized, free-to-use open copyright licenses, and have been adopted by millions of people around the world. You can add a Creative Commons license to your work without any fees, paperwork, or registration.