Open educational resources get federal attention

As part of the symposium, companies, organizations and districts committed to do more to ensure schools have access to open educational resources.
A cohort of 10 districts has taken up the #GoOpen challenge to replace at least one textbook with open educational resources within the next year.

These districts are just beginning the transition process, and will work closely with tool providers and mentor districts to build capacity to sustainably implement open educational resources in their districts. The Department anticipates more districts taking up the #GoOpen challenge in coming months.

The 10 cohort districts are:
• Affton School District, Saint Louis, MO
• Colonial Public Schools, New Castle, DE
• Oxnard Union High School District, Oxnard, CA
• Department of Defense Education Activity
• Grossmont Union High School District, La Mesa, CA
• Kettle Moraine School District, Wales, WI
• Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence, KS
• Mentor School District, Mentor, OH
• Mountain Empire Unified School District, Pine Valley, CA
• Vista Unified School District, Vista, CA

A group of #GoOpen Ambassador Districts have committed to help other school districts move to open educational materials. These #GoOpen Ambassador Districts currently use open educational materials and will help other districts understand how to effectively discover and curate these resources.

The ambassador districts are:
• Bethel School District, Spanaway, WA
• Bristol Tennessee Schools, Bristol, TN
• Chesterfield County Public Schools, Chesterfield, VA
• Columbus Municipal School District, Columbus, MS
• Upper Perkiomen School District, Pennsburg, PA
• Williamsfield Community School District, Williamsfield, IL

Amazon will provide infrastructure and developer support for the Department of Education’s Learning Registry, which runs on AWS Cloud, for two years, ensuring that it remain robust and freely available for all 15,000 school districts in the country. In addition, Amazon is collaborating with education partners to leverage their technology and expertise in content discovery and distribution to support open education resources initiatives and the Learning Registry.

Edmodo, a K-12 education network for teacher and student collaboration, announced an upgrade to its resource sharing platform, Edmodo Spotlight, to enable searching, curating, and sharing open educational resources from the Education Department’s Learning Registry. Edmodo will also provide professional learning resources for districts to curate, organize and share open educational resources in Edmodo Spotlight.

Microsoft is committed to index content from the Learning Registry by creating a new app so educators can search and access open educational resources through LTI compliant learning management and publisher systems.

Creative Commons will lead workshops across the country with thousands of district leaders to help them scale the use of open educational resources with the goal to replace old, expensive textbooks in their districts with new, up-to-date, openly licensed educational resources. Creative Commons will provide the hands-on help that districts need to propel them to a new model of empowering their teachers to create, share, customize, and improve openly licensed educational resources.

ASCD will provide ongoing professional development resources and webinars for Future Ready school districts committing to help train educators on the use of open educational resources. ASCD will work with district leaders to support districts pledging to replace one textbook with openly licensed educational resources by next fall.

The Illinois Shared Learning Environment released a redesigned version of its IOER platform that makes it easier for teachers and school leaders to find high-quality open educational resources by learning standards. Additionally, IOER developer code is available as open source for other states interested in implementing a similar functionality.

For more details on #GoOpen commitments made by school districts and technology companies, go to

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione

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