Open educational resources (OER) are becoming more widespread in classrooms, but many educators and administrators aren’t sure how to make the leap from talking about them to actually using them.

It’s probably easier than some might think.

OER are teaching and learning resources that are free to use and share. They also are adaptable and can be customized for a specific class or student. Repositories such as The Orange Grove, the Utah Education Network, and OER Commons help educators locate and learn how to incorporate the resources into their instruction.

But often, curriculum directors feel overwhelmed when they think about locating, vetting and integrating these resources into a curriculum. Providing professional development and ensuring educators know how to evaluate the resources is another potential hurdle.

Manpower, too, becomes another concern after teachers are trained and resources are compiled. OER repositories could require considerable staff time and manpower, depending on each district. Many resources stop “performing” after several years, and staff will have to monitor and update these resources.

(Next page: Some basics for adoption)

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura