DOE Launches Tools to Help Districts Embrace OER

GO OPEN OR GO HOME: On Monday, the Department of Education Office of Educational Technology revealed its #GoOpen District Launch Packet, the latest move in its open education initiative. The packet helps K-12 districts interested in using openly licensed educational materials kickstart that process. To become a #GoOpen Launch District, the district must create strategy and implementation teams, replace at least one textbook with an open educational resource (OER) in the next year and document and share the #GoOpen experience so that others can follow suit.

When the #GoOpen movement launched in October 2015, the department also announced a new proposed regulation that would require all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department funds to have an open license. It defines ‘Openly Licensed Educational Resources’ using the “5R” definition as set forward by David Wiley, which demands the free and irrevocable permission from the creator to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the content.

For the department, #GoOpen is fundamentally about equity and access. The packet opens with a quote from John King, U.S. Secretary of Education: “Openly licensed educational resources can increase equity by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content.”

Editor's Note: This article was updated on 6/29 with additional information.

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