Open Educational Resources (OER)

What are they?

Open educational resources (OER) are “digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research.”

OER include different kinds of digital assets. Learning content includes courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals. Tools include software that supports the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content, searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and on-line learning communities. Implementation resources include intellectual property licenses that govern open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content. They also include materials on best practices such as stories, publication, techniques, methods, processes, incentives, and distribution.

Open Educational Resources websites:


MERLOT- Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching at

National Repository for Online Courses content and in house materials —

The California State University system has been implementing a “Affordable Learning Solutions” initiative for about a year.   They have organized many open learning resources into a “one-stop shop” that is open to everyone – see

CSU have built some simple applications where a faculty or student can type in the ISBN of their textbook and “OER Finder” will provide a list of open learning resources associated with the topic of the textbook see or if you only want to find open textbooks (vs. course modules, online courses, etc), use the OER Finder at . The Affordable Learning Solutions and the OER Finder is built on the long term success of MERLOT ( – an open online library of over 27,000 open learning resources, many of which have been peer reviewed by academic editorial boards.

CSU has started having faculty share their course syllabi that illustrates how they are substitute open learning resources for textbooks (see for some initial samples.

The CSU also has tested the strategy of licensing digital textbooks (“Renting Digital”) at a significantly lower cost (35% of new textbook price for the pilot studies).   You can read about the CSU’s Digital Marketplace project at and the “licensed content” project at: and the Digital Marketplace 2010 year-end report presentation on the open future and the speaker is Dr. David Wiley. While not totally open there is a large FIPSE Grant that was given to Florida State College in Jacksonville. They have a project called SIRIUS Academics which provides low cost course contents and books on several courses with more in the works. Person to contact if you are interested is Rick Granger: phone: 904-632-3307. Also you may contact Leslie Balsiger for materials that she has on this topic

For Your Reading:

Free wikis for educators: K through 12 through PhD

Starting this month, Wikispaces is offering free wikis to higher education. It’s the logical next step for us, all things considered. Source: Wikispaces


10 Essential Mobile Apps to Invest in 2011: Gartner

Few people would refute that the IT world is going increasingly mobile. A quick scan of the many tech blogs show a preponderance of mobile gadget coverage. Numbers from researchers bear this out. Gartner said worldwide mobile device sales hit 1.6 billion units in 2010, a 31.8 percent increase from 2009. Smartphone sales to users were up 72.1 percent from 2009 and accounted for 19 percent of total mobile communications device sales in 2010. Gartner Feb. 10 put forth new prognostications for the mobile market, estimating that mobile apps will account for $16 billion in user spending in 2012. “Gartner expects brand companies to increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture marketing and sales opportunities,” noted Gartner analyst Sandy Shen. To that end, here is a list of the top 10 consumer applications Shen and her Gartner colleagues expect to fuel smartphones and tablets in 2011. Source:


-Seven Technologies That Will Rock 2011

So here we are in a new decade, and the technologies that are now available to us continue to engage (and enthrall) in fascinating ways. The rise and collision of several trends—social, mobile, touch computing, geo, cloud—keep spitting out new products and technologies which keep propelling us forward. Below I highlight seven technologies that are ready to tip into the mainstream 2011. Source: TechCrunch


-Students Become Immersed in History with Augmented Reality Games

The next generation of learners will have access to an astounding array of tools — including augmented reality games. What’s the purpose of this high-tech approach? To use “the world as the hook to get students interested in learning,” says Kurt Squire, the associate education professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, in an article by Heather Chaplin in Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning. Source: Mind/Shift KQED


 -Open Courseware on Every Campus By 2016?

UC Irvine official makes a bold prediction during meeting of open courseware advocates from across the country. Source: eCampus News


-Who Needs Textbooks?

How Washington State is redesigning textbooks for the digital age. Great article about the Open Course Library project at WCET-member Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Source: Newsweek


MIT OpenCourseWare Announces New Course Materials to Support Independent Learners

MIT OpenCourseWare launched beta versions of five courses that represent a significant new approach to openly sharing educational resources. Dubbed “OCW Scholar” courses, these materials are designed from the start for independent learners who have few additional resources available to them. The courses are substantially more complete than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content as well as materials repurposed from MIT classrooms. The materials are also arranged in logical sequences and include multimedia such as video and simulations. Source: MIT OpenCourseWare


Course Specific Links

Open Resources for Intermediate Algebra:

Closed caption video lectures at:


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