Open Educational Resources: iNACOL Outlines Policy Recommendations
By Leila Meyer

“Today’s textbooks are obsolete and the acquisition process is broken,” according to a new report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), but as schools work toward implementing Common Core State Standards, open educational resources (OER) can help them provide students with customized content much faster and more cost effectively than the traditional textbook acquisition model.
Open educational resources are learning materials that are available for educators to access and share for the purpose of personalizing instruction.

The report, “OER State Policy in K-12 Education: Benefits, Strategies, and Recommendations for Open Access, Open Sharing” outlines seven recommendations for policymakers about how they can help teachers build educational resources, share materials, and personalize instruction by allowing publicly funded learning materials to be shared openly as OER.

Sharing publicly funded learning materials helps reduce duplication of effort across states and maximize resources, according to the report. It points to Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Maine as “bellwether states” that have successfully implemented OER policies and draws on the experience of those states to provide recommendations for OER policy implementation elsewhere. Read more.