OER Commons for Educators

As Abbey Elder and Stacy Katz point out in their chapter, Repositories and Tools in The OER Starter Kit Workbook, it’s clear there are many tools and repositories for finding open content. So, how do you know where to turn? My advice is to identify resources that support your needs. For example, Unsplash provides images that can be used freely used for commercial and noncommercial purposes, while Free Music Archive provides access to open licensed, original music.

OER Commons Logo

In this blog post, I’d like to highlight OER Commons, a resource that I find useful for educators of all levels related to curriculum development. It has many resources for Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, such as lesson plans, worksheet, and activities, as well as interactive simulations, online minilessons, and even full online courses.

OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum.

OER Commons Homepage

Search the Repository

It’s easy to search the repository and filter results for your needs and there are multiple ways to do so. I will briefly explain the quickest way to search for curriculum materials.

  1. Locate and click on the search icon in the top left hand corner of the screen.
  2. In the “Search OER Commons” box, type in a keyword or keyword phrase to identify what content/topic you are searching for.
  3. Use the “Subject” drop down menu to filter by content area. This is an optional filter.
  4. Use the “Education” drop down menu to filter by the grade level for which you are searching. This is an optional filter.
  5. Use the “Standard” drop down menu to filter for state standards, if available. This is an optional filter.
  6. Then click search and read through your results. If you don’t see what you are looking for or get too many results, you can filter even further with an advanced search.

While all of the resources in OER Commons are freely available and able to be used by educators in their classrooms, not all are licensed as Creative Commons. Therefore, you need to be sure to check the licensing information for the resource you select in order to determine which of the 5R’s you can capitalize on with the resource.

Open Author (Creating OER)

Of course, there won’t be any resources of educators don’t share with others. You can either add a link to an open resource or create new OER. Open Author is the tool located directly in OER Commons for easily creating and sharing OER with others within the repository. Learn more in the video.

Video licensed by ISKME Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

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