Open Educational Resources (OER)
OERs give instructors the ability to customize course content and can save students substantial amounts of money.
Open Educational Resources are materials with few or no copyright restrictions and available at no cost online. For more detail, check out this online course about OER.
The resources collected in these pages have no or very limited copyright restrictions. When adopting or adapting any material, be sure you are aware of the copyright restrictions.
- College Open Textbooks
Links to various providers with a focus on quality products for community colleges.
- Global Text Project
Some produced by the Project, some linked to other producers. Limited coverage.
High quality but limited subjects. The textbook part of Connexions.
- Open Textbook Library
Maintained by the University of Minnesota. Links to quality books with informative annotations.
- Textbook Equity
Free PDFs with option to purchase print versions.
- Writing Spaces
Open textbook project for college level writing
- College Open Textbooks
The Applied Math and Science Education Repository "directs users to high-quality science, technology, engineering and math resources."
Textbooks and a wide variety of materials of varying quality.
- Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
In addition to indexing a number of available resources, there are useful webinars for faculty about OER.
Huge curated collection of materials with peer-reviews and user ratings.
- MIT OpenCourseWare
Materials for all MIT courses.
- Open Course Library
Created by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Materials stored in GoogleDocs.
- Open Learn
The materials in the Free Courses from the UK''s Open University.
Online, self-paced, non-acrredited college-level courses. All class materials are CC.
Classes with educational materials available from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Large collection from the UK.
Links to high quality resources. Very well indexed, but you will need to dig.
- Federal Registry for Educational Excellence
Links to quality educational resources, mostly governmental. Covers all grade levels.
- Creative Commons Search
Keyword search for open materials in services like Flickr, Jamendo, etc.
- Open Washington
Links to OER textbooks and course materials from various sources.
In the Advance Search setting, narrow your search by Usage Rights.
Copyright is confusing, even intimidating, and therefore often ignored. But ignorance of the law is not a defense and, as educators, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves.
Creative Commons Search
Search for images and audio with Creative Commons license. This great infographic explains CC licenses.
Some commercial products offer free trials or free student accounts. These usually come with limits on the use of the final product so be sure you are aware of those restrictions.
The GNU General Public License is the most widely used free software license. Look for this when searching for open source tools.
Search Engines & Lists
- Free Software Foundation
- Black Duck Open Hub guide to open source software
- SourceForge collection of open source software including for audio/visual, games, graphics, etc
- Resource Center from Ohio State's Office of Distance Education and eLearning's list of digital media specific tools
Individual Tools & Resources
(Unless noted, all are open source)
- Audacity audio editor
- VirtualDub video editor
- Gimp image editor/author
- Blender for 3D projects
- Sketch Up for 3D projects; not open source but educator and student versions are available
- Autodesk for CAD, 3D, and more. Not open source but free to students with some restrictions
- Scribus desktop publishing, layout, typesetting, and animated PDF
- ImageMagick for displaying, converting and editing bitmap images
- Orgre3D scene-oriented, real-time 3D rendering engine
- Adobe Flex application framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications
- PureDyne live audio/visual processing and streaming. Development discontinued in 2012
- MIT's Scratch to program interactive stories, games and animation; targeted at K-12 students
- GitHub free accounts allow hosting of open-source software products
- Drupel content management system for web design
- Inkscape vector graphics editor
- GNU Unix-like operating system
- Joomla content management system for web design
- WordPress content management system for web design
- Jing screencasting tool; some limits on time length and storage