Open Educational Resources (OE) is non-profit instructional materials which anyone can freely use, make, and modify for teaching and learning. OER are generally in the public domain or have a copyright license which allows free usage and re-using. Many teachers find that they have no particular expertise in content, but they know a good concept. Perhaps it is a combination of knowledge and creativity which can spark ideas for a meaningful subject matter to be taught in a classroom, or they could tap into their expertise as a professional within a subject area.
In contrast, copyrighted educational materials are restricted and cannot be used or altered by any other means. This is usually in the form of textbooks or other copyrighted instructional content available in a classroom. Open Educational Resources also include resources that may be freely available from the internet. Some freely available educational content is created by hobbyist and educational enthusiasts. These often provide an exceptional insight into the workings of science, mathematics, and other scientific subjects. However, the copyright holder holds the copyright and can reprint any of these materials, even if they do not alter the content in any way.
It is important to distinguish between open educational resources that are available for free from the internet, such as videos, podcasts, books, etc., and those which are offered commercially. It is difficult to draw the line between the two categories of educational materials because many commercial online educational content is available for free. The most common type of commercially produced educational resources is that which offers a certain concept, lesson, concept, or lesson plan in a series of modules. These often come with a CD-ROM and can be used in conjunction with traditional educational courses. For example, teachers can record a module on the Spanish language, record a module on elementary algebra, and record a module on computer aided math learning. All of these can be used together in a guided learning environment or can stand on their own as an independent course, with each lesson offered as a separate lesson.
However, in some cases, people who produce commercially available educational resources may have a green light to reproduce their material as free content, while granting you the right to use it in your classroom, however, this type of license does not grant you the right to sell the materials. This type of license is known as an open license. These types of educational resources are very popular, since they allow people to reproduce, redistribute, sell, modify, publicly perform, or transmit the material. The term open educational resources was first used in the United States in 1966. Since then, various other countries have adopted open licenses for educational materials.
Some of the most popular free educational resources available in the classroom today include books, videos, and audio recordings. Ebooks, which can be downloaded for free, are ideal for sharing information in the classroom because they can be distributed to multiple students easily, while still maintaining quality and quantity. Videos are another highly requested educational content, especially in universities and colleges that want to provide multimedia presentations for students. Audio recordings can serve as supplementary teaching aids or as a complement to a textbook or other reading material. Many websites offer downloadable videos for use in classrooms, whether for personal purposes or instructional purposes. These lessons can be saved and watched at any time.
In addition to books and videos, many publishers are now producing open educational content in the form of textbooks. The cost of textbooks has been steadily rising, which has made it more difficult for students to buy them, especially for those with limited budgets. In order to combat the problem of increasing costs of textbooks, publishers have developed textbooks that can be downloaded from websites, giving students access to the same educational materials as those in a school library without paying the high cost of purchasing the books. However, even though these textbooks are available for free, students still need to buy the textbooks they need from local stores to complete their degrees.
Another area of demand for educational materials is for digital versions of common reference materials such as dictionaries and encyclopedias. These are also needed for courses intended for adults. In order to produce open educational content, publishers have developed specialized software programs that make these tasks easier and faster. A dictionary is just one example of a product that may be provided as a download. Other products include educational games that teach different aspects of the curriculum. Some of these games are so advanced that they can teach students scientific principles or basic math skills.
Aside from teaching students how to complete complex tasks using tools like the computer and electronic calculators, teachers are finding it beneficial to include some discussions on alternative forms of energy and matter in their lessons. One excellent example is the concept of compadre, a mathematical concept introduced in elementary physics that describes the relationship between a compulsive act and its resultant energy. According to some experts, this idea can help students apply the concept to other areas of their lives, including business, art, and other aspects of their daily lives. Some schools are even applying the concept of compadre to the subject of applied physics, which uses large-scale engineering projects to demonstrate various theories in physics.