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Coalition Calls on White House to Open Up Access to Federally Funded Educational Resources

Posted on 08/26/2015

Open Educational Resources

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME External link opens in new window or tab), along with a broad coalition of more than 90 education, library, technology, public interest, and legal organizations, called on the White House to take administrative action to ensure federally funded educational materials are made available as Open Educational Resources (OER) that are free to use, share, and improve.

The call comes in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) request for ideas to strengthen the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, which is currently under development. The executive action envisioned by the coalition would build upon the Administration's strong leadership in advancing public access to publicly funded resources with a strong Executive Branch-wide policy for the open licensing of educational, training, and instructional materials created with federal funds.

"Open educational resources are an increasingly essential part of learning in the 21st century classroom, which require that students have unlimited access to knowledge and can apply what they learn," said Lisa Petrides, CEO of ISKME, which manages OER Commons, one of the nation's largest libraries of open education resources. "Generous public investment and more OER-friendly policies can help OER become more integral to learning, improve teaching, and ensure that all students can meet more their learning goals."

The coalition has outlined five core principles for Administration policy on this issue:

  1. Adopt a broad definition of educational materials;
  2. Provide free access via the Internet;
  3. Create conditions for resources that enable reuse;
  4. Require prompt implementation; and
  5. Regular reporting of progress and results.

Members of the public can join the call for opening up taxpayer funded educational materials by tweeting with hashtag #OERUSA. The full letter can be found at http://www.iskme.org/oerusa-letter External link opens in new window or tab.