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Open Education

Openly licensed educational resources can increase equity by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content.
Secretary John King


We believe that educational opportunities should be available to all learners. Creating an open education ecosystem involves making learning materials, data, and educational opportunities available without restrictions imposed by copyright laws, access barriers, or exclusive proprietary systems that lack interoperability and limit the free exchange of information.

Openly Licensed Educational Resources

Openly licensed educational resources are learning materials that can be used for teaching, learning, and assessment without cost. They can be modified and redistributed without violating copyright laws.

How Williamsfield Schools Decided to #GoOpen

Building on openly licensed resources, the Williamsfield School District leveraged education technology to save families and taxpayers money while providing unique, targeted learning opportunities for each student.

Department of Education Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On October 29, 2015 the Department announced that it is proposing a new regulation that would require all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department discretionary competitive grant funds to have an open license.

“By requiring an open license, we will ensure that high-quality resources created through our public funds are shared with the public, thereby ensuring equal access for all teachers and students regardless of their location or background,” said Acting Secretary John King. “We are excited to join other federal agencies leading on this work to ensure that we are part of the solution to helping classrooms transition to next generation materials.”

Read the Open License NPRM.

NPRM Frequently Asked Questions: Open License NPRM FAQs, Updated November 18, 2015.

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Learning Registry

The Learning Registry is an open database where content creators and educators can share information about digital educational resources. The Learning Registry is based on the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) which provides common language for tagging resources according to quality, keyword, and alignment to curricular standards. The Learning Registry supports educator voices to help define which resources are most relevant or useful.

#GoOpen Campaign

The U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning. Learn what it takes to be a #GoOpen District or State:

Implementing an Open Approach

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#GoOpen District Launch Packet

Across the country, districts are choosing to #GoOpen and transitioning to the use of openly licensed educational resources to improve student learning in their schools. This resource is designed for districts that have decided to implement a systematic approach to incorporating openly licensed educational resources into their curriculum by becoming a #GoOpen District.

Why use Openly Licensed Educational Resources?

Resources that are openly licensed benefit schools in a number of ways, but most notably they help to:

  • Increase Equity – All students have access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content because openly licensed educational resources can be freely distributed to anyone.
  • Save Money – Switching to educational materials that are openly licensed enables schools to repurpose funding spent on static textbooks for other pressing needs, such as investing in the transition to digital learning. In some districts, replacing just one textbook has made tens of thousands of dollars available for other purposes.
  • Keep Content Relevant and High Quality – Traditional textbooks are perpetually outdated, forcing districts to re-invest significant portions of their budgets on replacing them. The terms of use of openly licensed educational resources allows educators to maintain the quality and relevance of their materials through continuous updates.
  • Empower Teachers – Openly licensed educational resources empower teachers as creative professionals by giving them the ability to adapt and customize learning materials to meet the needs of their students without breaking copyright laws.

Open Data

Open data is the idea that data should be freely available to the public—both technically and legally—to use and redistribute without limitation. When high-value data sets are publicly available practitioners, researchers, and the public can use the data to inform their work in classroom and communities across America.

Open data follows the following principles:

  • Public – available to all in accordance with the law and the Office of Management and Budget’s Open Government Directive.
  • Accessible – available to the widest range of users in a machine-readable format that is non-exclusive and usable without restriction.
  • Remixable – available under an open license that allows others to use, share, and add to data without restriction.


Open Data Sets & Resources

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