Education Department Wants Schools to #GoOpen

The United States Department of Education is pushing for more educational materials to be freely available and is launching a "#GoOpen" campaign to push for more open licenses.

The campaign, announced last week, comes on the heels of the agency's call for a federal regulation to require that all copyrightable educational resources funded by Department of Education grants carry an open license. Such a license would allow education systems to use the resources — which could include lesson plans, instructional plans and professional development tools — at no cost.

According to the Office of Education Technology announcement, the regulation would provide teachers and students with equal free access to shareable educational resources. The proposal is intended to help schools shift funds from textbook fees to digital learning investments and provide access to continuously updated material rather than re-investing in newer textbooks.

So far, there are six #GoOpen Ambassador Districts around the country using openly licensed educational resources that have committed to help other school districts move to openly licensed materials. Ten more districts have taken up the #GoOpen challenge, and they are working to replace at least one traditional textbook with openly licensed materials in the coming year.

Creative Commons, Microsoft, Amazon and the Illinois Shared Learning Environment are among the organizations supporting the #GoOpen campaign. Additional details can be found at tech.ed.gov/open-education.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.