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20 OER sites every K-12 educator should know

20 OER sites every K-12 educator should know

More and more K-12 schools and districts are starting to take advantage of open educational resources (OER). OER are digital materials in the public domain that are free to use. Instructional teams and teachers can use these high-quality resources to meet the diverse needs of their learners. Where can you find OER resources? Read on for 20 OER sites to use across subjects and grade levels.

1. OER Commons

OER Commons is one of the most commonly used OER repositories. It is a public online library with thousands of open resources from around the world. Teachers can search by topic, subject, education level or standard. It also includes collections vetted by digital librarians and a tool for publishing your own resources.

2. Open Washington

Open Washington offers a searchable collection of OER resources for teachers. The website lists images, textbooks, course materials, video and audio. While some of the content is geared toward the college level, K-12 educators can find plenty of resources to use in their lessons.

3. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is an OER site with millions of free resources, including books, music, movies and software. You can search collections such as “American Libraries,” “Canadian Libraries,” “Audio Books and Poetry,” “Television Archive,” “News and Public Affairs” and more to find digital content for your units or lessons.

4. OE Week Library

Open Education Global compiles OER examples the community shares every year during Open Education Week. Content includes textbooks, courses, projects, tools and research. You can also search by K-12 to focus on primary and secondary materials.

5. Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers free videos and standards-aligned lessons and practice. However, educators do need to credit the organization when showing one of their videos. They also offer full online courses in math, science, computing, arts and humanities, economics, ELA and life skills.

6. TED Talks

You’ve probably heard of TED, the organization that features videos with experts speaking on a range of topics. But did you know that they also have a TED-Ed page geared specifically to teachers and learners?

7. Library of Congress: Free to Use and Reuse Sets

The Library of Congress has a collection of resources that are either in the public domain, are copyright-free or are permissible to use. The library bases its collections on themes. There are millions of digital resources, including books, photos, maps, music, newspapers and audio recordings.

8. Getty Search Gateway – Open Content Images

Getty Search Gateway helps educators and researchers search across the Getty collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Open Content Images are free to use, and you’ll find a huge collection of historical paintings, sculptures, photographs, manuscripts, drawings and more.

9. Open Culture

Open Culture is an OER site with online courses, audiobooks, eBooks and movies. Their goal is to curate cultural and educational media.

10. Open Video Project

The Open Video Project is another OER site that teachers can search. It features an online collection of videos curated by researchers.

11. PhET

PhET comes from the University of Colorado Boulder and offers free science and math simulations. These interactive simulations are engaging and make remote learning more hands-on.


The MERLOT OER project has thousands of learning materials and learning exercises. The library covers a range of subjects, and has materials such as presentations, assessments, animation, simulations and OER textbooks.

13. Flickr

Flickr’s Creative Commons page contains thousands of images uploaded by photographers. They offer their photos under a Creative Commons license, which allows you to freely use their work during instruction.

14. Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America offers primary source documents and online exhibitions. It also gives learners in Title I schools or schools located in a low-income community to use Open eBooks. Learners can check out popular ebooks without hold times or late fees.

15. Project Muse

Project Muse is an OER site with open access books, journals and digital humanities materials that are free to use. The resources come from scholarly societies, universities and nonprofit organizations.

16. Wikibooks

Wikibooks has open-source online textbooks, instructional guides and annotated texts. Anyone can edit them, so be sure to check materials before using them in the classroom.

17. Project Gutenberg

The Project Gutenberg digital library contains 60,000 free ebooks. Teachers can download them or provide a link to students. The library focuses on classic and older literature that has expired copyrights. You can search by title or author or check out their list of popular books.

18. Smithsonian Open Access

Smithsonian now allows anyone to download, share and reuse over three million images from across their museums, research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo.

19. Oasis

OASIS is a search tool that allows educators to find OER. You can search by subject, source or type of resource.

20. Unsplash

Unsplash is an OER site that allows you to search for free-to-use high-resolution images. Photos with an Unsplash license can be downloaded for free and used in lessons.

Explore why educators are reviving the #GoOpen initiative to increase access to free high-quality learning materials.

The GoOpen initiative ebook

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