How Districts Save With OER

Free course content allows districts to redirect precious dollars towards professional development, tech, and more.

“OER is free like a puppy.”

We are often asked how districts save when they use our openly-licensed core programs, rather than purchasing a textbook or curriculum from a traditional provider.

Our favorite answer is to say that Open Educational Resources are “free like a puppy.” If someone gives you a free puppy, you know this new “free” friend still comes with care and feeding needs, which won’t come free.

The same can be said of an openly-licensed curriculum: schools and districts can download openly-licensed core curricula and use the materials for free. Yet educators know that implementing a new core program comes with investment—in time, training, and support materials.

So, where do districts invest when the content is free?

  • Professional Development: High-quality PD is the most essential ingredient to successful implementations. By adopting free content, districts can use their resources to supporting teachers in making key instructional shifts, which builds capacity and fosters the best student outcomes. We offer a full suite of professional learning options to ensure success.
  • Printing materials for use in non-1:1 classrooms: Printing materials for use in non-1:1 classrooms: Not all districts are ready for all-digital. We meet districts where they are in the technology adoption process by offering deeply discounted, full-color, quality print editions of our curricula.
  • Manipulatives:  Our curricula call for use of manipulatives, such as colored tiles for math activities. We provide easy options for purchasing these materials in classroom kits.
  • Technology: Many districts channel their savings into 1:1 initiatives, in order to enjoy the sustained savings fostered by using our free digital materials in tech-enabled classrooms

Do districts have to purchase anything to use the curriculum?

No. Districts will not need to purchase anything from Open Up Resources in order to use our OER curriculum.

We find that most districts want support with implementation—especially around professional learning—so we are pleased to offer a range of implementation services. Yet districts could opt to use the free materials without purchasing any services, which is why we describe the curriculum as free.

How much does a district save?

The answer: it depends.

The savings level depends on the district’s tech infrastructure and capacity. Districts with 1:1 programs can avoid the cost of printing the materials. Also, districts with coaching staff sometimes find that coaches can support implementation of the curriculum, reducing the need for on-site professional development with teachers.

The answer also varies by OER curriculum: districts may save more on a typical math curriculum if it requires fewer materials, and many openly-licensed ELA curricula call for the purchase of text sets in order to effectively use the curriculum.

How Much Will Your District Save?

We can help you understand the savings that your district would enjoy—and, more importantly, the exceptional quality of our openly-licensed core programs. Please contact us for info.