Here are some of (the many!) places you may wish to begin your search for open educational resources:
- OER Commons
OER Commons “offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.”
“Find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials. Share advice and expertise about education with expert colleagues. Be recognized for your contributions to quality education.”
- Open Textbook Hub (OER Commons)
Collection of open books and course materials across disciplines, curated by ISKME’s digital librarians.
- OpenStax Textbooks
“Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course.”
- Search: Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)
- The Mason OER Metafinder searches: American Memory Project (Library of Congress), AMSER (Applied Math and Science Education Repository), BC Campus Textbooks, Digital Public Library of America, Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), HathiTrust (Full View Available), MERLOT II, MIT OpenCourseware, OAOpen.org, OER Commons, OER at Internet Archive, Open Textbook Library, OpenStax CNX, Project Gutenberg, World Digital Library.
- OASIS search tool under development by SUNY Geneseo
“Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 61 different sources and contains 160,717 records. OASIS is being developed at SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library in consultation with Alexis Clifton, SUNY OER Services Executive Director.”
- Creative Commons Search Tool
“Please note that search.creativecommons.org is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations” that provide access to many Creative Commons-licensed materials. This tool is helpful when searching for a variety of media (music, video, images, etc.), but do make sure your results are openly licensed before using or remixing.
Repositories (with a variety of materials)
- Teaching Commons
“The Teaching Commons brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more.”
- AMSER (Applied Math & Science Education Repository)
“AMSER is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use.”
- OpenStax CNX Library
“[A] place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc.”
Freely accessible — though not open — platform that “allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video.”
“With the intention to collaborate in the struggle to reduce global education gap and enrich the learning process, Temoa seeks to support the educational community to find those resources and materials that meet their needs for teaching and learning, through a collaborative system of specialized search and social tools.”
- World Digital Library
“The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials” from countries and cultures from around the world.
- CORE: Open Access for the Humanities
“A nonprofit, interdisciplinary, broad-ranging alternative to commercial networks” and hub of Humanities resources
Textbooks, Curricula, etc.
- BCcampus Open Textbooks
An initiative from BCcampus, which “is a publicly funded organization that uses information technology to connect the expertise, programs, and resources of all British Columbia post-secondary institutions.”
- Open SUNY Textbooks
“[A]n open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.”
- Open Textbook Library (University of Minnesota)
“These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.”
- Bay College OER
A guide to OER textbooks and courses at Bay College, a community college in Michigan.
“Bookboon.com has published more than 1,000 free textbooks for students. These textbooks can be downloaded in PDF format without prior registration.”
- College Open Textbooks Collaborative
“The College Open Textbooks Collaborative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.”
- Global Text Project (University of Georgia)
A University of Georgia initiative.
- Open Access and Free Books on MUSE
“Project MUSE offers over 500 fully open access (OA) books from several distinguished university presses. The books are provided through the permission of their publishers and are freely available to libraries and users around the world.”
- Open Textbooks from MIT
An index to the online textbooks in MIT OpenCourseWare.
- The Orange Grove – Open TextbooksFlorida’s OER repository.
“This collection offers open books and textbooks from many sources.”
- Textbook Archive”
[T]his is the archive of a small project by Andy Schmitz to archive Creative Commons-licensed copies of all the books which were available online from a specific publisher at the end of 2012. (That publisher has asked to remain unnamed here. . . )”
- Textbooks for Top 100 Undergraduate Courses
“Affordable Learning Georgia is funding and supporting efforts to replace commercial learning materials with no-cost-to-student alternatives, with a focus on the most-enrolled University of System Georgia undergraduate courses, especially those in the Core Curriculum.”
- DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books
Directory of over 10,000 open access books across disciplines and subjects, many of them highly technical. Ability to browse and search by title, subject, and publisher. Books available in many languages.
- Zero-Cost Alternatives to Commercial Materials (Cal State University)
Input the ISBN of the commercial book you seek to replace with free online course materials.
“Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.”
- Lumen Learning
“Lumen Learning publishes open courses to make it easier for faculty members to adopt and teach with open educational resources (OER). And to make education more affordable for thousands of students every year.”
- MIT Open Courseware
“MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.”
- Open Course Library
“The Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts.” Managed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
- Open Learning Initiative (OLI) – Carnegie Mellon University
“The Open Learning Initiative offers online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. Our aim is to combine open, high-quality courses, continuous feedback, and research to improve learning and transform higher education.”
- Open Yale Courses
“Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.”
- Saylor Academy
Collection of nearly 100 free and open online courses at college and professional levels.
- Academic Earth
“Collection of free online courses from the world’s top universities” with videos.
Please note that while some repositories listed below contain public domain or Creative Commons-licensed videos, many include videos that are freely-accessible but not issued with an open license.
- National Screening Room from the Library of Congress
- Big Think
“Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.”
“CosmoLearning (CL) is an educational website committed to improving the quality of homeschooling, teaching and student excellence. Designed for educators and self-learners, organized according to traditional curriculum standards, CosmoLearning provides courses, video lectures, documentaries, images, books and other multimedia in dozens of subjects.”
- Critical Commons
“A public media archive and fair use advocacy network that supports the transformative reuse of media in scholarly and creative contexts.” Users post video clips, often with written commentary.
- Internet Archive – Video
“Moving Images library of free movies, films, and videos. This library contains over a million digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download.”
- Khan Academy
“Our library of videos covers K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer.”
- Library of Congress Webcasts
Webcasts on a variety of topics across disciplines, along with links to LOC Webcasts Youtube page.
- Medical Animation Library
A list of freely-accessible hubs of surgical/medical videos.
- Medline Plus Anatomy Videos
“These animated videos show the anatomy of body parts and organ systems and how diseases and conditions affect them.”
- MIT Video
“The MIT Video website — developed and maintained by the MIT News Office — aggregates and curates video produced by the Institute’s offices, laboratories, centers and administration. This includes feature and editorial videos, event recordings, academic content and more.”
- Research Channel (on YouTube)
“ResearchChannel is a nonprofit media and technology organization that connects a global audience with the research and academic institutions whose developments, insights and discoveries affect our lives and futures.”
“SnagFilms.com offers the broadest collection of great independent movies you can watch right now, on demand, for free, and share with others – films that entertain and inform, engage and inspire, satisfy every taste, encourage discovery and create community.”
“TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.”
- U.S. National Archives (on YouTube)
YouTube channel for U.S. National Archives with videos
- VideoLectures.NET (STEM oriented)
A “free and open access educational video lectures repository. The lectures are given by distinguished scholars and scientists at the most important and prominent events like conferences, summer schools, workshops and science promotional events from many fields of Science.”
Platform to host and watch videos. Not all videos on Vimeo are freely accessible.
- World Lecture Project
“”(wlp)° is the central platform for delivering academic videos from faculties worldwide. You can find videos according to various criteria: theme, faculty, country, language, institution and others. We do not only collect and embed videos provided by huge video-patforms like youtube, vimeo, Dailymotion, but we also link to videos on untiversity-websites and other institutions from everywhere.”
- YouTube Teachers
“YouTube.com/Teachers was created to help teachers leverage video to educate, engage and inspire their students. Here you will find tips and tricks for bringing YouTube into the classroom, as well as over 400 video playlists curated by CUE and aligned with the Common Core.”
Photos & Images
Under each item, see directions for finding Creative Commons-licensed photos and images, specifically.
- Flickr Advanced Search – Creative Commons
At the bottom of the search options, put a check in the box next to “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content.”
- Google Image Search (Limited to “Labeled for Reuse”)
After entering search terms and getting a list of results, click on “Search tools” in the menu above the results. Then click on “Usage rights” and choose “Labeled for reuse” or other appropriate option from the drop-down menu. This searches Flickr Creative Commons licensed photos, Wikimedia, and other sites.
High-quality, stylish stock photos. “All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.”
- The Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock Photos Beyond the Binary
From Broadly, “the Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. This collection aims to help media better represent members of these communities as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities—people with careers, relationships, talents, passions, and home lives.”
- Noun Project
Comprehensive icon collection. From Wikipedia, “The Noun Project is a website that aggregates and catalogs symbols that are created and uploaded by graphic designers around the world. Based in Los Angeles, the project functions both as a resource for people in search of typographic symbols and a design history of the genre.”
You’ll need to register. An additional minor annoyance: when you download a photo, you’ll be forced to watch an ad before entering code to access photo.
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Enter keywords in the “Search the Collection” box. On the results page, put a checkmark in the box for “Show only results with unrestricted images” to see images that are freely available to use (under public domain). For more information on using this site, see the LACMA blog Unframed.
- The Met’s Open Images
“[A]ll images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction.”
- National Gallery of Art Images
Images of art in the National Gallery that they believe are in the public domain.
- National Park Service Digital Images Archive
Public domain photos from the National Park Service.
- NOAA Photo Library
“The NOAA Photo Library has been built so as to capture the work, observations, and studies that are carried on by the scientists, engineers, commissioned officers, and administrative personnel that make up this complex and scientifically diverse agency.”
Repository of stock photos with information on licensing and attribution.
No-cost photos that are specifically available for use in education.
Repository of stock photos with information on licensing and attribution. First results are often sponsored and lead to fee images; skip over these.
A repository of public domain images
- SIRIS (Smithsonian images)
- Wikimedia Commons
Search box is in upper right. On results page scroll down for media (photos, etc.). Includes photos and more that are no-cost, under public domain, Creative Commons and other licenses.
- The Noun Project
“Over a million curated icons, created by a global community.” Icons are available for free download under a CC-BY license. TNP also offers subscriptions in which users may pay to download and use icons without attribution. Login needed to download.
“ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.”
- BBC Sound Effects Library
“16,000 BBC Sound Effects made available by the BBC in WAV format to download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license.”
- Danosongs.com Royalty-free Music
Royalty music from the musician Dan-O. Free for download and use in media
- Free Music Archive (FMA)
“The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU […] Every MP3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. These uses vary and are determined by the rights-holders themselves.
“Freesound aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.”
- Internet Archive – Audio & MP3 Library
“This library contains over two hundred thousand free digital recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download.”