While digital products have made significant inroads into the educational resources market, textbooks and other print materials still command about 60 percent of sales. But whether print or digital, all of these commercial offerings now face threats from a burgeoning effort to promote ‘open’ resources for education–that is, materials that can be used and replicated free of charge because their copyright exists in the public domain. Proponents of open resources have enlisted the help of the federal government, which has launched a multi-pronged initiative called #GoOpen. Through this project, the feds are promoting open resources both in classroom practice and by awarding grants for research projects focused on the development of open resources. While this effort seems laudable, it exposes many unanswered questions about the long-term viability of the open-resources movement. In this article the author defines open education resources (OER), traces the origins of OER, describes the #GoOpen initiative, and considers several challenges the OER movement will have to wrestle in the future. (ERIC).
McShane, Michael Q.