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Open Educational Resources Aid Florida Reading Teachers

Timothy Vollmer, January 28th, 2008

eSchools News reports that the state of Florida has recently added the open content reading website Free-Reading.net to its list of approved curriculum resources. Officials said Free-Reading.net is the first open instructional program granted bona fide state approval, and OER supporters see momentum building in the idea that a “public, collaborative, continuously modified online curriculum can be used in the classroom.” From the Free-Reading.net website:

Free-Reading is an ongoing, collaborative, teacher-based, curriculum-sharing project. We’re looking to provide a reliable forum where teachers can openly and freely share their successful and effective methods for teaching reading in grades K-1 and for at-risk students in later grades.

Free-Reading.net allows teachers to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues. The site strives “to make quality, research-based, explicit and systematic instruction for early reading widely available and free.” All the resources are free as in free beer as well as free as in free speech. The content is openly offered so as to be “used, reused, mashed-up, and shared again.”

All of the Free-Reading.net content is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. This license grants users the right to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the resource provided the original author receives credit. Users who alter, transform, or build upon the work must distribute their remixes under the same license.

Last week, we wrote about the “Make Textbooks Affordable” campaign. This initiative “encourage[s] faculty to adopt open educational resources in their classrooms, which will provide significant benefit to students in making college education more affordable.” It’s inspiring to see primary education communities supporting open educational resources as well.

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