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SETDA OER Case Studies: Washington


Across the country, as district and schools shift to digital learning environments educators are leveraging digital instructional materials including open educational resources (OER) to provide more diversified and personalized instruction to improve teaching and learning.

As a part of the movement to digital learning, the implementation of open educational resources is climbing. States, districts, and local schools are modifying their current policies for approving curricula to include OER materials, encouraging the use of OER at the local level and in some cases providing OER materials. These trends provide educators the opportunity to fully utilize digital instructional materials, including OER, to improve teaching and learning.


In 2012, the state Legislature passed a bill to develop a Washington Reviewed OER Library of high-quality, openly licensed K-12 courseware that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and an associated awareness campaign to let districts know about these resources. The OER library provides school districts with a broader selection of materials that can be updated more frequently than traditional textbooks.

Each district determines what they use as instructional materials. This includes OER. Five school districts in Washington State were awarded OER grants to help support district adaptation and implementation of openly licensed educational material aligned with state standards. All content created or modified with Washington OER grant funds is openly licensed and available to everyone. Spokane Public Schools was one of the districts to receive grant funding, and they are highlighted in this case study. Spokane is implementing OER for core materials for all general education teachers, with a concentrated focus on K-8 mathematics. In December 2013, the school board approved the use of EngageNY OER math materials as the interim math curriculum for K-8 students.

The full case study is available online at http://oerstudies.setda.org/case-studies/washington/.

SETDA OER Case Studies: Washington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC BY 3.0). Adapted from http://oerstudies.setda.org/case-studies/washington/ under a CC-BY license.