TeachersFirst's Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open educational resources (OER) are tools/resources that are available to use freely, with open licenses to media, images, text, and more. OER could include readings, videos, audio clips, textbooks, exams, online courses, lesson plans, and more that are openly licensed. An open license means that you can use these tools at no-cost and access, use, adapt or redistribute to others. These tools are useful for research, learning, teaching, and assessing. View our collection to find a tool for your classroom.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): american revolution (88), climate change (73), critical thinking (122), environment (320), martin luther king (35), media literacy (78), middle east (44), nutrition (160), OER (31), presidents (130), russia (37), social media (38)
In the ClassroomBecome acquainted with these free curriculum kits and lessons to integrate media literacy within content already taught in the classroom. As you teach lessons found on the site, incorporate technology to enhance learning and build student understanding. Use Word Writer, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary during individual activities. This tool allows you to enhance classroom technology use and create assignments using individual vocabulary lists then provide feedback and options for student revisions and peer feedback. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using ThingLink, reviewed here. For younger students create a ThingLink together as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own ThingLink sharing information learned throughout your lessons. Be sure to share all of your images on your class website for students to view at any time. To transform classroom technology use and as a culminating activity, use a digital book creation tool like Book Creator, reviewed here, as an alternative assessment to quizzes or tests. Include student-created writing, ThingLink images, and add videos with student commentary within each book. Be sure to provide students with your rubric to use as a guide before turning in digital books. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here. Whether students work individually or in groups, be sure to share your new digital library related to your lesson topic with students to review and revisit at any time!
GradesK to 4
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free lessons to use when teaching life science concepts in your classroom. Instead of printing worksheets for students, use a digital tool like Duck Soup, reviewed here, to scan the worksheet and create a digital activity. This tool allows students to "write" on worksheets digitally instead of using paper and pencil. Duck Soup includes features for allowing students to retry and submit work and also allows you to set a deadline for work submission. Enhance student learning by using FlipGrid, reviewed here, to create video response questions for your students. Use the questions provided with the lesson units to challenge student thinking, then ask them to respond in Flipgrid.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomEven if you aren't familiar with coding, use CodeSpark Academy as the perfect opportunity for you and your students to "get your feet wet" with coding skills. After sharing and demonstrating the site with students on your interactive board, add a link to CodeSpark on student computers. If you don't have enough computers in your classroom, take advantage of the free Unplugged activities available on your Teacher Dashboard for use as a coding center. Don't forget to use this site to find ideas for your Hour of Code activities. Instead of sharing pictures of students participating in CodeSpark activities on your class newsletter, record and share videos of students engaged in problem-solving discussions and enjoying learning how to code.
Have students share their thinking process through blogging as a reflection on their learning and include their writing, images, and video in a digital portfolio using a tool like about.me, reviewed here. As students become more proficient in coding, introduce new programs that provide additional learning opportunities such as Scratch, reviewed here. Scratch includes many different activities for creating games, stories, and animations through coding. Have student experts share their secrets for successful coding by creating video explainers with Rocketium, reviewed here. Add these videos to your other resources available for student access.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the Virtual Academy with students interested in learning more about technology and considering careers in computer programming. Have students choose courses of interest to complete on their own as part of a computer technology course. Share with the leader of after-school computer clubs to supplement their current material.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMake use of the resources offered by Microsoft to share with your students as they learn how to code. Share project ideas with students and include materials for them to create their projects as part of makerspace activities. Have students take pictures of their creation and enhance their learning by using ThingLink, reviewed here, to add audio to describe their creative process. Add images to your class website as part of your student work gallery. Challenge students to use Sway, reviewed here, to create an online multimedia page including images, video, and text to describe, evaluate, and share their work with coding projects. Include project ideas from the site and set up a makerspace during open house events at your school.
Grades6 to 9
tag(s): animals (324), critical thinking (122), descriptive writing (42), digital citizenship (76), OER (31), plants (179), scientists (71), social media (38), STEM (215), volcanoes (65), writing (359)
In the ClassroomJoin MySciLife to bring excitement and energy to your science classroom. As you complete activities in the platform, use a concept mapping site like MindMup, reviewed here, to replace paper/pencil version of a concept map. Alter students' learning by asking them to create and share infographics based on their research and sharing of ideas. Canva, reviewed here, is an easy to use site for creating infographics using pre-made templates or from scratch. Take student learning to a whole new level by redefining it and having them create a game-based learning activity for their peers using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths offers many options for creating differentiated learning using video, quizzes, and more.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to include with other resources in your technology curriculum. Share with teachers of other subjects as a way to integrate content across topic areas. Use these units with gifted students as part of independent projects. Include finished projects in an online portfolio tool like about.me, reviewed here, to include with college applications. Take advantage of the videos included in the learner's portion of the site to share with students to reinforce concepts like collaboration, organization, and research techniques.
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): data (158), equations (156), exponents (44), factoring (32), factors (40), fractions (232), geometric shapes (171), measurement (177), OER (31), percent (79), probability (136), pythagorean theorem (34), ratios (66), transformations (19), volume (52)
In the ClassroomInclude this site to supplement your current grade 6-8 math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction or as homework. Have students share their math explanations and strategies with video explanations using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Take student learning a step further and ask them to create and share their own math problems along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options including text, video, and images.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): civil rights (130), communities (40), environment (320), great depression (28), immigrants (24), immigration (64), native americans (83), OER (31), segregation (16), underground railroad (12), world war 2 (144)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lessons and materials on this site to use in your social studies classroom. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map featuring historic events. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeglider, reviewed here, to visualize events over a period of time.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many ready-to-go free lesson ideas to include with classroom discussions of propaganda and persuasive advertising techniques. Share the Learn section with students as part of a flipped lesson, then have students provide examples of propaganda they find on TV or the Internet. Ask students to find advertising demonstrating two opposing points of view, then, with younger or less technically experienced students, use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information found. With older or more technically experienced students, use a tool such as XMind, reviewed here, to create a chart or mind map to make the comparison.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): chinese (49), classroom management (146), design (91), engineering (132), french (86), logic (249), OER (31), Online Learning (10), probability (136), psychology (65), statistics (134), STEM (215)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of content in courses to supplement your current lessons. No registration is required to access and view course information. Share this site with gifted students or students with interests in specific academic areas not covered in your current curriculum. Create a course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field. The Open Learning Initiative would also be perfect for setting up directions and steps for any projects you require students to do for your class. The program will integrate with some learning management systems.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources for teaching digital safety offered on this site. Share a link on your class website for parents. Include the interactive game as part of a computer center during Internet safety lessons. Use the free lesson plan to teach digital safety either as a one-time unit or as mini-units throughout the school year. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts discussing digital safety information. Use a site such as Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to create the podcasts.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): professional development (200)
In the ClassroomGain a better understanding of media literacy tools by taking KQED's professional development courses. Participate in classes on your own or with colleagues as part of your ongoing professional development. Begin any of the self-paced courses anytime and complete them at your own pace.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse OpenStax textbooks to dig deeper into core subjects such as math, science, and social studies. Use materials to differentiate instruction based on student abilities and interests. If your current textbooks are older, find newer books on OpenStax and adopt them for your curriculum. Take advantage of the search feature of online books to find supplemental material for your current instruction. Find teaching materials for gifted students using OpenStax textbooks.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWith 90% of the million resources free, you're sure to find something you need to supplement current curriculum materials. Replace pen and paper and ask questions and have students respond directly on any video you used choose. Use VideoAnt, reviewed here, for this purpose, and then use the video at a learning center or station during any unit or for review. Use activities from this site to differentiate learning within your classroom. Try flipping class and assign videos, slides or lessons to be completed at home and have a discussion (or question and answer session) about them the next day in class. Include this site on the class website for parents to find at-home math, language arts, science projects, and materials for review. Be sure to share with other teachers on campus.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse eMathInstruction lessons to flip your classroom. Assign lessons to students to complete at home, then discuss information in class. Share a link to videos and lessons on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice with Algebra skills. Recommend this site to parents for help in understanding math concepts.
Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomIn a middle or high school program dig deeply into math, science, or engineering. Find materials to supplement in-depth studies. Challenge gifted or advanced students. Use this as a way to check the validity of your source, whether it is a textbook or another Internet resource. Challenge students to write their own ebooks on their topic of interest in groups collaboratively or individually. Have students use a tool such as Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.
Grades1 to 8
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In the ClassroomUse the free resources recommended by Teachers College, Columbia University to fine tune your reading and writing assessments. Assessments are ready to go and use, and videos help demonstrate quality teaching and learning. Use examples of student work on your interactive whiteboard for your class. Sharpening your literacy classroom increases your effectiveness. Share the professional development videos or resources with your colleagues. Use materials from this tool in your next presentation. Use at Open Houses or with curriculum chats with parents so they have a better understanding of grade level expectations. Be sure to document your professional growth for your teacher evaluations.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): aeronautics (12), architecture (83), china (65), circuits (21), civil rights (130), computers (106), electricity (93), engineering (132), environment (320), evolution (106), folktales (49), greeks (33), magnetism (41), medicine (65), nutrition (160), poetry (222), psychology (65), religions (73), shakespeare (109), solar energy (40), speech (86), statistics (134), terrorism (46)
In the ClassroomShare with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): acids and bases (13), angles (86), computers (106), critical thinking (122), dance (27), design (91), differentiation (52), earth (226), elements (39), french (86), german (61), human body (133), plants (179), pythagorean theorem (34), resources (107), shakespeare (109), video (271)