Getting Smart Podcast | The Role of OER in 21st Century Classrooms

Blog Series, EdTech, Platforms & Data, Podcasts

Inspired by #OERStories, this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast is all about Open Educational Resources (#OER). Tom Vander Ark leads our examination of what the shift to digital means when it comes to content, beginning with the story of El Paso ISD who, as part of their new strategic plan, avoided spending millions on textbooks for a better and more dynamic OER alternative.

There are a growing number of great nonprofits sharing open resources. CK-12Gooru, Khan AcademyPowerMyLearning are examples of OER libraries that provide schools grade level playlists. All of them are adding features to personalize playlists.

In the podcast, Tom encouraged schools to adopt learning platforms after considering a review of the leading dozen. He thinks most districts and networks will adopt/adapt platform and operate like New Tech Network with common platform, content, tools and professional learning — like a PLC for schools.

Leading the effort to advance understandings and implementations of open educational resources at the state and district levels is the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). In 2014, CCSSO conducted a survey of states and produced State of the States: Open Educational Resources in K-12 Education. In collaboration with iNACOL, CCSSO provided the opportunity for states to update their OER information, while expanding the focus to include districts and educators working with OER.

Special guest Layla Bonnot, Senior Program Associate at CCSSO joins us to talk about the findings from the report and what we can expect for the future.

For more episodes of the Getting Smart Podcast, check out:


Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update. This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures please see our Partner page.

Tyler Nakatsu

Tyler Nakatsu

Tyler Nakatsu is passionate about storytelling. Follow Tyler on Twitter, @post_west.