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Open Education (OE) Guide: Types: Free-to-Students Resources

Guide to Open Educational Resources

OER Textbooks

What are OER Textbooks? Textbooks that are educational resources, free to students, accessed online, customizable, and licensed by the author/creator with rights that are less restrictive than copyright.

Public Domain

Where can I find public domain works?

The sites below will guide you to a cultural wealth of public domain books, images, illustrations, audio, and films where the copyright term has expired or the creator has not renewed the license. Remember, public domain works are free and available for unrestricted use. Enjoy and be creative!

Open Courseware (OCW)

What is Open CourseWare (OCW)? OCW are course lessons created at universities and published for free via the Internet.

General OER Repositories

What is a General OER Repository? It is a collection of many different types of content.

  • Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) - a peer-populated platform for art history teachers. 
  • Citizendium - free articles accessed on-line via a wiki and available under a license that permits reuse with attribution
  • CommonSpaces - Open Educational Resources freely available to everyone
  • Creative Commons Education / OER Resources - the Creative Commons search tool, lets you lets you pick a number of image sources you want to search across.
  • EDSITEment! - a World Wide Website for humanities education developed and maintained by the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal government agency, for the benefit of parents, students, and teachers.
  • OASIS - OASIS currently searches open content from 117 different sources and contains 388,707 records.
  • Open Culture - Free educational and cultural media.
  • OpenStax CNX Library - providing authors and learners with an open space where they can share and freely adapt educational materials such as courses, books, and reports
  • CTE Online
  • Curriki (K-12) - Free learning resources for the global community.
  • Digital Public Library of America
  • Gooru (K-12)
  • HippoCampus - Repository of multimedia learning objects from NROC Project, Khan Academy, PhET, SIATech and others.
  • Internet Archive’s OER Library - a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, it provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.
  • Iowa State University Digital Press Repositories and Search Tools - search tools for OERs and openly licensed media.
  • Khan Academy - Free educational and cultural media; offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard
  • Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) - Geroge Mason University Library OER search engine
  • MERLOt Learning Object Repository - MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.
  • OER Africa
  • OER Commons - a dynamic digital library and network  shared with educators of all levels
  • Open Washington
  • PhET Interactive Simulations -Teaching Resources for Science and Math - click on Simulations to find resources for your subject matter
  • Skills Commons - OPEN digital library of Workforce Training Materials
  • Teaching Commons - includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more.
  • UNC System Course Enhancement and OER Collections - curated by faculty teams from across the UNC (University of North Carolina) System during Summer 2020 to support and enhance both face-to-face and online instruction.
  • Wisc-Online - Learning objects, assets, interfaces and games for teaching.
  • World Digital Library - A project of the U.S. Library of Congress in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations.

Open Books

What is an Open Book? A random free book and not necessarily a textbook.

BCCC Library Databases

Can I use the reference material from the Bucks Library? Bucks subscribes to plenty of Databases and as long as your students are accessing the material while in your course, they are free to use anything. They can access them on and off campus. 

Digital Media

Looking for free videos, images and music? Check out the below sources.

  • BurningWell - A repository for public domain (free for any use) images. You are free to download, copy and use the photos you find here for any purpose. These free images were donated by photographers from around the world
  • ccMixter - A community music remixing site featuring remixes and samples licensed under Creative Commons licenses.
  • Vecteezy - An image search engine tailored to efficiently locate images for blogs, comps, inspiration, and research. We make good use of the flickr™ API, but aren't affiliated with flickr.
  • Creative Commons Image Search - Find permission-free media resources across multiple sites.
  • Europeana - explore 58,780,359 artworks, artefacts, books, films and music from European museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  • Flickr - online photo management and sharing application in the world, filter by license type
  • Foter - uses the Flickr API and searches Creative Commons photos
  • Free Music Archive - an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America
  • Freesound - a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, ... released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse
  • Incompetech - free to use music
  • Internet Archive (Free Movies, Music, Books & Wayback Machine: exceptional resource!)
  • Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Reading Room - The information may not be accurate or complete. Determine for yourself whether or not an item is protected by copyright or in the public domain, and then satisfy any copyright or use restrictions when publishing or distributing materials from the collections. 
  • Musopen
  • - All Clipart are Released into the Public Domain.
  • Openverse - All Openverse content is under a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain.
  • Pexels
  • Pixabay
  • Skuawk - Public Domain photos
  • TED Blog - 100 Websites You Should Know and Use from TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Ideas Worth Spreading.
  • Unsplash - Beautiful, free photos
  • Arizona State for Virtual Reality - topic based interactive and educationally rich experiences captured during real expeditions with scientists doing current research
  • Wikimedia Commons - a collection of 54,066,850 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute
  • YouTube - A video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips.

Open Access Journals (OA)

What is Open Access (OA)? OA is making research publications fvailable for others to benefit from reading and using in research, however, not necessarily free to use. Open access.