The Software and Information Industry Association says in a new report that open education resources in K-12 schools and colleges are “here to stay,” though the organization also warns that the content may carry higher costs for schools than are immediately obvious.
The report from the major Washington-based trade association, released last week, provides everything from the organization’s take on definitions and terminology surrounding open education resources to a description of current government policies supporting it to its breakdown of the implications of those resources for commercial publishers and others.
Currently, the overall presence of free online materials is modest, according to the report, “Guide to the Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 and Postsecondary Education.” But their footprint is likely to expand, the authors say.
While open education resources initially will have little, if any, cost for districts, they could bring significant costs if school systems or colleges attempt to scale them up, the paper contends.
Those costs include time spent training teachers and others on how to use the content provided, supplementing the open resources, and perhaps most significantly, upgrading them over time to meet changing academic needs, the association argues.
A version of this article appeared in the March 27, 2013 edition of Education Week as Report Outlines Trends In Open Resources