Educators tasked with finding instructional materials for their districts and classrooms face a dizzying array of options these days. Classroom resources are available in print, digital textbook formats, and online. They can be paid for, subscribed to, or downloaded for free. They’re available as comprehensive, yearlong curricula; individual thematic units; and single activities and games.
Several forces have collided to bring the market to this confusing, yet ultimately academically promising point: The majority of states are now using the Common Core State Standards, meaning there are more opportunities to share materials across state lines. States are increasingly letting districts choose their own instructional materials, rather than forcing them to select from an approved list. There’s been a recent push, including from the federal government, to make online instructional materials free and open to the public—known as open educational resources