Open Source Learning

Customizing and Innovating Content

What is "Open Source"?

Open Source materials are educational resources provided online free of cost and accessible by the general public.

Historically there has been a tradeoff: low-cost (or free) comes at the expense of quality. (In other words, "There is no free lunch.") But FOS [free open source] is different. Indeed, I've long argued that FOS software has the advantage of being free of cost, while, at the same time, providing greater value to the users.
Blog by David Thornburg on Open-Source Textbook, 2011

Why did open source collections start?

Educators have been looking for solutions to textbook issues for years and finally higher ed and educational agencies have began to take action toward providing high-quality instructional resources that alleviate the high costs, outdated information, and common shortages of traditional textbooks.

Today's Goals

  • Explore various open source collections.
  • Identify valid sources that align with course TEKS.
  • Find open sources that can be used with upcoming instruction.

How do I know if it's a valid source?

I mean, you can't believe everything you see on the internet.....

Open Source Resources


Does not require a teacher or student registration to use materials, but registering provides access to highlighters, post-it notes and bookmarking. Registered teachers can make groups and assign specific assignments to registered students.


Allows users to search by subject, education level, or material type (readings, lesson plans, activities, homework, etc...)

A filtered version of YouTube videos; search educational videos by subject. Age-range appropriateness is shown for each video clip.

Described as an educational content repository, it is a textbook replacement. You can search by topic to view sections of content or you can download the entire book as an epub or pdf for free. Most content is upper level and would be a better support for 7th and 8th grade.

Interactive Sites for Education

Listing of interactive websites for most subjects. Most activities/games require a flash player, so they won't work on an IOS device.

The Future of Education- OpenStax College

There is a grass roots movement with the mantra "Free education is a fundamental right". OpenStax College provides free textbooks to college students; their goal being to supply 10,000,000 textbooks to students. The texts at this site are more than likely too difficult for your students, but the website does give a glimpse to the future of public education.

i Tunes U

Accessed through the iTunes Store, you can find videos, lectures, notes, books, activities, and even worksheets. Go to the store to search. Enter the topic and grade level as a starting point. If you find an item you want to look at, click on the FREE button. Go to the library icon in iTunes and then select iTunes U to view your item.

Supplements to Flipped Math Classes

Tutorial website with practice problems. Students complete the problem and then click to reveal the answer.

Interactive Math- an ancillary to Pearson textbooks; does not require a login to access materials.

Two sites with real math puzzles (unlike Cool Math Games) that use mathematical reasoning to solve. Activities are categorized by math concept. Requires a flash player (no IOS devices). The Shodor site includes lesson plans for instructors.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives- Online interactive exercises in English and Spanish.