PreK-12 OER in Practice

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Education launched #GoOpen, a national movement to support states, school districts, and educators transitioning to the use of OER in place of traditional instructional materials. Today, over 100 PreK-12 districts have committed to use OER to increase equity, keep content relevant, empower teachers, and reallocate funds. Together they form a network sharing insights, strategies, and content. Learn from key district leaders as they highlight their process to put OER in practice.

January Open Perspective

Slow and Steady in Marysville Public Schools

How has OER impacted professional learning or student learning?

OER has impacted both professional and student learning in Marysville Public Schools. As a district, we are finding that OER puts value into the teacher’s expertise. The money that our district has saved not purchasing a new textbook series has been reallocated into our teaching staff. OER has also invigorated our students. We have enjoyed watching our students take ownership of their learning journeys.  Students feel very comfortable with voice and choice.  

How has your approach to OER evolved?

We are about a year in a half into this and we have learned a lot! We decided in the beginning to take things slowly. We are committed to making sure our students have access to the best resources available, and OER has been a critical piece of that commitment. Our journey with OER has also connected our district with teachers across the state and country, which has been energizing for our staff.

What do you value most about OER?

The use of OER has put a sense of value back into our practitioners. We are investing our resources back into our staff to make sure they have the time and resources necessary to make this shift. Our students are loving that they are able to use resources that can be remixed and revised to fit their learning needs.  

What do you wish people understood about OER?

This is not an all or nothing kind of scenario. The teachers using OER in their classroom use multiple resources – proprietary, free, and openly licensed – to meet students needs. We are currently using the Michigan Open Textbooks for Social Studies in multiple grade levels. The teachers using these openly licensed textbooks still supplement with the traditional textbook at times. It is all about what our students need.


Jennifer Johnson is the Executive Director of Assessment/Instructional Technology at Marysville Public Schools in Marysville, Michigan. She has been working in education for over 16 years with experience in professional development, technology, and curriculum. She serves as the #GoOpen Team Lead for Marysville and is an active member of the #GoOpen Michigan strategic team.