Market Research Logo

Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 Schools in 2018

Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 Schools in 2018

Open educational resources (OER) have been available for use in K-12 schools for two decades, but they have not taken hold in mainstream fashion until relatively recently. Progress has been much faster in the college market. That said, there has been a spike in interest and adoption in recent years, especially since the launch of the federal #GoOpen program in 2015 under the Obama administration.

Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 Schools 2018 by Simba Information provides an overview of the K-12 landscape for open educational resources (OER). The report delves into how K-12 districts in the U.S. are using OER, analyzes the factors that are driving growth, looks into the challenges facing the market, and provides an overview of suppliers providing open resources.

Specific topics include:

  • Why schools turn to OER
  • Financial drivers of OER
  • OER usage by district, subject, and grade level
  • Spending on OER
  • The impact on commercial publishers and vendors
  • Challenges to OER growth
  • Leading brands in the K-12 OER space
  • The future of OER
  • Case studies illustrating the use and implementation of OER

The insights in this report draw on both qualitative and quantitative research, including:

  • In-depth interviews with district personnel and leaders at the state level responsible for OER
  • An online survey on district usage and perceptions of OER
  • Third-party research on various aspects of OER from respected organizations
  • A review of company/organizational information distributed by leading purveyors of OER

The information provided in the report is designed to help education industry leaders stay ahead of market shifts and build effective growth initiatives.


  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction & Overview
    • What Are Open Educational Resources
      • Table Six Forms of Creative Commons Licenses
    • What Is Driving Adoption of Open Educational Resources
      • Fit with Current Educational Trends
        • Table Why Schools Turn to OER, 2018-2019
      • Currency
      • Federal Policies
        • Table #GoOpen Campaign States
      • State Support
      • Financial Drivers
      • Redirection of Savings
      • Improvements in Availability and Quality
      • Easier Access
  • OER Use and Spending
    • OER Usage: A Survey Approach
      • Table OER Use, A Snapshot
      • Market Leaders See Growth
      • Usage Varies by District
        • Table District Approaches to Using OER
      • OER USE by Subject
      • Grade-Level Use
      • Core or Supplemental
      • Adaptation and Collaboration
      • OER Sits Alongside Traditional Textbooks
      • OER Finding and Vetting Responsibility
    • Spending on OER
      • Table Key Cost Areas with OER
      • Sources of Funding
        • Table Examples of OER Funding
      • Impact on Commercial Publishers and Vendors
  • Challenges to OER Growth
    • Educator Unfamiliarity and Resistance
    • Finding and Assessing Quality Materials
      • Role for Commercial Publishers, Providers
    • Technology and Infrastructure
    • Other Challenges
      • Table Challenges Associated with OER (ranked in descending importance)
  • Market Landscape
    • Who Provides OER?
      • Table Examples of OER Providers
      • Nonprofit Groups, Associations, and OER Specialists
        • Table Examples of OER movers in the Association/Non-Profit Segment
      • Universities, States, and Districts
      • Commercial Publishers
      • Districts Rely on Multiple Providers
    • Key Players
      • Big History Project
      • CK-12 Foundation
      • Curriki
      • EL Education
      • Great Minds
      • Khan Academy
      • Knovation
      • LearnZillion
      • MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) Project
      • OER Commons/ISKME
      • OpenStax
      • Open Up Resources
      • UnboundEd
  • The Future of OER
    • Challenges Remain
    • Good Experiences, High Interest Predict Growth Ahead
    • Best Practices for OER Implementation
      • Develop a Plan
      • Educate About Open Licensing
      • A Better Path
      • Professional Learning
      • Collaboration
      • Sufficient Infrastructure
      • High Quality Materials
      • Plan for the Future
  • Case Studies
    • States
      • Washington
      • Utah
      • Louisiana
    • Districts
      • Cedar Rapids, IA
      • Loudon County, VA
      • Anne Arundel, MD
      • Nampa, ID
      • Wayland Union, MI
    • OER Initiatives
      • Michigan Open Book Project
      • OpenSciEd

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report