Open educational resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone and available under a license that allows users to use, remix, improve and redistribute.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. That means they have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. For some of these resources, that means you can download the resource and share it with colleagues and students. For others, it may be that you can download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. - OER Commons
Examples of OER
Learning content: full courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals.
Tools: Software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and on-line learning communities.
Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.
Benefits of Creating and Using OER
improving student performance and satisfaction
increasing access to educational materials for a wider range of learners, predominantly those underserved by traditional educational opportunities
encouraging educators to engage in critical reflection of educational resources
helping students, districts, and educational institutions save money
attracting informal learners
serving as a gateway from informal learning to formal educational programs