The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:
Education touches all lives: be it the child learning to read, a high school student seeking to be the first in her family to enter college, the university student struggling to pay exorbitant textbook prices and rising tuition costs, or the life-long learner returning to college after twenty years. Education fosters creativity and critical thought, building the foundation for lifelong curiosity. It is intrinsically linked to cultural development and the economic security of an established career. Unfortunately, too many people are deprived of access to learning and educational resources due to technological and price barriers.
Open education establishes opportunities to support an affordable and effective learning environment. Involving tools and practices, open education resources (OER) provide students with quality materials that are free of cost and without re-use restrictions. Technology and the power of hyper-connectivity, brought forth by the Internet, provide potential to utilize OERs for the improvement of teaching and learning. In addition to the Open Education Library Guide, the following resources provide a quick introduction: