Realizing the promise of open resources, part II

By William McCallum

In my first post on the topic of realizing the promise of open educational resources, I described the IM Certified program. Our partners offer multiple versions, including a free online version and enhanced versions with different options for users. This is IM’s way of reaching teachers and students from a wide variety of districts who may be looking for those different options, while assuring that, as these versions evolve, they will stay true to the original design. However, by the terms of the CC BY license, anybody can use the curriculum with or without certification. This freedom further supports our mission to get these carefully crafted materials into the hands of as many students and teachers as possible.

A case in point is Open Up Resources, our original partner in this work and the publisher of the highly rated Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum. We collaborated with Open Up Resources in producing that curriculum, authoring the content while they provided visual design, quality alignment, beta pilots with school districts, marketing, and distribution. We are proud of that collaboration, which brought one of the first full-course OER middle school math curricula to students and teachers across the nation. Furthermore, the recently released Open Up Resources 6–8 Math 2.0 was also authored, reviewed, and approved by Illustrative Mathematics and aligns with the principles of high quality that IM established when crafting the materials. You can contact Open Up Resources for more information about their version of the IM-authored curriculum.

Anybody using or adapting the middle school curriculum must provide attribution to Open Up Resources. Our partners—LearnZillion, Kendall Hunt, and McGraw-Hill—distribute their versions of the curriculum in full compliance with the CC BY license, following the attribution recommendations of Creative Commons and paying full respect to the pioneering work of Open Up Resources. We hope that the spread of this thoughtfully designed curriculum using the CC BY license doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the license, the ecosystem for full course open educational resources is evolving quickly, and we are excited to see how others will harness the power of the license in the service of teachers and students.

William McCallum

Bill McCallum, founder of Illustrative Mathematics, is a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. He has worked in both mathematics research, in the area of number theory and arithmetical algebraic geometry, and mathematics education, writing textbooks and advising researchers and policy makers. He is a founding member of the Harvard Calculus Consortium and lead author of its college algebra and multivariable calculus texts. In 2009–2010 he was one of the lead writers for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. He holds a Ph. D. in Mathematics from Harvard University and a B.Sc. from the University of New South Wales.