In New York, school districts make their own decisions in evaluating instructional materials. Yonkers uses a standard vetting process for all instructional materials, including OER. Small teams of content specialists provide feedback on the OER through exploration, discussion, and testing of the open resource. As part of this process, Yonkers often invites content specialists that are not comfortable using digital tools to participate in the evaluation of the resources. This approach provides information on the potential adoption rate of a resource with various users. Yonkers strives to complete this process quickly so that the best possible instructional materials are available for teachers and students.Yonkers also utilizes a crowdsourcing approach by encouraging administrators and teachers to test new resources and share the results.  After an open resource is approved, it is shared through the district’s learning system, Yonkers Online, and Quick Links, the district’s open resource area.

Yonkers noted that when selecting an OER, you need to be thoughtful and assess not only the resource but the related aspects of the resource such as privacy considerations, or potential future or tangential costs. For example, What data is gathered through the portal, and does it have implications for the district in terms of privacy or other factors?

  • “The varied and engaging nature of many OER resources, the ability of OER to reach students beyond the standard school day, and the positive impact found through use of particular OER tools are some of the many benefits of using OER.”

    • Lisa Perry, Director Instructional Technology and Science, Yonkers Public Schools

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