According to OER Commons, Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use: instructors, students, and self-learners. OERs include any digital educational resources, from full courses and course modules to specific items of pedagogical materials from around the world. There are various search engines that help search and locate OERs. The search engine OER Commons is particularly useful when searching for K-12 resources since all the teaching and learning content can be easily located by topic and grade level.
Creative Commons (CC) is the licensing attached to OERs. Users must abide by the conditions of CC licenses to be able to use these open resources legally. There are six different types of CC licenses, depending on the level of rights that creators choose to keep for their works. The following is the classification provided by Creative Commons:
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. It is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.