Blackboard now offering over half a million open educational resources to K-12 students

Blackboard and ACT's OpenEd are collaborating to deliver free, openly licensed materials to school districts.

Edtech services providers Blackboard and OpenEd announced Wednesday they are teaming up to integrate OpenEd’s online digital content library with Blackboard’s learning management systems and solutions.

“Over half a million” of OpenEd’s free, openly licensed resources, produced by the assessment organization ACT, are now available at no additional cost to Blackboard’s K-12 customers who use Blackboard Open Content, the company’s cloud-based learning object repository.

More than 10 million students and teachers across K-12 and higher ed have access to that repository, a spokesperson for Blackboard told EdScoop. While she could not provide numbers for K-12 alone, it’s clear many of those 10 million learners will be able to take advantage of the OpenEd content.

The resources, which span videos, games, quizzes, homework assignments and lesson plans, align with state educational standards, including Common Core, and have been vetted for quality assurance, according to Blackboard.


“ACT and Blackboard share the belief that educational resources should be seamlessly integrated into learning platforms to make teachers’ lives easier,” said Adam Blum, chief architect of OpenEd. “We are excited about OpenEd’s resources being available in one of the most widely used LMS platforms today.”

Teachers and students using Blackboard Learn, Moodlerooms and Blackboard Classroom can use Blackboard Open Content to access hundreds of thousands of openly licensed educational materials covering every major subject, including math, English/language arts, social studies and science.

Through this partnership with OpenEd, Blackboard may begin to compete with other free digital content libraries like Amazon Inspire and OER Commons, which aim to level the playing field for students and teachers by creating equal access to high quality educational materials.

“Blackboard is committed to enriching instruction and making teachers’ lives easier through the seamless integration of high quality digital content into our learning management systems,” said Katie Blot, chief strategy officer at Blackboard, in a statement.

Correction: This article originally stated Blackboard users would gain access to “over a million” open educational resources from OpenEd, due to a typo in Blackboard’s official statement announcing the partnership. The correct estimate is “over half a million.”

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