Superintendent’s Memo #034-16

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 26, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Openly-licensed Education Resources (OER) and the #GoOpen Initiative

Today the Virginia Department of Education has launched a new initiative that focuses on the use of high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources (OER) in Virginia classrooms.

Openly-licensed educational resources are no-cost digital materials used for teaching, learning, and assessment and can be modified and redistributed without violating copyright laws. OER not only has the potential to save districts money, but can also empower teachers and students while increasing equity by providing universal accessibility to relevant, high-quality, up-to-date content.

As part of this effort, Virginia will work in conjunction with the United States Department of Education #GoOpen campaign ( as well as other #GoOpen states and districts to include Chesterfield County, one of only nine #GoOpen Ambassador Districts in the country.

As a declared #GoOpen state, the Virginia Department of Education has committed to support Virginia school districts and educators as they transition to using OER. This will include developing and maintaining a statewide repository for openly licensed resources as well as participating in a community of practice with other #GoOpen states and districts in order to share learning and professional development resources.

For more details on #GoOpen commitments made by states, school districts, and technology companies, visit

For additional information about Virginia’s #GoOpen commitment, please contact Bobby Keener, Chief Technology Innovations Officer at or by telephone (804) 786-9282.