Introducing: Amazon Inspire
Amazon has been working on a platform for K-12 educators to share and discover Open Educational Resources (OERs) in support or the #GoOpen Initiative started by US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. The platform, called Amazon Inspire, has been in a closed beta state since June 2016, but is now open for anyone to join. Educators may use an existing Amazon.com account or create a new account with their school/work email address.
Inspire uses Amazon’s search technology to allow educators to find resources that fit their needs. Uploaded resources are tagged by grade level, resource type, content area, and standard. The intention is that the site will be easy for educators to use, since most will already be familiar with Amazon’s shopping platform. When resources are tagged appropriately, it will be easy for educators to find what they need.
For example, an educator looking for science activities for their Kindergarten classroom could select the appropriate tags to help refine their search.
The Inspire beta platform recently got a shiny new upgrade as well - the ability for users to upload and share their lesson plans and other resources through the site. When uploading content to the site, Inspire's instructions caution that the user is liable for the content they upload. Content should only be uploaded by the original author, or if it is licensed to allow for sharing (e.g.; Creative Commons or other openly licensed content). Uploading resources that you develop on the Inspire platform is a way to share your resources with educators across the country.