Higher education has a long history of outreach, sharing, and collaboration with formal PreK-12 education. Some outreach and collaboration attempts have been more successful than others. In sharing this openly-licensed toolkit and the curriculum resources within, we hope to raise the success rate of partnerships initiated by higher education in service to and collaboration with PreK-12 administrators and teachers, expand the number of healthy, sustainable partnerships between higher education and PreK-12, and broaden the availability of usable, customizable, open educational resources created with and for for PreK-12 teaching environments.

Origins of the Toolkit

This curriculum guide and toolkit originated from a series of consultations between the authors, a Higher Ed – PreK-12 liaison, and an open education and copyright librarian. It initially culminated in a series of documents [1] including curator and OER contributor checklists, release forms, and contributor agreements developed to support university students and faculty to create and share open educational resources. We presented this work at the Open Education Conference 2021 under the title “Boundary Spanners: Bridging Gaps Between Higher Education and PreK-12[2].” After our presentation, we decided to pursue more formal documentation of the project and its resources. In our search for a publication venue, we realized that the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN)[3], a resource for training graduate students, especially those enrolled in library and information science programs, may be a natural fit for developing the types of skills librarians and others in higher education need to assist others in forming informed and productive working relationships with PreK-12 audiences.

What is the Toolkit?

The openly-licensed toolkit includes editable course materials—readings, slides and presentation transcripts, sample communication templates, assignments, and partnership evaluation forms. These are intended for self-study and mediated graduate and undergraduate instruction. The toolkit covers diverse areas of knowledge in a linear progression, including working with minors, educational standards-related issues, copyright, open-licensing, acceptable uses of third-party works, communication skills, empowering teachers to provide their expertise, and adapting and sharing openly-licensed works. Each section of the toolkit contains presentations or readings, and either self-assessment or reflection questions. Some sections contain communication templates and customizable forms.

Intended Audience

This toolkit is designed for higher education faculty and librarians, instructional designers, graduate students, and undergraduates who aspire themselves, or to assist others, in building informed and productive outreach relationships with PreK-12 teachers, and to create relevant open educational resources for use within the PreK-12 context.

  1. This includes four documents: Contributor Checklist, Curator Checklist, Release form, and Contributor Agreement template. Retrieved from Walz, Anita and Julee Farley (2021). Boundary Spanners: Bridging Gaps Between Higher Education and PreK-12. Open Education Conference 2021.
  2. Walz, Anita and Julee Farley (2021). Boundary Spanners: Bridging Gaps Between Higher Education and PreK12. Open Education Conference 2021,
  3. Scholarly Communication Notebook. (n.d.)


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Making Open Educational Resources with and for PreK12 Copyright © 2023 by Anita R. Walz and Julee P. Farley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.