For Teachers

Open Educational Resources: A Trove of ADHD-Friendly Teaching Tools

Help students with ADHD and LD overcome learning differences with Open Education Resources that let them unlock their potential.

ADHD-Friendly Apps for Kids: Organization and Homework Help
ADHD-Friendly Apps for Kids: Organization and Homework Help

Students with ADHD and other learning disabilities need their own study strategies, activities, and resources to ensure their educational success. One way to provide this is to take advantage of Open Educational Resources (OER) — large collections of educational materials that students and teachers can browse through, at little or no cost, to find activities that work for them.

Find and Apply Open Educational Resources

OERs encompass a wide range of resources, primarily electronic but also print, that can be used for teaching, learning, or research. The scope of OERs includes:

  • Teaching tools such as syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools.
  • Learning content such as textbooks, course readings, and educational software.
  • Learning applications, such as games and simulations.

Sites such as Edutopia, iTunes U, and OER Commons serve as online guides and repositories for locating these types of resources.

Here are some of the ways OERs can assist students with ADHD or other learning disabilities.

Visuals and Visual Aids

One strategy recommended by for teaching students diagnosed with ADHD is emphasizing visuals and visual aids, such as charts, pictures, color-coding, and props.

An example of a popular OER resource that can be applied to ADHD education is Picto-Selector, a free online tool for creating visual resources used by many parents and teachers. Picto-Selector lets users search an image library of 28,000 illustrations that can be automatically sized in rows and columns and reused as templates.

Other online collections of useful OER visual aids can be located using sites such as Autism Speaks and Pinterest.

Engaging Educational Games

Another recommended strategy for teaching students who have ADHD is using educational games to engage a child’s attention. Two helpful OERs in this area include:

  • This site offers many useful resources, including an online tool where parents and teachers can create their own printable word searches.
  • PBS KIDS: The site offers large collections of educational games and apps.

ADHD-Friendly Study Materials

Shorter teaching and testing materials are good fits for kids with ADHD, who lose interest in longer, more complicated presentations. For example:

  • One user’s YouTube channel includes a two-minute tutorial on basic atomic structure that communicates much of the same material that would be covered in an entire chapter of a book.
  • The CK-12 site offers a library of such resources, including free online textbooks, flashcards, simulations, and real-life examples categorized by subject and topic.
  • The Classroom Aid site provides a large variety of digital educational materials.
  • The Free High School Textbooks Internet Library provides one-page handouts on a wide range of educational subjects and topics.