From Aishah Abdullah | Volume 131 | Date June 10, 2021
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
CALIFORNIA FUNDING: A coalition of advocates are calling on Californians to support Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to invest $115 million in expanding the state’s Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree program at community colleges. The program builds on a successful state-funded pilot that developed 37 ZTC programs including 404 ZTC courses which participating colleges project will save students more than eight times the original investment. California’s community college system is the largest higher education system in the U.S., enrolling more than 2 million students annually. Governor Newsom and the state legislature are expected to reach a deal on the budget by early next week.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
CALL FOR PROPOSALS & REGISTER NOW: The 2021 Open Education Conference (#OpenEd21) has opened registration. The annual conference will be held virtually on October 18-22. The registration rates are $75 USD or $25 USD if you are a student, and scholarships are available. Interested in presenting? The call for proposals is open until June 21.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The 2021 Creative Commons Global Summit call for proposals is now open. This virtual conference will be held September 20-24. The deadline to submit your proposal is June 23. You can submit and learn more here.
WEBINAR: BCcampus is hosting a webinar “Adult Basic Education OER Showcase”. In this webinar, they are showcasing over 30 open educational resources created for their new tuition and textbook-cost-free program for adult basic education. This webinar will be taking place on June 17th. You can register and learn more here.
GRANT OPPORTUNITY: Atla is offering a grant opportunity for open educational resources that are focused on theology or religion. The deadline to submit an application is July 30th. Learn more about eligibility and apply here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM COLORADO: The University of Northern Colorado Open Educational Resources Committee has awarded several faculty members grants to assist them in implementing OER in their courses in replacement of their commercial textbooks. These faculty members will use the funds to create, adopt, and adapt OER for their courses in Fall 2021. This is the third cohort of faculty who are dedicated to OER that the UNC OER committee has awarded. David Greene, a past grant winner, shared “I believe educating Human Services workers needs to be adaptable to our rapidly changing environment, funding, and community needs. Traditional textbooks are behind the curve.” Read More>>
FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: Plymouth State University (PSU) has saved students over $1.2 million in textbook related costs. These savings date back to 2015 when PSU started participating in an University System of New Hampshire initiative dedicated to teaching faculty how to curate and create openly licensed texts in place of commercial textbooks. With nearly 30% of PSU’s students being low-income, these savings are a huge accomplishment. CoLab Associate Director Martha Burtis shares how “The savings came out of a lot of people’s hard work and effort and we have tremendous evidence that it paid off.” Read More>>
OPENSTAX EXPANDS COHORT: OpenStax has welcomed a new cohort of 12 colleges and universities to take part in their institutional partnership program. This program focuses on assisting these colleges and universities implement OER on their respective campuses. Rice University officials shared how “This OpenStax program has helped over 70 colleges and universities expand the use of open educational resources on their campus.” Last year’s cohort member University of Texas Rio Grande Valley saved students over $400,000 while being part of OpenStax’s program. This highlights the impact the program has on the participating campuses.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Rising Cost of Textbook an Academic Threat | Santa Cruz Sentinel
Interesting to Consider >>
How the Pandemic Boosted Ed Tech Adoption | Campus Technology