From Brady Yano (SPARC) | Volume 19 | November 17th, 2016
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
THAT’S A WRAP – OPENCON 2016: OpenCon 2016 took place November 12-14 in Washington, DC, bringing together more than 200 early career and student leaders from 60 countries to learn, connect and catalyze action on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. The event’s online presence included a free live webcast, more than 27,000 tweets, and 63 million impressions on the hashtag #OpenCon. Highlights from the event include a keynote from Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of Internet Archive, a panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Open Community, and an advocacy day where participants met policymakers across Washington, DC. The in-person participants were selected from more than 10,000 applicants. Conference recordings are available here.
STUDENT SAVINGS AT SCC: Scottsdale Community College (SCC) has become Arizona’s first college to launch a textbook-free degree program, offering students enrolled in a hybrid Associate of Art degree a cheaper way to learn. Modelled after the Z-Degree Program at Tidewater Community College, the SCC’s program is leveraging the increasing accessibility of high-quality OER. With SCC being a part of the “Maricopa Millions OER Project” launched in 2013, this degree program will significantly increase the nearly $6 million in savings that the project has accrued.
USG LEADING BY EXAMPLE: OpenStax recently named University System of Georgia (USG) the top system nationwide at saving students money through adoption of OpenStax free digital college textbooks in the 2015-16 academic school year. USG institutions helped nearly 36,000 students save $3.5 million. That same year, UGA helped save students over $986,500 through the use of OER. Read more>>
BARNES & NOBLE LAUNCH: Barnes & Noble recently launched the Barnes & Noble Education (BNED) Courseware, a service aimed at providing faculty with an easier way to use OER. Leveraging their presence on hundreds of US college campuses, BNED provides students and faculty with everything they need on day one. Currently providing service for 10 general education courses, OER are being used in the form of OpenStax materials, videos and slides. Previous volumes of the Digest have noted efforts by other sectors of the textbook industry, including publishers and online booksellers, to enter the OER space.
TENNESSEE GOES OPEN: Last week the Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen announced the launch of the state’s commitment to the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen initiative. Tennessee is the 19th state to commit to the initiative and has two Ambassador Districts, Tullahoma City Schools and Bristol City Schools. Read more>>
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Last week the United States elected Donald J. Trump as their next President. He is set to take office on January 20th. You can find information about the President-elect’s plans for education here.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
JOB: The Hewlett Foundation is looking for a Program Director in the foundation’s Education Program. http://www.hewlett.org/career/program-director-education-program/
JOB: The Indiana University Libraries is looking for a Scholarly Communications Librarian. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis. https://jobs.diglib.org/job/scholarly-communication-librarian/
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
A brief snapshot of those making change on the ground level, and those most impacted
FROM CONNECTICUT: “Bringing open educational resources [to UConn] has been something that various organizations have wanted to do to fix what is a broken market,” UConnPIRG’s treasurer and senior finance major Saman Azimi said. “Hopefully in the next couple of months we can come to some really tangible policy recommendations to make open educational resources a reality for students across Connecticut,” Azimi said. Read more>>
FROM KANSAS: A sample of 76 students at the University echoed the results when Josh Bolick, a scholarly communication librarian, asked students at Anschutz Library last fall to fill out cards about the cost and use of textbooks. Among the comments: “I don’t buy any of my required texts anymore. It’s too expensive.” “I’ve spent around $500 just this semester on textbooks, some that I rarely use.” Read more>>
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Nicole Allen @txtbks Nov 14
Kicking off #OpenCon 2016! 200+ from 60 countries in the room, thousands more online working to catalyze action in #OA #OER #OpenData https://twitter.com/txtbks/status/797452929682771968
Interesting Reads on Education and Open
Textbook Prices Reduce Course Accessibility | The Oberlin Review
Not Too Big to Fail: Big Data in Higher Education | New America Weekly
Converging Advances in Online Learning: OTT, OER and OEI | Psychology Today
3 Ways to Prove ROI in Open Educational Resources | EdTech
Online Textbook Program Saves Criminal Justice Majors Thousands of Dollars | BMCC News
Valencia Finds Innovative Ways to Cut Textbook Costs; Down 38% in 5 Years | Valencia News
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