OER Digest – December 1st, 2016

From Katie Steen (USPIRG) | Volume 20 | December 1st, 2016

With help from Brady Yano (SPARC)


Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders

NEW RESOURCE ON ADAPTATION: The Open Textbook Network recently released Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know, a resource built for people who want to know what it takes to edit an open textbook and how to get started. This guide, an adaptation of Clint Lalonde’s original work, focuses on the fundamental aspects of editing open textbooks and will help users assess the effort, expertise and technical tools needed.

FELLOW OF THE YEAR: Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani has been named the Senior BCcampus Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellow for the 2017 year. Dr. Jhangiani will lead a team of three faculty researchers in the development of research related to the educational outcomes that take place when OER are substituted for traditional learning materials within B.C. For any B.C. faculty interested in applying to be one of the three Open Education Advocacy and Research Fellows, the deadline is December 19th.

OTN LANDS BIG FISH: OhioLINK, Ohio’s Academic Library Consortium, is joining the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Network. OhioLINK is a serves over 600,000 end users and is a member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. With OhioLINK’s membership, the Open Textbook Network now extends across more than 350 campuses. Get their newsletter

12 DISTRICTS RECOGNIZED: The Learning Counsel recognized 12 districts for improving student outcomes through personalizing instruction, open educational resources and digital tools for better collaboration. The 12 districts are in Washington, Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, North Dakota, Texas, Arizona and Georgia.

MATH STUDENTS SAVE $1M: The Math Department at the University of British Columbia has adopted OER in all first-year and most second-year courses. Over 7,000 are enrolled in these OER math courses this year and collectively they are saving between $608,000 and $1,024,000.

PREPARING A STEM WORKFORCE: The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) received federal grants to broaden pathways to STEM careers in fast-growing fields. Math instructors at BMCC are developing a comprehensive suite of Open Educational Resources for four gateway math courses. Resources include videos, supporting class materials and assignments from WeBWork, an open-source online homework system for math and science.

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCEMENT: Last week U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump announced Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos is known for being supportive of the school choice movement and currently holds a position on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). DeVos’ appointment is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: BCcampus is hosting an Accessibility for Open Textbooks Webinar on December 6th from 12:30-1:30 PST https://bccampus.ca/event/accessibility-for-open-textbooks/?instance_id=2436

EVENT: The Open Education Consortium is hosting a Planning for OER Professional Development webinar on December 7th at 10am PST/1pm EST http://www.oeconsortium.org/news/

JOB: The University of North Carolina Wilmington Randall Library is looking for a Digital Initiatives Librarian https://jobs.uncw.edu/postings/6544


A brief snapshot of those making change on the ground level, and those most impacted

FROM ILLINOIS: Members of the Associated Student Government at Northwestern are gathering faculty and student support for Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) Affordable College Textbooks Act. The students hope to lobby for the bill with other students during the Big Ten on the Hill spring conference in D.C. “We’re hoping to build a coalition, so it’s not just Northwestern students supporting this, but it’s a bunch of schools supporting this.” Read More >>

FROM ILLINOIS X2: Heartland Community College (HCC) in Illinois is set to save students $204,000 next semester through OER adoption. This spring, there will be 32 faculty members at HCC using open textbooks in 89 sections. “I’m trying to meet them where they are,” Evans said. “Let the textbook fit into their lives in a seamless way.” Read More >>


Janice Ward @JaniceWard09 Nov 29

“5 Ways to Participate in the #GoOpen Movement” by @vifglobaled https://medium.com/@vifglobaled/5-ways-to-participate-in-the-goopen-movement-818a2ca1505b#.z8vitp96s


Interesting Reads on Education and Open

The College Bookstore, Disrupted | Publishers Weekly


Digital Publishing and the World’s Largest Publishing Company | Digital Publishing Innovation Summit


How Will the Presidential Election Results Influence Education Technology in Schools? | The Hechinger Report


Digital Tools Provide Cost Savings, Flexibility | The Argus Observer


Library Resources as Course Materials | Open Oregon



Have suggestions for the next edition?

Let us know at oerdigest@gmail.com, or tweet us @OERdigest.

You can subscribe to the OER Digest here.

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