Month: April 2017

Regular Edition

OER Digest – April 20th, 2017

From Brady Yano (SPARC) | Volume 29 | April 20th, 2017


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

“MEAN AMOUNT OF $$”: The CUNY and SUNY systems are set to receive $8 million to drastically increase the use of OER on their campuses. The funding was announced as part of Governor Cuomo’s historic zero-tuition cost announcement, and has been called “a mean amount of money.” Recognizing that both systems will have an influx of low-income students, the $4 million allotment for each system is aimed at providing open educational resources, including ebooks, to students at SUNY and CUNY colleges. A portion of that funding is set to be directed to SUNY OER Services. Read more>>

Inside Higher Education also published an article featuring a number of leaders from the OER and publisher communities commenting on whether or not this move is a “turning point” for OER. Read more>>

FOLLETT + LUMEN: Earlier this week, the major bookstore company Follett and Lumen Learning announced a partnership, where Follett will offer Lumen Learning’s OER solutions to more than 1,200 colleges and universities where Follett manages course materials delivery. Through the partnership, Lumen Learning’s OER courseware will be made available to institutions through Follett’s infrastructure. Follett has also become one of Lumen Learning’s investors. The partnership has been received with mixed responses from the OER community. Read more>>

To address some of the questions and concerns that have been raised, David Wiley has provided further analysis on his blog. Read more>>

ANOTHER PARTNERSHIP: The California State University (CSU) system and VitalSource Technologies  also announced a collaboration to offer OER content from MERLOT, SkillsCommons and COOL4Ed on VitalSource’s platform, which also serves 1,000 commercial publishers.  Read more>>

MARYLAND’S 21 GRANTS: Twenty-one faculty members from 12 state universities and community colleges are set to receive a mini-grant from the University System of Maryland to help expand OER use and mitigate student fees. The grants ranging in amounts of $500 – $2500 are expected to save students enrolled in these courses $1.3 million in textbook costs for the fall 2017 semester. Read more>>

300 ADOPTIONS: As of today, there are 300 entries on the Open Oregon Resources page. This milestone represents a lot of hard work on the part of Oregon’s community college instructors and support staff, and a tremendous savings for students. Congratulations to all of those involved!

NEW BOOKS AT BCCAMPUS: The BC Open Textbook Collection has five new additions: A First Course in Linear Algebra; Macroeconomics: Theory, Models, and Policy; Microeconomics: Markets, Methods, and Models; Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics. Two materials in the collection Introduction to Financial Accounting – Second Edition and Calculus: Early Transcendentals have new editions.

#OPENEDUCATIONWK RECAP: The numbers are in! During Open Education Week 2017, there were a total of 156 events hosted around the world! This includes 48 webinars, 86 local events and 22 events that took place outside of the official week. Thank you to everyone that hosted or sponsored an activity during Open Education Week 2017.

ON THE ROAD: The Digest team will be attending the Hewlett OER grantees meeting and Creative Commons Global Summit in Toronto next week. Hope to see many of you there!


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: The Rebus Community will be hosting their May Office Hour event on May 1st at 3 EDT/ 12 PDT. The topic of the call will be OER Production Workflows. RSVP here.  

EVENT: SPARC’s next Libraries & OER Monthly Meeting will be taking place on May 2nd at 1 EDT/ 10 PDT. Click here to join e-mail discussion list via Google Groups to receive call-in details.

EVENT: Registration for the Open Textbook Summit 2017, is still open! BCcampus’ annual event will be taking place May 24-25 in Vancouver, BC.

OPPORTUNITY: The Open Education Group is looking for students and early career researchers in the United States and Canada to become an OER Research Fellow.

OPPORTUNITY: The Rebus Community is looking for individuals to join a working group aimed at investigating approaches for open textbook peer review.


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

FROM CALIFORNIA: “It’s not just tuition price that is climbing; it’s transportation, housings, textbooks, all of that are the cost problems that our students are facing” PCC’s spokesperson Alex Boekelheide said. “We are trying our best to help students face the cost of college, and anything that we can do to address that is very helpful.” Read more>>

FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Munroe said textbook prices have increased by 88 percent in the last 10 years. MASSPIRG has launched the Open Textbook Initiative campaign to combat rising prices by encouraging professors to provide an alternative to traditional textbooks and other material for their classes. Read more>>




A helpful FAQ on Open Educational Resources, courtesy of #edtech industry veteran @DougLevin  #OER  


Interesting Reads on Education and Open

4 Education Technology Trends That Are Redefining K–12 | T.H.E. Journal

Alt-Textbooks at UAS | Whalesong

Celebrating Open Education Week 2017 | Syracuse University Libraries

District Tech Leaders’ Purchasing Influence Slowly Grows | Education Week Market Brief

New Washington State Bill Seeks to Increase OER Use and Development | EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education

‘Open Educational Resources’ Have Great Potential | Education Week

Piloting Open Learning (podcast) | Sandbox CoLABorative

Survey Ranks 10 Key Trends for K-12 Tech Leaders | EdSurge

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Regular Edition

OER Digest – April 6th, 2017

From Brady Yano (SPARC) | Volume 28 | April 6th, 2017


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

THAT’S A WRAP, #OPENEDUCATIONWK: Last week the world celebrated the 5th annual Open Education Week. While the official statistics have not yet been announced, we think participation and engagement were high!

EXPLORING ENGAGENY: A new study conducted by the Rand Corporation exploring the use of EngageNY sheds light on the ways in which OER can better support teachers and the implementation of state standards. Engage NY is one of the first efforts to create standards-aligned OER curriculum materials. Key findings:

  • EngageNY is among the most commonly used curriculum materials for mathematics and English language arts (ELA).
  • High use of EngageNY was at least partly driven by educators’ desire to help students meet state standards.
  • EngageNY gives students more opportunities to engage in standards-aligned practices compared with other materials.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Last week a new book entitled “Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science” was launched. Written in collaboration between a number of open leaders, the book covers open education, open access and open science and was published by Ubiquity Press (CC-BY). The material was edited by Rajiv Jhangiani and Robert Biswas-Deiner and is available both online and in print. Congratulations to all those involved!

NEW AUTHORING GUIDE: The Open Textbook Network has created a new guide for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and at the K-12 level. Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.

FUNDING BOOST FOR BCCAMPUS: Last week the province’s Minister of Advanced Education announced $250,000 in funding for BCcampus’ Open Textbook Project. The funding is welcomed by BCcampus who currently boasts a collection of 180 open textbooks and has saved BC students $4 million to date.

RPT CHANGES AT UBC: During a regular revision of the institution’s Guide to Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Procedures, faculty pursuing the Educational Leadership Stream at UBC can now be evaluated for their contributions to “open education repositories/resources”.

COOL4ED STUDY: A new study exploring the instructor and student experiences of open textbook use at higher education institutions in California was published last month. The study entitled “Instructor and student experiences with open textbooks, from the California open online library for education (Cool4Ed)” was conducted by Ozgur Ozdemir and Christina Hendricks.

MORE MILLIONS SAVED: The Maricopa Millions OER project has saved Maricopa Community College students over 9 million dollars in its first four years. The project which was projected to save students 5 million dollars in five year’s has already surpassed that initial goal and the cost savings are set to continue.

ED OPEN LICENSING POLICY: Two months ago the Department of Education formally adopted its Open Licensing rule for grant programs. Two weeks ago, the Department published a notice that it would be delaying the effective date of the rule by 60 days as an extension of the Administration’s regulatory freeze, and it will now go into effect until May 22. The Department has opened up a public comment period about the delay, and we encourage the community to comment prior to the April 20th deadline.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: Registration for the Open Textbook Summit 2017, is now open! BCcampus’ annual event will be taking place May 24-25 in Vancouver, BC. 

OPPORTUNITY: The Open Textbook Network is seeking your feedback to help their library grow. What is a new open textbook (or two!) that you would like to see in the Open Textbook Library?

OPPORTUNITY: The Year of Open is looking for your thoughts on how they can improve this effort!

OPPORTUNITY: The Campaign for Education could use your help! Sign the petition here

OPPORTUNITY: The Rebus Community is looking for individuals interested in taking part in their Peer Review Working Group.


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

FROM ALBERTA: “The undergraduate Students’ Union has been a strong advocate for OERs, and Alicia Lunz, current vice-president academic of the SU has been a driving force behind this initiative. “This pilot program is the culmination of a lot of hard work between Dr. Lynn Taylor and myself. The program will allow professors to enhance their knowledge of open education resources and in turn, make them more available to students. As I leave my role in the Students’ Union, I look forward to seeing the impact this will have on the student experience and on the financial barriers that persist in post-secondary education,” she says.” Read more>>

FROM WASHINGTON: The goal for faculty, administration and student government is helping students finish their degrees on time and with as little cost as possible. Sacrificing textbooks to pay bills doesn’t help accomplish that. For Troy, the move toward OER is an obvious one, despite the challenges. “Affordable textbooks will increase student success, help students be more engaged in the classroom, and when students have access to the materials they need, they will be more successful overall,” Troy said. “It’s going to be a game-changer.” Read more>>


Rajiv Jhangiani‏ @thatpsychprof March 27

It’s out!!! Our new edited book (CC-BY) about Open #oep #oer #oa #openscience from @ubiquitypress Pls share widely! …


Interesting Reads on Education and Open

A Defender of Impoverished Students, and a Scholar of Their Struggles | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Annie Gaines | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates | Library Journal

April Open Perspective: What is Open Pedagogy? | The Year of Open

At SLCC ‘Open Education Resources’ Lowering Cost of College | benzinga

Campaign Spotlights Global Open Education Movement | Campus Technology

E-ffordability Summit Looks at Textbook Costs |

International Projects Category: Award Winner and Runners Up | The Guardian

Open Educational Resources Movement Scales Up | Education Week

‘Open’ Ed. Provider Steps Into English/Language Arts Market | EdWeek Market Brief

Proposed Cap On Textbook Costs in Peril After Colleges Object | Columbus Business First

Schools Shift to Free Public Domain Curricula | Wall Street Journal

The Open Educational Resources Movement is Redefining the Concept of Online Textbooks | University Affairs

Trial and Error: Cutting Textbook Costs | Inside Higher Ed

Vancouver Pilots Comprehensive Open Math Curriculum | Getting Smart

What is OER? 5 Questions About Open Educational Resources | Education Week

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