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. https://docs.google.com/a/sparcopen.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeF6gsdCWMWcdixbFjgn6L-GCqvsXTEb4a8UCTI7qHFkWQrLg/viewform  

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. https://bccampus.ca/otsummit-2017/

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. https://www.formpl.us/form/6223128298520576

OPPORTUNITY: The Rebus Community is looking for individuals to join a working group aimed at investigating approaches for open textbook peer review. https://forum.rebus.community/topic/130/review-peer-review-for-open-textbooks


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 http://bit.ly/2oQRzJA  #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


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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