OER Digest – May 4th, 2017

From Ethan Senack (Creative Commons USA) | Volume 30 | May 4th, 2017

With help from Brady Yano (SPARC) and Cable Green (Creative Commons)


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


AUTHOR’S NOTE (ES): As you may have heard, Digest co-author Katie Steen (USPIRG) is moving onto a summer campaign for the next few months and will be away from her email, so I’m temporarily returning to the Digest team to help Brady Yano (SPARC) bring you consistent updates from the OER field. I’m thrilled to come back and see how much the Digest community has grown, and I look forward to sharing your updates and ideas.


REPORTING BACK: This past week saw a ton of OER and open advocates in Toronto, Canada, for the Creative Commons Global Summit. More than 400 practitioners, lawyers, and advocates gathered to discuss the direction of the CC network and licenses. Two major updates – the release of Made with CC, Creative Commons’ kickstarter-funded book on open business models around the world that will be available to the public on May 5th at https://creativecommons.org/made-with-cc/, and the release of the 2016 State of the Commons report, which shows over 1.2 billion CC-licensed works at https://stateof.creativecommons.org/.


STATE LEG UPDATE: A Texas bill (SB810) creating a $200,000 state OER grant program, establishing protocols for “OER course designations” in course catalogs, and ordering a statewide feasibility study has passed the Senate and moved to the House there. In Washington state, the Governor signed legislation (SB5449) that included a provision to “to identify and develop additional open educational resources to support digital citizenship, media literacy, and internet safety in schools.


FINAL COMMENT: A coalition letter signed by 18 organizations urging the Department of Education to move ahead with their Open Licensing Rule, finalized this January but delayed until May 22nd, has been posted. In the weeks ahead, the Department will be reviewing the comments submitted – many of which were positive toward OER – and will make a decision about whether or not to delay the rule any longer. The letter, here>>


PEARSON’S PARTNERSHIP: Publishing giant Pearson announced a partnership with indiCo, a subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores (NACS), to list their digital “rental-only” textbooks in over 1,500 campus bookstores. All of the titles will be rentable for less than $100.


PANOPEN X LEARNOSITY: Last week, panOpen and Learnosity announced that they have partnered to integrate Learnosity’s assessment and homework capabilities into panOpen’s OER-based learning platform. They pitch it as the “First OER Platform with Commercial-Quality Assessments and Homework.” Read more>>


CAMPUS ACTION:  University of Arkansas, Fayetteville recently announced that five of their faculty are set to receive up to $33,000 as part of a new grant program encouraging faculty to use OER. The first set of UA grants have been awarded to faculty teaching introductory or core classes and are expected to impact  more than 1,000 students. Houston Community College also announced that they’ve received a $300,000 grant to develop a Z-Degree, or zero-textbook cost degree, in Business Administration and General Studies. They plan to pilot it with 100 students starting this fall.


A DIFFERENT TAKE: The Drexel student newspaper reported these interesting findings from the Green Press Initiative last week: “Each year, approximately 30 million trees are used to make books sold in the United States — 1,153 times the number of trees in New York City’s Central Park. Many of these trees are sourced from endangered forests with devastating impacts on the people and wildlife that rely on them. So, by making the switch to digital, we can minimize the impact our actions have on forests and wildlife.”



Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities


EVENT: bepress will be hosting a webinar entitled Supporting Student Success with Open Educational Resources on May 9th from 11-12 PDT. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4275264429721961986

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/


EVENT: The Rebus Community will be hosting their June Office Hour event on June 5th at 3 EDT/ 12 PDT. The topic of the call will be Accessibility in Open Textbooks. RSVP here.


OPPORTUNITY: OpenStax announced that they’re accepting a new round of applications for their  Institutional Partnership Program. https://openstax.org/impact



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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA: “To keep her course content relevant, Serrano used to spend time making copies, writing exercises, and tailoring resources to her students’ needs. With her digital textbook, she provides current resources that can be continually updated in the online environment. Serrano used her e-book for the first time this semester, and her 25 Spanish I students collectively saved approximately $8,440.” Read More>>


FROM TEXAS: “In fall 2017, the Z-Degree pilot program will start offering an Associate of Arts in business Administration and an Associate of Arts in General Studies. Both degree tracks will be completely free of jaw-dropping textbook price tags.“In these times of increasing educational costs, it’s essential that HCC does everything that it possibly can to help reduce costs for student and help make a college education more affordable for our students,” said Steve Levey, HCC’s Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Instruction.” Read More>>


FROM CANADA: A deep dive on eCampus Ontario, BCcampus, what their leaders are up to, and more. Read the article>>



@LaylaBonnot: @Alanis we rewrote iconic ‘Ironic’ around our open licensing and #oer work! #nerds #oer17 @creativecommons @txtbks



Interesting Reads on Education and Open


A New Value Proposition for Open Textbooks | Inside Higher Ed



Blackboard Launches K–12 Cloud-Based Digital Learning Environment | THE Journal



eCampusOntario Launches Open Textbook Library to Address Student Affordability | On the Go Toronto



OER, on the Ground | Inside Higher Ed



Open Educational Resources Movement Welcomes Growing Pains | The Chronicle



Open on Whose Terms? | The Chronicle



What Would Happen if Learning Materials Were Available Day One? | Education Week



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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