OER Digest – May 18th, 2017

From Brady Yano (SPARC) | Volume 31 | May 18th, 2017

With help from Apurva Ashok


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

#GOOPEN BLOG POST: The U.S. Department of Education published a blog post highlighting the momentum behind the #GoOpen movement, and its interest in collaborating with civil society organizations moving forward.

“Openly licensed educational resources can be powerful tools for transforming learning and providing educational opportunities for all students. When implemented strategically, these resources can help states, districts, schools, and students and their families reinvent approaches to learning and collaboration, shrink long-standing equity and accessibility gaps, and adapt learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners.”

#GoOpen is more than just a hashtag and we look forward to seeing its successes continue with support from the community.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OTN: The Open Textbook Network recently celebrated its 5th birthday! There’s a lot to celebrate at the OTN, including the Open Textbook Library being visited an average of 65,000 times per month and the library celebrating its 1,000th textbook review. On behalf of the OER Digest team, happy birthday OTN!

MORE SAVINGS AT OU: The University of Oklahoma Libraries just announced their fourth year of the Alternative Textbook grant. This year 18 full-time faculty members have received grants to adopt an OER for their course. Students at OU are projected to save an additional $116,000 in a single semester!

COLORADO OER COUNCIL: Colorado has passed S.B. 258, a bill which is set to create an OER Council the in the Department of Higher Education. The Department will evaluate the existing use of OER by public institutions of higher education and consider the options for and obstacles to increasing the use of OER.

PEER REVIEW: The Rebus Community recently formed a working group to assess and develop clear, transparent and effective standards for peer review in Open Textbooks. Following the group’s first call, Rebus is now looking for collaborators to join one of five groups that will explore different topic areas including different types of review over the life of a textbook, how to communicate the types of review a textbook has undergone and develop inga system to recognize the contributions of reviewers.

ECAMPUS ONTARIO LAUNCH: eCampus Ontario will be launching their Open Textbook Library in June! Working in partnership with BCcampus, the new library will offer Ontario post-secondary students access to a repository of over 180 OER.

OPENCON 2017: The annual student and early career professional conference, OpenCon will be taking place November 11-13 in Berlin, Germany. Applications open June 27th!


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: Education Week will be hosting a webinar today at 1pm EDT entitled Powering Student Engagement With a Successful OER Strategy. Click here to register.

EVENT: Future Ready will be hosting a webinar on May 24th at 2pm EDT exploring the topic of knowing if OER materials are of high quality. Registration is required. http://all4ed.org/webinar-event/may-24-2017/

EVENT: The UMass Amherst Libraries will host the Northeast Regional OER Summit June 13-14. Registration is required. https://www.library.umass.edu/services/teaching-and-learning/oer/northeast-oer-summit

EVENT: Saylor Academy will be hosting their Higher Education Summit June 21-22 in Washington D.C. https://summit.saylor.org/

JOB: The San Diego Community College District is looking for an Assistant Professor, Collection Development / Open Educational Resource Librarian. See the job description here. 


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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA: “Professor Serrano is helping to transform education at Penn State,” said Jennifer Sparrow, senior director of TLT. “By providing her students with the OER textbook, she is not only advancing affordability, she is ensuring that all students have access to the course materials the first day of classes. We know that many students will wait to purchase their textbooks until later in the semester. Research has shown that when students have access on day one of their courses, their success in those courses rises dramatically.” Read more>>

FROM UTAH: Ph.D. student Tarah Ikahihifo has been working with BYU’s Open Education Group for a year. Ultimately, she hopes, “OER could revolutionize higher education and provide better opportunities for people who might otherwise drop out. If you can alleviate one source of stress or tension, maybe that’s the relief they need to be motivated to keep going.” Read more>>


Sharon Leu‏ @thesharonleu

The greatest impact of #GoOpen will come from long-term and transformative impact on systems.  @OfficeofEdTech 


Interesting Reads on Education and Open

5 Ways OER Empower Teachers To Choose Their Own Classroom Adventure | Getting Smart


Fiddler: The Cost of Textbooks Is a Huge Obstacle for Poor Students. Here’s a Solution | The 74


Open Season On Learning | Albany Democrat-Herald


Say Goodbye to School Textbooks. Wake County Moving To Free Online Materials | The News&Observer


Strengthening Democracy Through Open Education | University World News


Under Trump, Ed-Tech Leadership Is Big Question Mark | 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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