OER Digest – August 24, 2017

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 38 | August 24th, 2017

With updates from Manuela Ekowo and Katie Steen



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

SEEKING FEEDBACK – A QUICK ASK FOR OUR READERS: The two-year anniversary of the OER Digest is coming up this October, and we have a quick favor to ask. We’ve put together a quick, 9-question survey about the Digest to help us understand what’s useful, and what we can improve. We’re hoping to learn more about what you – and all our readers – think, so we can make the Digest even better moving forward. Would you be willing to fill it out?


BRIEFING CONGRESS: Achieving the Dream – the national, nonprofit championing evidence-based institutional improvement and coordinating a massive OER degree pathway program – is hosting a briefing for Congressional staff next month on their OER degree initiative. The briefing will include presidents of two community colleges that are running OER degree programs.

SUMMER INSTITUTE: The Open Textbook Network welcomed 100 delegates to its annual Summer Institute & Summit in Minneapolis. The institute focused on supporting OTN members to advance their local initiatives, strengthening relationships in this fast-growing community, and explore ways the OTN can pool resources and expertise to address challenges in open education.

MOOC ON MOOCS: Two familiar faces to the open education community – David Wiley and George Siemens – are teaming up to offer a six-week MOOC around, well, MOOCs and open education. The duo hopes to reach graduate students pursuing careers in education and teaching, so they can confront misconceptions and build understanding of OER among the next generation of educators.

#ASKCC: Creative Commons USA hosted a twitter chat with more than 100 participants – primarily educators and librarians – around the country to answer questions about copyright and open licenses in real time.

FASTR: The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was reintroduced in both the House and Senate with bipartisan cosponsors a few weeks ago. The bill requires federal agencies with research budgets in excess of $100M to have a public access policy for federally funded research. The House version requires that research publications be made accessible to the public within 6 months after publication in a journal, and the Senate version requires they be made public within 12 months. SPARC is tracking the bill.



Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: Rebus Community is holding office hours next week on August 30th, discussing open textbook metadata. RSVP here: https://about.rebus.community/2017/07/august-office-hours-metadata-for-open-textbooks/

EVENT: CCCOER is hosting a panel on open education degrees with representatives from BCcampus, WikiEducation, and Lumen Learning on August 30th. See more here: https://www.cccoer.org/2017/08/11/aug-30-open-education-degrees-panel-discussion/

OPPORTUNITY: Creative Commons Global is seeking stories about collaboration in the commons. Submit one here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdqwV_8L-si9WB6eqWQr1z_l7u6X_pGgkNzl-xyiTc6tUBcJw/viewform

OPPORTUNITY: Contribute toward the Ljubljana OER Action Plan on Open Educational Resources leading up to the 2nd World OER Congress co-organized by UNESCO and the Government of Slovenia here: http://www.oercongress.org/woerc-actionplan/

LAST CHANCE: Deadline tomorrow! There are a number of OER-focused panels up for consideration at next year’s SXSWedu. Create an account and upvote your choices here: https://auth.sxsw.com/users/sign_up.

SUBSCRIBE: If you haven’t already – subscribe to the OER Digest here.


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

FROM MICHIGAN: “For an LCC student paying about $309 for a psychology class where the textbook new costs $150, open educational resources represent significant savings, Kelland said. Moving forward, LCC is working to finalize its first Z degree in psychology – a degree obtainable with zero textbook costs. It’s just the start, according to Kelland. “Five years from now I’d expect lots of Z degree options.”” Read More >

FROM TEXAS: “The policy that I’m most passionate about is our open educational resources initiative, that I anticipate having an immensely positive impact on our campus and students. The Clegg-Merritt administration has been working throughout the summer to alleviate some of the financial strain students experience regarding textbook prices.” Read More >

FROM OKLAHOMA: “TCC encourages professors to use the OpenStax books to save students money. “I am really happy to be doing this work. I feel like it’s philanthropy at work,” said Jennifer Kneafsey, professor. The OpenStax books are available now for mainly core classes, but as that selection expands, TCC hopes more professors will adopt these low-cost textbooks. “We hope to spread this year into more of the social sciences, history, the federal government, but we hope to expand,” Kneafsey said. Read More >


Office of Ed Tech‏ @OfficeofEdTech Aug 17  Click to ReTweet >>

Want to learn more about Open Educational Resources? Start here! http://tech.ed.gov/open/  #OER #GoOpen #edtech



Interesting Reads Relating to Education and Open

How New Technologies Can Help K-12 Schools Do More with Less | Forbes


Mohave Community College plans to bolster free online curriculum | Havasu News


Open education resources create engaging learning experience | The Suburban Times


Textbooks’ decline tied to tech advances, increase in digital access | The Herald Sun


If Higher Education Were A Public Good… | Forbes Opinion


Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at oerdigest@gmail.com, or tweet us @OERdigest.

The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. You can join the open Google Group or check out the distribution list here.

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