Month: October 2017

Regular Edition

OER Digest – October 26th, 2017

From Kaitlyn Vitez (USPIRG) | Volume 43 | October 26th, 2017

With updates from Brady Yano, Ethan Senack, and Katie Steen

THE OER DIGEST

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

HAPPY OPEN ACCESS WEEK: In celebration of International Open Access Week, Stephen Hawking announced that his 1966 Doctoral Thesis on Properties of Expanding Universes would be made publicly available for the first time. Demand to view his work was so high it crashed the Cambridge University’s repository! Be sure to check out local events near you, and follow the conversation at #OAWeek.

CENGAGE SIGNALS CHANGE: Earlier this month, publishing giant Cengage launched OpenNow, a new product line targeting general education courses. Cengage has indicated that they plan to license the  narrative and assessment content in OpenNow under a CC-BY open license. OpenNow includes content from OpenStax and other sources, new content created by Cengage, and content previously under a Cengage copyright. Cengage advertises the starting cost per course as $25.

CALL TO ACTION: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo published a letter last week that highlighted the state’s open textbook initiatives. The governor’s letter calls for students, faculty, and staff to do more at Bryant University and other schools to do more to promote OER.

KEY QUOTE: One year into the initiative, we can report over $870,000 in savings for over 6,000 Rhode Island students. And that number is growing.”

TWO NEW TOOLS: Creative Commons USA, the Rebus Community, and the Open Textbook Network created an Adaptable Open Educational Resources Publishing Agreement, designed to be a starting point for higher education institutions looking to contract with their faculty to create OER. Earlier this week SPARC in conjunction with a team of librarians released a new resource entitled OER Mythbusting, aimed at busting seven of the most common North American higher education OER myths.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: On behalf of the entire OER Digest team, happy birthday to our friends at BCcampus who earlier this week celebrated the 5th birthday of the BC Open Textbook Project!

OPEN CONFERENCES

Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  

FEEDBACK: Have feedback after attending #OpenEd17? Submit your suggestions here.

REPORT BACKS: Read (or listen to) some hot takes on #OpenEd17: Kelsey Merkley, Daniel Williamson, Amanda Coolidge, Bonni Stachowiak, Karen Cangialosi, David Wiley, Lauri Aesoph, and Scott Robison. Send us your own additions at oerdigest@gmail.com.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: OE Global 2018 has extended their call for proposals until October 30th! https://conference.oeconsortium.org/2018/call-for-proposals/

REGISTER: Michigan is hosting a #GoOpen Summit at three sites across the state on December 5th.The program’s breakout sessions are designed for K-12 district administrators. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/GoOpen_Summit_Flyer_600903_7.pdf

REGISTER: OpenCon Live will be taking place November 11-13th. Tune in for a few hours, or a few days, from wherever you are to become an expert in different areas of Open, build your network, and help accelerate progress! http://www.opencon2017.org/opencon_2017_live

REGISTER: The 2017 Textbook Affordability Conference will be held on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, November 10th-12th. https://tac.nacs.org/

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted

FROM MISSOURI: “At first we were seeing some resistance [from instructors to OER],” scholarly communications librarian Josh Bolick. “But I think they are beginning to see that this is a reality moving forward and it can not be ignored… More lower-income bracket students are going to college today than ever before, so you see universities around the country starting to pay more attention to cost issues.” Read more>>

FROM CONNECTICUT: The Daily Campus editorial board highlights the work of student activists in promoting OER at UConn, and calls on the school to provide more resources to make the switch to OER in introductory courses: “As long as the textbooks are of the same quality, there is no justifiable reason for professors not to switch to open source resources. Students are already weighed down by the cost of tuition and room and board, as well as other university fees and expenses. If the university can save students several thousand dollars by merely switching textbooks, it should do so.” Read more >>>

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

The Rebus community released their first book, Financial Strategy for Public Managers, by Sharon Kioko and Justin Marlowe. It was peer-reviewed by a team of eight experts, and holds the top ranking on Amazon for Government Accounting books. It covers everything from the basics of accounting to the politics and process of budget preparation.

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

EdTech Hero: Barbara Soots paves the way for OER adoption in Washington | EdScoop

http://edscoop.com/edtech-hero-barbara-soots-washington

Interesting to Consider >>

A Horizontal Move in the Right Direction | Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/10/26/benefits-horizontal-approach-open-educational-resources-essay

Imagining the “open” university: sharing scholarship to improve research and education | PLOS Biology

http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002614

Openness and the Decline of the Textbook Author | Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/10/24/openly-licensed-educational-content-and-decline-author-essay

Why am I spending three hundred dollars on textbooks? | The Student Life

http://tsl.news/opinions/6992/

Textbook Capitalism | The Stanford Daily

https://www.stanforddaily.com/2017/10/20/textbook-capitalism/

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.

Regular Edition

OER Digest – October 5th, 2017

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 41 | October 5th, 2017

With updates from Manuela Ekowo, Katie Steen and Brady Yano

THE OER DIGEST

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

TIME FLIES! This past week marks the two-year anniversary of the OER Digest. What started as a project to reduce time spent on conference calls has grown significantly since then. Today, we provide news and updates for hundreds of advocates and educators around the country, and we’re the primary source of OER news for more than a quarter of our readers. That’s why – to better serve our community – we asked for your feedback, and we’ve made some small changes. But don’t worry! The principle remains the same: we’ll keep things short, focused, and useful.

TEXTBOOK ACT IS BACK: On September 26th, bicameral and now bi-partisan legislation to support the creation and adoption of OER was introduced in Congress by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), and King (I-ME), and by Representatives Polis (D-CO) and Sinema (D-AZ). This is the fifth iteration of the bill, which creates a grant program at the U.S. Department of Education for colleges and universities to develop pilot programs that use OER to reduce the cost of textbooks for students. While the bill does not have a strong chance of passing by itself, it does create groundwork for OER to be included in reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

  • Update: Congressmen Curbelo (FL) and Nolan (MN), as well as Senator Reed (RI) recently co-sponsored the bills.

OPEN GOVERNMENT: On Friday, September 29th, the White House Office of Management and Budget hosted a workshop with civil society on the 4th Open Government Partnership U.S. National Action Plan. The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative to promote transparency, accountability, public participation, and technology and innovation in governance. A number of advocates submitted commitments on open data, open science, and open education, which have been included in previous National Action Plans. The 4th NAP will be published this month.

BIG MONEY: OER racked up some big dollar savings in the higher education arena this week, as the state of RI announced it had saved students $870,000 on textbooks in just one year, Santa Fe College announced $1 million in student savings from almost 300 course sections using OER, and the University of North Dakota announced $3.7 million in savings over the last two years of their OER program.

OER REACH INCARCERATED YOUTH: Two tech companies are launching an initiative using open-source technology and open educational resources to provide incarcerated youth the opportunity to continue learning and building re-entry skills. The initiative will be piloted in 5 states – Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah – and organizers say they’re hoping to “dispel the myths, and shine a light on the value of digital literacy in rehabilitating young offenders.”

SCHOOLOGY REPORT: A new survey of nearly 3,000 K-12 educators from LMS-provider Schoology attempts in investigate barriers to digital learning in the classroom. Lack of teacher time to incorporate technology into materials and inadequate access to devices for students topped the list, followed quickly by ineffective professional development.

  • Also in the survey: 95% of educators said that digital learning has positive impacts on students. 90% reported using ‘static’ digital resources like PDFs, and only 37% reported using OER by name.

GLOBAL RECOGNITION: The CU Boulder OER project, known as the PhET Interactive Simulations was recognized with a 2017 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award. This prestigious international award highlights innovative educational projects that address challenges and bring transformative societal change. Since its inception, PhET has been used more than 80 million times a year by students and teachers across the educational spectrum.

OPEN CONFERENCES

Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

NEXT WEEK: is OpenEd 2017, and the full Digest team will be in attendance. We’ll be putting together a special video edition from Anaheim, so if you’re interested in having your organization/project featured, please email us at oerdigest@gmail.com!

DEADLINE: The call for proposals for the Open Education Global 2018 Conference closes on October 23rd.  https://conference.oeconsortium.org/2018/call-for-proposals/

REGISTER: Enrollment is now open for the David Wiley/George Siemens EdX MOOC on OER. https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-open-education-utarlingtonx-link-oex

REPORTING BACK: Cable Green shares his thoughts and takeaways from the 2nd World OER Congress. https://creativecommons.org/2017/10/02/2nd-world-oer-congress-2017-ljubljana-oer-action-plan/

 

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted

FROM ALABAMA: “Smith, a junior economics major, stressed the importance of adopting [an OER] program… “I think the rising price of textbooks hurts a lot of students’ ability to gain knowledge… and it restricts the free flow of knowledge that college is supposed to foster,” Smith said. “There’s this broken economic model. It’s not consumers and producers; there’s this third external party, so there’s not any competition.” Read More >

FROM MICHIGAN: “Bay College will hold its second “Free the Textbooks OER Rally” on Tuesday, October 17, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., in the Student Success Center (the “HUB”). The event, featuring free food, soft drinks, and prizes, is being held to bring awareness and energy to Bay College’s open educational resources (OER) degree initiative.” Read More >

FROM NEW BRUNSWICK: “It’s an issue that is not going unnoticed by the UNB Student Union. In an effort to raise awareness on the issue of the high textbook costs, the UNBSU is moving forward with a textbook pricing campaign. According to Bempah, the Student Union wants UNB to “explicitly support open education resources—and to promise that they’re going to work on it and to ensure that it becomes a reality here at UNB.” Read more >

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

The Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges just released Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology – an open access, peer-reviewed cultural anthropology textbook. See the story of how it was created, and check out the resource here: http://perspectives.americananthro.org/

 

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Top districts use savings from OER curriculum to invest in professional learning | Education Dive http://www.educationdive.com/news/administrators-consider-teachers-professional-learning-needs-in-using-digi/504588/

Interesting to Consider >>

How Machine Learning Is Easing OER Pain Points | Campus Technology

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/10/04/how-machine-learning-is-easing-oer-pain-points.aspx

How a $14 Billion Industry Robs Students and Professors | NDSU Spectrum

http://ndsuspectrum.com/textbook-scam-14-billion-industry-robs-students-professors/

Elsevier launches free science definitions service | Times Higher Education

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/elsevier-launches-free-science-definitions-service

How do you choose an open educational resource? | Education Dive

http://www.educationdive.com/news/how-do-you-choose-an-open-educational-resource/504110/

Leading Curriculum Reform Efforts Using Open Educational Resources | New America

https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/curriculum-reform-using-oer/

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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