OER Digest – May 17th, 2018

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 57 | May 17th, 2018

With help from Nicole Allen and Camille Thomas



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


START SPREADING THE NEWS: Governor Cuomo of New York announced yesterday that an additional $8 million has been allocated for OER programs at SUNY and CUNY. This comes on top of an $8 million investment last year to jump start the process. The programs already report over $12 million in savings, and their expectation new is “by the end of the Spring 2019 semester, the initiative will have covered 260,000 students for a total savings of more than $28 million.”

MORE STATE UPDATES: Texas issued their first grant RFP for K-12 textbooks, as established under SB 1784. The new education appropriations bill HF 4328 in Minnesota would require Boards of Trustees at state schools to develop plans to increase affordable textbook options on campus and set goals for how widely they’re used. Virginia has started implementing HB 454, which requires that institutions develop guidelines for OER.

FEDS MOVING FORWARD: The Department of Education has responded to a request from Congress affirming that it’s on track to invite applications for the newly-funded federal OER grant program early this summer. Grants will be available to institutions of higher education for programs that create or expand the use of open textbooks to achieve savings for students, although many of the details of the program still remain to be seen. In the words of Congressional champion Senator Durbin, “I’m encouraged by what we’ve heard from the department so far, but I’ll be watching and so will students across America.”

NEW PUBLISHING TOOL: Rebus Community unveiled their new “Rebus Projects” this week – a platform that facilitates OER publishing. The platform is a space to manage different open textbook projects, coordinate contributors, and work through editing and collaborations. Head here to try out the Beta.

STATE OF THE COMMONS: Creative Commons published their annual “State of the Commons” report this month. The report profiles a variety of aspects in the field of open, but the biggest highlight is that there are now at least 1.4 billion CC-licensed works available worldwide.



Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  

LAST CALL: Northeast OER Summit is a multi-state collaborative event for new and experienced OER advocates to share effective practices on May 31 – June 1. Register by May 24 here.

LAST CALL: The BCcampus Festival of Learning is coming up on May 28-30. Registration is still open here.

REGISTER: Iowa and Nebraska are co-hosting a multi-site #GoOpen Summit on June 11. Find more information and registration here.

REGISTER: Saylor Academy is hosting a Summit on the Credentialing Economy in Washington, DC, on June 7-8. Register here.

JOB: SPARC is hiring an Assistant Director of Open Education. The job posting seeks a recent graduate or early career professional who is passionate about Open to be based in Washington, DC or remotely. Details here.



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

FROM MASSACHUSETTS (IN K-12): “Teachers know that talking about equity issues is important, but don’t always know how to start and end up not doing it. Having openly available curricular materials on equity is a good way to have that first step about equity is one thing and making it more accessible. Teacher capacity and teacher time are also important;” an interview with Teacher of the Year Sydney Chafee. (This posting was delayed from it’s authoring date). Read More >

FROM KANSAS (IN HIGHER ED): “The initiative to reduce the costs for instructional materials is one of the most important efforts the libraries are involved in,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries. “These grants allow us to put the value we place on open access into practice in a way that also supports another core library value — student success — and we are able to develop partnerships across campus with those who share these goals.” Read More >



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

Check out the Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings, a guide developed by UT Arlington librarian Michelle Reed to support implementation of marking OER in course catalogs, which became a statewide requirement in Texas last year through SB 810. The toolkit was originally Michelle’s capstone project in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, and is now being expanded to include case studies.



Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Textbook Alternatives Take Hold at Community Colleges | Inside Higher Ed


Interesting to Consider >>

Where Are All the Faculty in the Open Education Movement? | EdSurge


OER and Dual Enrollment | Inside Higher Ed


Textbook Authors Sue Cengage Over Subscription Model | Inside Higher Ed


How Much Should You Pay for a Free Curriculum? | Open Up Resources


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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