OER Digest – May 31st, 2018

From Camille Thomas, SPARC | Volume 58 | May 31st, 2018

With updates from Nicole Allen and Ethan Senack


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


OER IN STATE CURRICULUM:  New America and CCSSO released Navigating the New Curriculum Landscape: How States are Using and Sharing Open Educational Resources, a report that looks at a range of innovative ways states are using OER to meet curriculum and instructional materials needs, as technology continues permeating through classrooms nationwide.  A few key takeaways:

  • Integrate OER Initiatives Within State Curriculum Work
  • Adapt, Improve, and Share, Rather Than Start From Scratch
  • Identify Sustainable Funding


OPEN POLICY UPDATE: May 22nd marked the one year anniversary of the U.S. Department of Education’s open licensing rule taking effect. The rule was a landmark victory for the U.S. OER community, and is now being implemented in all applicable grant opportunities released by the Department. Meanwhile, Brazil’s OER movement has just achieved a similar landmark victory. The Brazilian Ministry of Education adopted an ordinance requiring K-12 materials funded by the ministry to be OER. Read more here.

HOT TOPIC: Paul Stacey published an op-ed in Edscoop on how traditional textbook publishers can support the OER community. This article has sparked a lot of discussion about the implications of publishers’ roles in OER. Many OER advocates want publishers to prioritize the principles of open moving forward.

ONE-STOP GUIDE: The Ontario College Libraries’ OER Toolkit is a collaboration between Ontario college libraries and learning centres and the Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS). The toolkit is a one-stop guide to OER, providing faculty and library staff with tools and information to understand, engage with, create, and sustain OER in their work and practice.

BC 2018 GRANTS: BC Campus announced nine projects that were awarded their 2018 grant for OER.  BCcampus’ Open Education Grants program is supported by both the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training and the Hewlett Foundation.



Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs 


SAVE THE DATE: OpenCon 2018 will be held November 2-4 in Toronto, Canada. In-person attendance is by application only, and applications will open on June 12. Sign up for updates here.

REGISTER: The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) and Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (Alliance) joint conference on OER in higher education will take place August 1-2, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. The conference theme is “From Vision to Action”. Register here.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: The Open Education Group seeks early career researchers and/or qualified Masters/PhD candidates in the United States and Canada for a fellowship to research topics related to Open Educational Resources (OER). Deadline is June 1, 2018. Apply here.



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


FROM MASS: “In the span of about six months, I went from a nearly unemployed dropout with poor ad-hoc computer science skills to a six-figure technical position at one of the world’s leading technology firms, in large part thanks to the open availability of these materials,” Trent Parker, MIT OpenCourseWare student and creator of open content said.

FROM VIRGINIA: “With the cost of educational materials becoming unaffordable for many students,” Stephen Skripak, Virginia Tech College of Business professor of practice said, “it is extremely gratifying to have contributed to an open source text that saves a student more than $200 every time it is used in a course.” Read More >

FROM MICHIGAN: “This has been a truly cross-campus effort,” Michael Vargo, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Grand Rapids Community College, said. “I appreciate the strong support from everyone at GRCC to make these open educational resources available to students. We want to help students have the materials they need to be successful.” Read More >



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


Open Oregon released Forest Measurements: An Applied Approach, a textbook written for field technicians. It includes applications, illustrations and special technical tips for learners. The creators are still looking for feedback on the new text. Find it here.



Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Humans of OER | Open Education Consortium



Interesting to Consider >>

HAX to revolutionize online course authoring in education technology | Penn State News


College of the Canyons credits student success to fewer barriers | The Signal



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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