From Aishah Abdullah (SPARC) | Volume 125 | March 18th, 2021
With updates from Hailey Babb
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
STOP ANTI-ASIAN RACISM: The OER Digest stands against the recent attacks in Atlanta targeting Asian-American women, and all other acts of racism and gender-based violence. up//root knowledge, a publication of We Here (an organization that seeks to provide a safe and supportive community for Black and Indigenous folks, and People of Color in library and information science professions and educational programs), have put together a Twitter thread of organizations that fight anti-Asian hate as well as a list of other resources for supporting this work. Please share other anti-racism resources with firstname.lastname@example.org for our next edition.
NEW CO-AUTHOR: Hello Everyone! My name is Aishah Abdullah and I am the new Open Education Coordinator at SPARC. I am excited to be joining as a co-author of the OER Digest! I graduated in May of 2020 from the University of Maryland at College Park with an undergraduate degree in Education Policy. I also attended and graduated from Montgomery College, a nearby community college. On both campuses, I promoted OER to faculty on behalf of my fellow students, and I also have a passion for anything education related that focuses on making our system more equitable. I look forward to joining this community!
#OPENED21 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Open Education Conference is recruiting volunteers to be part of the conference planning team. To be considered for a committee role, you must apply by Friday March 19th. The deadline for proposal reviewers is April 30th.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
GRANT OPPORTUNITY: The Pedagogy Lab at the Center for Black, Brown and Queer Studies have established a summer fellowship with a $5000 stipend for a cohort of graduate students and early career scholars and teachers to create BIPOC and/or queer studies-focused OER. Interested applicants can learn more here.
CALL FOR REVIEWERS: The Rebus Community is seeking peer-reviewers for an upcoming publication, The OER Starter Kit for Program Managers. The call will close on Monday, April 5th, 2021. You can view the full text of the call for reviewers here.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for the Open Education Southern Symposium closes this Friday March 19th. You can submit your proposal here.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for The Northeast OER Summit are due Sunday, March 21. You can submit your proposal here.
WEBINAR: Register for this free webinar, hosted by the New England Board of Higher Education, that focuses on best practices of inviting students into the creation process of high-quality, open educational resources. Registrants will learn how students can help diversify OER and the best ways to effectively collaborate with them. The webinar is March 29th at 10:00 am EDT. You can read more and register for the event here.
WEBINAR: The National Forum, based in Ireland, is hosting the National Webinar Series focused on “Using OER and OEP for Teaching and Learning.” Registrants will learn about how they can explore and support the use of open educational resources in their own situations. The webinar is taking place on March 26th at 8:30 am EDT. You can register for the event here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM COLORADO: The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has approved $875,000 for OER projects. These grants will be spread out to several institutions across the state who will utilize the money in different ways. The planned projects range from redesigning individual course materials as well as aiding overall institutional efforts when it comes to promoting OER. This grant will help continue the state’s work towards expanding OER within their institutions. Their efforts thus far have already saved Colorado students over $4,000,000. Read more>>
FROM ILLINOIS: The College of Dupage, based within Illinois, has begun a new OER program. By pushing for the usage of OER in more classrooms, it has resulted in students saving approximately $660,000 in the Fall 2020 semester. The provost of Dupage, Mark Curtis-Chavez states how, “students who might have forgone buying an expensive textbook in the past are able to access and utilize OER content, ideally contributing to their academic success.” The provost shares how making OER standard helps level the playing field, especially for those who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Read More>>
FROM ALABAMA: The Alabama Community College System and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education are working in partnership to provide grants for educators to be professionally trained in producing free online textbooks for students in Alabama colleges. The training will consist of acquiring a Creative Commons Certificate, which is gained after a 10-week online course focused on teaching about Creative Commons licensing and how to create and share their work openly. The goal of this grant is to have more teachers be qualified to release open educational resources and in return give students more access to textbook free classes. Read More>>
FROM TEXAS: The University of Texas at Arlington is including OER in their postbaccalaureate certificate in Transportation Planning and Policy. The open resources were able to be created through an Open Textbook Pilot grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant allowed for the funding of six open textbooks, three which are being produced by UTA. Numerous UTA faculty members have made developments for utilizing OER in their respective departments; however, when it comes to transportation planning there is still minimal OER content. Read More>>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Hannah Kosick, a student at Cape Breton University (CBU), released an openly licensed book called Bumble Bees of Unama’ki: A Guide to Becoming a Buzzing Naturalist. This book was published through CBU’s Pressbook’s site. This open resource is accompanied by interactive quizzes, videos, and texts. Readers can learn more about bumble bees and actions they can take to protect them.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Open Textbooks Open Doors | The Highlander
Interesting to Consider >>
Increasing Student Engagement and Learning with OERs: An Interview with Paul Heideman | William and Mary Libraries
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.