From Mo Nyamweya | Volume 104 | April 15, 2020
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
#COVID19: We will continue to share some of our favorite, new links for planning, reading, and supporting our communities during this time:
WEBINAR SERIES: As teachers are making an emergency shift to online education, one component of that struggle is navigating concerns around copyright when finding digital teaching materials. To help with this transition,The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University Washington College of Law and Creative Commons USA are hosting a series of webinars on best practices in fair use, divided into two tracks – one for K-12 education and another for higher education. The first webinar on educational fair use in the COVID-19 emergency will be held on April 17th at 12:00pm ET for K-12 and 3:00pm ET for higher ed. Click here to register and find more information.
STRATEGIZING OER: The Hewlett Foundation has released their latest Open Education strategy, which outlines their goals and strategic priorities for supporting and growing OER initiatives around the world. The strategy outlines 3 main priorities: developing pedagogy, practice and content; building capacity for educational institutions to integrate and implement OER; and developing an inclusive, responsive field. Read more about the Hewlett Foundation’s plans for the next phase of open education here.
OPEN TEXTBOOK PILOT: The deadline to submit public comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbook Pilot is approaching on April 30 at 11:59pm EDT. The public comment period is an opportunity to offer input on the priorities, definitions, and requirements of the grant program. The Department of Education published a blog post with additional details here, and SPARC has published a set of informational resources here.
NEW OER PODCAST: New America’s new podcast titled Revise, Remix, and Redesign has posted their first episode. In each episode, podcast host Kristina Ishmael will interview someone in the OER community to discuss various topics relating to K-12 OER. New episodes will be posted every Monday.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
#OPENED20: The first planning meeting for the 2020 OpenEd Conference will take place this Friday April 17 at 3pm EDT. The meeting will offer an update, answer questions, and gather community input. There is optional registration here, and the login information, notes, and recording will be posted here.
OFFICE HOURS: OTN & Rebus Community’s April office hours will focus on making modular OER. Office hours will be held on April 23 at 2pm ET / 11am PT. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Researchers at University of Nevada – Reno are conducting a survey on OER and accessibility, and practices of librarians who work with open educational resources. If you’re a librarian who works with OER and you’re interested in participating, you can find more information here. The deadline to respond is May 8.
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Researchers at Brigham Young University are conducting a survey on OER and other affordable resource programs. The outcome of the research will be a framework that can be used to facilitate implementation or improvement of OER/affordability programs. You can find more information here, or participate in the survey here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM NEVADA: The Association of College & Research Libraries has awarded a $5,000 Scholarly Communications Research Grant to the University Libraries at the University of Nevada – Reno. The grant will be used to fund research to test the accessibility of open textbooks, and to hire a student assistant to help with the research. “The Scholarly Communications Research Grant will allow us to do further research on accessible textbooks so we can recommend those textbooks to professors to use in their courses,” said Teresa Shultz, social sciences librarian for the University Libraries. Read more >>
FROM INDIANA: Trine University’s Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership programs, both offered online, allow students to complete their degrees without paying for textbooks in their core courses by using OER, library databases, faculty-developed content, and other free resources. Trine University also offers 46 individual courses online that feature OER and other free resources in place of traditional textbooks. “We are confident that, as we continue to refine our OER courses and materials, we will see increased positive student outcomes,” said Keirstan Eberts, assistant vice president for Trine University’s online programs. Read more >>
FROM IOWA: University of Iowa’s OpenHawks grant program was created to fund faculty efforts to replace traditional textbooks with OER. The program will save students an estimated $100,000 next year and by the end of the three-year pilot program, UI aims to save students at least $225,000. OpenHawks OER has already reached students in at least one class. “I had a student the first week of class who said she didn’t have money to buy the book. I told her it’s free and that I wrote it for them so they didn’t have to buy it,” said Ted Neal, clinical associate professor in the College of Education at UI. Read more >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Virginia Tech Libraries has released “Voices of Virginia: An Auditory Primary Source Reader”, a new open resource that pulls together stories from oral history collections from across decades and archives to create an all-audio source companion for Virginia’s college and high school students.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
What’s “Open” During COVID-19? In Global Pandemic, OER and Open Access Matter More than Ever | New England Board of Higher Education
Interesting to Consider >>
Education in Times of Crisis and Beyond | Creative Commons
Physical or digital: Electronic textbooks’ hidden cost | Collegiate Times
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.