From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 74 | February 7th, 2019
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
POLICY UPDATES: With the new legislative year underway, a host of OER bills have been introduced at the state level. Bills to create course designations for low-cost/no-cost materials passed the House in Virginia, and were introduced in Washington (4-year schools and 2-year schools). Legislators in Minnesota introduced a bill requiring each college to offer an “Z-degree”. New York introduced a pair of bills creating a NY OER Council, and requiring Boards of Trustees to report back about use of OER on their campuses. Hawaii and Massachusetts have proposed bills to study the feasibility of a statewide OER initiative and greater investment in digital, low cost materials, respectively.
SUING OVER INCLUSIVE ACCESS: A used textbook store is suing Trident Technical College in South Carolina over their “inclusive access” policy. The school has contracted with Pearson for access to their catalogue, paid for by an automatic fee on students tuition bill. While the specifics or the legal challenge aren’t clear yet, the store calls into question two particular aspects of the deal – that the college guaranteed Pearson a certain number of enrollments in the program (falling short of which, Pearson would be allowed to revert all materials to their full cost), and that the deal did not legitimately offer students a way to “opt-out” of the program, as required by federal regulation, because access codes are essentially required to participate in class. More to come as this progresses.
OPEN UP 2.0: Open Up Resources released the second version of their lauded Math 6-8 curriculum this week, which includes updates and a full Spanish version. Per their CEO, “The second edition of Open Up Resources 6–8 Math is a massive step forward for education equity, and a perfect example of how we’re committed to helping all students and districts succeed.”
ON THE RISE: A new report from Simba Information, a high-profile industry research group, finds thats use of OER in K-12 education has increased. While the report itself is not public, this is their key takeway: “Despite the challenges with using OER—like identifying and sustaining quality resources amid a plethora of available material—schools’ good experiences with OER likely will lead them to continue down that path, while positive feedback shared will encourage other educators to give OER a try.”
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
EVENTS: We’re just one month out from Open Education Week (March 4-8th). Submit your events to the official site here AND send them to us to share in the Digest!
REGISTER: NC Live is hosting their annual conference, themed “The Future is Open” on May 13th in Greensboro. Proposals are due in two weeks, and you can register here.
PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for OE Global 2019 in Milan, November 26-28th, opened this week. Session ideas can be submitted here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM NEW YORK: So, before taking their PUB 320 final, Kruger’s students got to savor their achievement — with cake and an unveiling of their scholarly work, “Models and Mechanisms of Public Health.” Every student in the class received a bound copy of the textbook, which they wrote during the semester and used as the reading material for the course. The book covered three main topics: environmental health, health behavior theories and health disparities.The textbook was created as an open educational resource, meaning it’s free and accessible to anyone, anywhere. That’s what made the project more special to sophomore Alexandra Kouptsova, who designed the cover. Read More >
FROM TORONTO: With a provincial grant, Hinić-Frlog worked with staff from the University of Toronto Mississauga Library and U of T’s Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation to create a nine-chapter textbook that is built around Hinić-Frlog’s biology course and includes review questions and learning objectives as well, as links to external podcast and video resources. “It fits exactly what I want to do in every lecture,” Hinić-Frlog says. “This is a living document and can change as we are using it. Before I post a lecture, I edit the book to integrate parts of the chapters into my lectures, and parts of my lectures into the textbook.” Read More >
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Mixing it up this week, we want to highlight a set of new, high quality simulations from PhET Simulations at CU Boulder. These animations, licensed CC-BY, cover a variety of topics in physics, chemistry, and more. See one of their latest – Energy Forms and Changes, or follow them on Twitter for more updates.
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share
Great to Share >>
Faculty save students $1.1 million on course materials | UAB News
Interesting to Consider >>
‘Inclusive Access’ and the Comcast Problem | Inside Higher Ed https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/inclusive-access-and-comcast-problem
Is it possible to decolonize the Commons? | Creative Commons
OER as an Institutional Survival Strategy | Inside Higher Ed http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/oer-institutional-survival-strategy
The rising cost of textbooks is making life more difficult for students | The Triangle
Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.