From Bilan Jama, Creative Commons USA | Volume 86 | July 25th, 2019
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders register
DIGITAL FIRST: Pearson announced that it is moving from itsa traditional print-based model to one where a “digital first” publishing model, aiming to address any revisions or changes to textbook content will happen first in the digital version. This new development process goes into effect next year and they say all of their 1,500 higher education titles will follow suit over the next few years. Advocates responded to the news by pointing out that the idea of “digital first” is not new to the OER community, which has been implementing this idea for more than a decade.
STATE POLICY: Massachusetts’ H561 was up for a hearing this month. The bill requires the Department of Education to convene a working group to assess and recommend revisions to policies and procedures on media literacy. Massachusetts’ bill S324 was also up for a hearing, and would establish a special commission relative to digital textbooks in the state.
DATA COLLECTION: There is some new research from colleges and universities in Oregon to report savings data using the method that works best for their own local campus environment. They concluded that the courses with the no-cost and low-cost designation in the schedule at 19 institutions are estimated to have saved over 375,000 students in 21,000 course sections approximately $34 million in two academic years.
INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS DASHBOARD: SETDA developed a K12 Instructional Materials Dashboard of state reviewed, full course instructional materials for English/Language Arts and math at the secondary level. The database contains 450 print and digital licensed products and open education resources. The dashboard was developed as a resource for state, district and school leaders as they consider selecting new instructional materials. Currently, the dashboard aggregates public information from 12 different state websites.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
OPPORTUNITY: University of Texas at San Antonio is searching for a Library Services Assistant. The position focuses on providing library support services and administrative support for Open Education Resources initiatives. Read More >>
OPPORTUNITY: Saginaw Valley State University is searching for a Research and Open Education Resources Librarian that supports the University’s OER vision, provides leadership, and manages their OER efforts. Read More >>
REGISTER: You can register for the 2019 Michigan OER Summit here, which will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 at Delta College.
APPLY NOW: Applications for this year’s Open Education Policy Forum, taking place in Warsaw on October 7th-8th, are now open. The deadline for applications is July 31st.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division will partner with The Open Source Initiative to provide new educational offerings for the open source community. “Much like the other graduate programs at Brandeis GPS, open source technology’s flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness makes it extremely desirable for organizations. It yields a better quality product, creates a culture of collaboration, and attracts curious and innovative talent that all CIO’s covet”, said university’s chief information officer, Dr. James La Creta. Read More >>
FROM CALIFORNIA: In an effort to help College of the Canyons (COC) increase its online class offerings and lower the cost of textbooks, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office awarded COC with a grant worth up to $500,000. “The grant will provide resources to increase access, improve quality and eliminate textbook costs to four of our high-quality online pathways,” said Brian Weston, the director of distance and accelerated learning at the college and the project manager for the OER grant. Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
University of Minnesota Libraries just published “Quantitative Ecology: A New Unified Approach”, a new open textbook written by Clarence Lehman, Shelby Loberg and Adam Clark. The textbook introduces and discusses the principles of ecology from populations to ecosystems including human populations, disease, exotic organisms, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity and global dynamics.
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share
Great to Share >>
- PPCC offers alternatives to expensive textbooks | The Colorado Springs Business Journal
- Adding fees for access to digital textbooks re-creates monopoly | Tennessean
Interesting to Consider >>
- More College Students Are Downloading Course Materials for Free—Or Skipping Them Entirely | EdSurge
- Questrom to Offer Online MBA with edX in 2020 | BU Today
- Textbook Spending Continues Slow Decline | Inside Higher Ed
- Cal State Adds Lumen Courseware to Menu of Affordable Textbooks | Campus Technology
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.