Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dr. Barbara Illowsky Awarded First Ever Michelson OER and Innovation Fellowship - Michelson 20 MM Foundation

Dr. Gary K. Michelson and the Michelson 20MM Foundation are delighted to welcome Dr. Barbara Illowsky, a visionary academic and respected leader in the open education resources (OER) space, as the recipient of the inaugural Michelson OER and Innovation Fellowship. In her new role, Dr. Illowsky will help to advance open education initiatives across the three California higher education systems (CCC, CSU, UC), and offer her expertise to the foundation’s 15+ EdTech portfolio companies. Dr. Illowsky is currently a Professor of Mathematics & Statistics at De Anza College. She also serves as Chief Academic Officer of California Community Colleges’ (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI), an effort to increase opportunities for higher education degree attainment in California by leveraging best online practices and technology. One of Dr. Illowsky’s responsibilities in this position is to promote and lead the adoption of OER across the CCC system and nationally. She has developed unparalleled proficiency in this arena and will continue to drive support for OER throughout California universities when she transitions to her fellowship role on July 1st.

Friday, June 29, 2018

OpEd, Charging for The Free - Tim Holt, El Paso Herald

I am amazed with the ability of companies and education organizations to charge for things that should be free. For instance, I once was on a panel discussion at a conference explaining how my district had adopted the free Flexbook model for our High School core subject texts. I also spoke of Rice University and their Open STAX textbooks. Again, free to use, free to share, copyright free and updatable at any time. There are actual companies that sell free stuff! I was amazed.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Santa Monica College to Increase Use of Free Textbooks Through OpenStax - Santa Monica Lookout

Low income students at Santa Monica College (SMC) may afford the inexpensive in-state tuition, but another expense often stands in the way of obtaining a degree. Each year traditional textbooks can average between $600 and $1,400 per student, making it difficult for some to attend college and continue and complete coursework, school officials said. Students will get a break this year after SMC was one of nine schools chosen to participate in the 2018-2019 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program, which encourages the use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks on campus.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

UBC Faculty of Arts and Top Hat Partner to Expand Access to Higher Education - AP

The Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Top Hat, provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for higher education, today announced they have partnered to expand student access to open educational resources (OER) and improve student engagement. Through this partnership, 1,100 instructors and 14,000 students in the Faculty of Arts now have access to low-cost or free, high-quality and interactive course materials and best-in-class classroom engagement tools from Top Hat. With this implementation, UBC Faculty of Arts students are expected to save more than $100,000 per year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

CVCC embraces open educational resources with three new programs - Josh Moody, News Advance

After tuition, textbook costs remain a staggering expense for many college students. That’s why Central Virginia Community College is trying to draw those costs down by introducing open educational resources — free online textbooks — into the curriculum. “We want to remove barriers for our students, and one of them is the cost of books,” said Muriel Mickles, CVCC vice president of academic and student affairs.

Monday, June 25, 2018


Lawmakers want schools to come up with plans to use ‘open textbooks,’ which do not require students to buy expensive access codes that unlock online assignments and quizzes. New Jersey legislators who have been focused on trying to reduce student-loan burdens are now tackling another high cost of college: textbooks. Today, the Assembly Higher Education Committee is set to consider four bills aimed at cutting the cost of textbooks, which can total at least $1,200 per year, according to the College Board, a not-for-profit organization “created to expand access to education.” The textbook tally can be significantly higher for students in science, math, and engineering.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bethel Foundation Funds $200,700 in Grant Proposals to Enhance Student Experience - Cherie Suonvieri , Bethel College

“Universities are seeing this dilemma where textbooks cost so much that students aren’t buying them,” says Earleen Warner, reference librarian. Studies have shown that these high-cost resources are also causing students to take fewer courses, drop courses, or not register for courses all together—and Bethel students are no exception. This grant allows Bethel University Library and several dean’s offices in the College of Adult & Professional Studies (CAPS) and Graduate School (GS) to work together to eliminate textbook costs in select programs by replacing standard textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER) or with eResources already available through the Bethel University Library. These resources could include textbooks, readings, videos, presentation slides, assessments, and other educational material.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

SUNY appoints new JCC president - Observer

The State University of New York board of trustees has approved the appointment of Daniel DeMarte as the next president of Jamestown Community College. He is a leader in open educational resources (OER) and helped to create the first textbook-free degree, called the Z degree, to help lower student costs. In 2016, he served as a Fellow at the Center for Open Leadership in Cape Town, South Africa where he helped to create an OER policy development tool.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Meet Tennessee's new director of HBCU success - Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

I’ve been thinking about open educational resources and what they mean for low-income students — who make up a large percentage of the population at most HBCUs. Most students are coming to campus with phones that have access to the internet, but not all of them are coming with computers. How do you balance that industry desire to shift to digital with not creating another access barrier for students?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Can Online Programs and Digital Tools Help Students Spend Less Money? #DLNchat - Michael Sano, EdSurge

Even when tuition is free, attending college can be expensive. Many students need to cover the cost of housing, food and family care in addition to their educational expenses. Can online learning and digital tools help learners save money? On Tuesday, June 12 the #DLNchat community got together to dive into how improving digital learning could help institutions pass along savings to students, and how technology might also help reduce indirect costs for college attendance.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Over 800 teachers trained in use of online textbooks - Gauree Malkarnekar, Times of India

The days of wait for free textbooks for students or having to make do with the old ones due to shortage in supply may soon be over in Goa. Over the last few months, the state council for educational research and training (SCERT) has completed training of around 810 teachers teaching from Classes VIII to X in use of the E-pathshala app. The app, launched by the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry recently, provides content of all NCERT textbooks from class I onwards at a tap of your mobile phone. Using the app, teachers can also provide parents regular updates of their child’s progress.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Session Agenda Announced for The Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit North America

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the schedule of sessions and speakers for Open Source Summit North America, taking place August 29-31 in Vancouver, BC, including expanded pre-event lighting talks, workshops and tutorials on August 28. Open Source Summit North America is the leading conference for developers, sysadmins, devops professionals, architects and other technologists – along with open source community and industry leaders – to collaborate, share information, learn about the latest technologies and gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions. It covers cornerstone open source technologies including Linux, cloud infrastructure and cloud native applications, along with the latest open source technologies including AI, blockchain, networking and more.

Monday, June 18, 2018

​Affordable Learning Exchange works to increase access by reducing costly course material: Goal is to save OSU students $10 million by 2020 - Chris Booker, the Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is working to move textbooks off the shelves and online to make learning more affordable and accessible to students. An update on the university’s Affordable Learning Exchange program was presented to the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee at the June Board of Trustees session on Thursday. The program works with Ohio State faculty to find or develop high-quality, open and affordable alternatives to conventional, high-cost textbooks. “A focus has been placed on the cost of textbooks. We talk about the cost of tuition and fees. We talk about housing and dining. We talk about the other costs of school as well,” Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron said. “Sometimes it’s that last dollar that makes a difference if a student is successful or not.”

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Students save $250,000 through textbook-free classes: CVCC - Ashley Anne, WDBJ

Students at Central Virginia Community College can take about 30 classes without textbooks. "What we're really doing is providing access to students as much as providing a cost savings," explained Edward McGee the Instructional Technology Coordinator. McGee is no stranger to community colleges. He's been teaching within the Virginia community College System (VCCS) for 20 years. "The typical ITE textbook and resources it would be about $250," he explained. But, Open Educational Resources (OER) is designed to change that and it's a growing trend among community colleges nationwide.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


In 2012, the Copyright Act was revised, and the section concerning fair dealing was amended to include educational use as an acceptable reason for copyright exemption, as long as the use was deemed fair. This meant that students, teachers, professors, and researchers were able to access copyrighted materials at a reduced cost. However, in order to keep up with technological developments in how we access and exchange information, the Copyright Act is subject to a mandatory review that must take place every five years. This review process, which is expected to conclude in 2019, opens up the legislation to possible changes, including the sections that concern fair dealing. Michael McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, says he is concerned that groups who are unhappy with educational use being included in fair dealing could use this as an opportunity to alter or even remove that section of the act.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Embedding MOOCs in academic programmes as a part of curriculum transformation: A pilot case study - OER Knowledge Cloud

This paper describes a successful approach to using MOOCs not only for addressing skills shortage among university students but also to engage staff in the hybrid learning aspects of curriculum transformation. Based on a small-scale pilot, this paper describes the narrative of engagement of academics and highlights the main elements which were conducive to their involvement in selecting and using the MOOC as support for an assignment in their curriculum. A framework is proposed for educators who are interested in using MOOCs for a similar purpose.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Open Education Resources and Massive Open Online Courses - OER Knowledge Cloud

This chapter explains how the open access movement, open education resources (OER) that can be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) which are aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the Web can play a crucial role in open and distance non-formal education. It describes how organizations, institutions and countries are collaborating in using these means to provide non-credit, employment creation and capacity-building programmes, the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies and methods and how and why they are now being locally generated.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A comparative study of the teaching effect of `Flipped' MOOC class and conventional class - Chen, X., & Wu H., OER Knowledge Cloud

After a correlation analysis of the students' records for both classes, we concluded that the flipped MOOC class showed an enhanced teaching effect and better student grades than the conventional class. In the process, we encountered some unexpected problems. So, we figured out why they were happening and reflected on how we could handle these difficulties if we wanted to promote quality instruction and improve students' ability by this flipped MOOC approach.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

99 Free Academic Journals You Can Access Online - Best Colleges Online

Many academic journals are only available through educational institutions and by subscription, but there are also a number of journals that are completely free to access online. Whether you’re a distance learner looking for free resources or just seeking information about art, finance, or science, there’s a free academic journal out there for you. Read on to find out about the wide variety of journals that you can use online for free.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Applications, algorithms and data: Open educational resources and the next generation of virtual learning - Stephen Downes, OER Knowledge Cloud

The next generation of OERs will take a step beyond traditional media and classroom support and begin to take advantage of the unique properties of virtual learning. Using examples such as virtual containers and actionable data books, I sketch the future for the next generation of OERs as a distributed and interactive network of applications, algorithms and data. Keynote, Nov 30, 2017.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Open Education Resources and Massive Open Online Courses - OER Knowledge Cloud

This chapter explains how the open access movement, open education resources (OER) that can be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) which are aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the Web can play a crucial role in open and distance non-formal education. It describes how organizations, institutions and countries are collaborating in using these means to provide non-credit, employment creation and capacity-building programmes, the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies and methods and how and why they are now being locally generated.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Open Source Toolkit – meet our new Channel Editors for Software - rlockhart, Open Source Toolkit Blog

The Open Source Toolkit welcomes Nikoleta E. Glynatsi and Yo Yehudi as Channel Editors for Software. The Open Source Toolkit gathers articles, projects and resources describing hardware and software that can be applied in research, education and/or healthcare settings. Until now, the emphasis has been on hardware, so we are delighted to welcome Nikoleta E. Glynatsi and Yo Yehudi as new Channel Editors with expertise in software to help us expand the scope of the Channel. With their leadership, we aim to be a catalyst in demonstrating how Open Source software can revolutionize and democratize computer science by making it freely accessible and reproducible, enabling faster dissemination and progress.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Understanding Open Educational Resources - Neil Butcher and Andrew Moore, Commonwealth of Learning

The fact that you are reading this lesson suggests that you have heard of open educational resources (OER). Currently, there is a lot of buzz about OER. Some see them as totally revolutionising how we bring learning materials into our education system and use them, while others see OER from a more pragmatic perspective. Before we start looking at OER, including their origin, benefits and challenges, it is important to consider the problems that we are facing today in education. While these problems range, in different countries, from lack of access to poor quality, there is a common thread in most: low availability of good-quality educational materials. Although learning materials are available, the cost of access in many locations is very high and increases each year. For example, the cost of college textbooks in the United States increased 82 per cent between 2002 and 2013— three times the rate of inflation.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Guide to Developing Open Textbooks - Commonwealth of Learning

This how to guide has been developed to assist teachers, teaching support personnel and educational technology administrators to: understand the value of open education, OER and open textbooks for teaching and learning; appreciate the potential value of developing an open textbook platform; select appropriate technology to build an open textbook platform, using either existing services offered free on the Internet or open-source tools, based on local needs and resources; and build, manage and maintain an open textbook platforms.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Open Educational Resources - AnnMarcus-QuinnYvonneDiggins, Science Direct

This paper focuses on the significant developments in the area of open education, in particular the role that Open Educational Repositories (OER) can play in higher education, teaching, learning and scholarship. The National Digital Learning Resources service (NDLR) in Ireland is presented as a case study of a best practice model for such an OER service.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources - Stephen Downes, National Research Council Canada

This paper depicts the sustainability of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in terms of the three models: funding, technical, and content. Discussion and recommendations are focused on the sustainability of OERs and the requirement that we think of OERs as only part of a larger picture – one that includes volunteers and incentives, community and partnerships, co-production and sharing, distributed management and control.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Education made more accessible in the Philippines through the UPOU Networks - TERESA UMALI, Open Government Asia

An announcement made by the University of the Philippines (UP) highlighted how the UPOU Networks provided a collection of UP-created educational content online paving the way for Philippine education in the digital age. UP Open University (UPOU) Networks is a University-produced online repository of multimedia learning materials, both open and proprietary. UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria said, “This is not just an index or listing of links to learning materials, which is quite common. This is a collection of UP-created content which we are disseminating online and sharing with everyone.”

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Open-source, downloadable textbooks could relieve price strain - Duaa Israr, DePaulia

Students and professors at DePaul University may set a new policy — usurping expensive textbook-buying requirements with the option of downloading the material at a discount price. Students and professors are now getting the survey via email. Their responses will determine whether the library will be able to grant PDF copies of textbooks that the survey respondents deem the most egregiously expensive. The library could do so using Open Educational Resources (OERs) — books that have an open domain that lets people download, share and distribute legally.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge - Ron Mader, PLaneta

Announcement: The theme for the 2018 International Open Access Week (October 22-28) is “designing equitable foundations for open knowledge.” Hashtags: #OAweek, #OpenAccessWeek SPARC: This year’s theme reflects a scholarly system in transition. While governments, funders, universities, publishers, and scholars are increasingly adopting open policies and practices, how these are actually implemented is still in flux. As open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community. This year’s Open Access Week invites all interested stakeholders to participate in advancing this important work.

Friday, June 1, 2018

How Microsoft Teams is transforming the classroom - Kevin Lee, Tech Radar

To most of us, Microsoft Teams might just seem like another Slack competitor vying for office messaging market share, but in schools it’s proving its to be a revolutionary and transformative tool for classrooms. Those aren’t the words of Microsoft or some Teams spokesperson, but James Yanuzzelli, a social studies teacher hailing from Old Bridge, New Jersey, who is very much on the ground with today’s students. “I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years now, and this is the greatest product that we’ve started integrating into our classrooms, Yanuzzelli says. “I started a pilot program this year with Microsoft Teams and getting more open education resources into our classrooms, and it’s led to the biggest transformation I’ve seen.”