Creative Commons United States’ Professor Michael Carroll participated today in a briefing at the Rayburn House Office Building on “Understanding Open Educational Resources and Student Learning” (agenda here). The briefing covered the legal background of what open educational resources are and how they work; how OER can save money for college students; and pathways for states and districts to implement OER in the K12-setting.
Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) kicked off the session. The Congressman has been a leader on education issues, including his leadership in the recent reauthorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The panel was moderated by SPARC’s Nicole Allen, who introduced the panel by highlighting the recent success in OER policy at the state and federal level, including the Department of Labor open licensing policy and the Department of Education Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (factsheet here).
Michael Carroll spoke about the interplay between copyright law and open licensing – highlighting places like the K-12 OER Collaborative and Tidewater Community College’s Z-Degree program, where CC-licensed Open Educational Resources are improving quality, access, and equity for students, by removing cost and copyright as barriers to educational attainment.
Ethan Senack, the Higher Education Advocate at US PIRG, highlighted the impact textbook costs have on higher education completion, and the potential savings to students available though OER alternatives. A full breakdown of the US PIRG research on higher education textbooks costs was published earlier this year in their Covering the Cost report.
Layla Bonnot introduced the next speaker on behalf of the Council of Chief State School Officers. CCSSO has been a lead partner in the Department of Education Office of Education Technology‘s #GoOpen initiative, working with states to provide support, research, and peer stories about OER implementation through their OER Portal.
Val Emrich, the Director of Instructional Technology, Maryland State Department of Education, explained Maryland’s new statewide education resource initiative, as part of the #GoOpen Campaign (Maryland press release here). She also highlighted that Howard County Public School System had committed to transition one textbook from a traditional textbook to OER in the 2016-2017 school year.
the briefing was co-hosted by:
SPARC – SPARC is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.
COSN – CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for district technology leaders. For over two decades, CoSN has provided leaders with the management, community building, and advocacy tools they need to succeed. Today, CoSN represents over 10 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education
CCSSO – The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues.
SETDA – The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is a not-for-profit membership association launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations.