Post from September 16th, 2015

OER Implementation Sparks National Interest


“The Utah State Office of Education is proud to be a state leader in supporting OER for our schools and districts. OER materials provide our teachers with the ability to customize content for the specific needs of their classes. The use of OER encourages collaboration among educators and is often more cost effective than traditional textbooks.”  Brad C. Smith, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Utah

Open Educational Resources (OER) support has gained national attention recently, including U.S. Department of Education’s Secretary Duncan’s trip yesterday to Williamsfield Community Unified School District in Illinois to share progress on their shift to digital and open educational resources (OER). The district is implementing OER content from EngageNY and purchased devices for students with the savings from instructional materials. In addition, Secretary Duncan announced that Andrew Marcinek will serve in the Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) as the first “Advisor for Open Education.”

SETDA applauds ED’s support for advancing OER. SETDA has a track record of advocating for OER including developing resources and collaborating with others in support of OER. SETDA is a supporting partner of the K12 OER Collaborative and in August, joined over 100 other organizations signing a letter calling on the White House to ensure that educational materials created with federal funds are openly licensed and released to the public as OER. SETDA has published multiple policy briefs in support of OER and most recently published the OER in Action Case Studies. The Case Studies highlight the importance of state leadership in the shift to implementing OER and include details about implementation.

Trends toward implementing OER are increasing as educators leverage the ability to personalize learning for students. “I don’t feel trapped by the textbook. Instead, as a teacher, I can create the digital curriculum in the way the works best for my students,” states Tracy Poulsen, Nebo School District, Utah.

Want to learn more? Visit SETDA’s OER Case Studies for multiple resources and details on OER definitions, development, vetting and implementation.

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