[Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA, Link (CC-BY)] Today, Senators Durbin, Franken, and King, in conjunction with Representatives Polis and Sinema, introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act to the 115th Congress. In summary, the Affordable College Textbook Act provides funding for institutions of higher education to develop, adapt, and adopt openly-licensed educational resources that “either reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others.”
[Joint comment endorsed by 14 organizations, listed below] We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to implement without further delay Department of Education Rule 2 C.F.R. § 3474.20 for “Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs,” which ensures that educational resources and other copyrightable works created with Department discretionary grant funds are openly licensed. We strongly support this rule, and encourage you to move ahead with its implementation immediately upon conclusion of this extension period.
Open Education Week is a global event that seeks to raise awareness of free and open sharing in education and the benefits they bring to teachers and learners. Coordinated by the Open Education Consortium, the event showcases projects, resources, and ideas from around the world that demonstrate open education in practice. The open education movement seeks to reduce barriers, increase access and drive improvements in education through open sharing and digital formats. Open education includes free and open access to platforms, tools and resources in education, including learning materials, course materials, videos, assessment tools, research, study groups, and textbooks, all available for free use and modification under an open license.
Ethan Senack and Robert Donoghue
Report for Student PIRGs (CC-BY)
Full Study | Executive Summary Follows:
Over the last decade, the cost of college textbooks has soared. Since 2006, the cost of a college textbook increased by 73% – over four times the rate of inflation. Today, individual textbooks often cost over $200, sometimes as high as $400.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Link (CC-BY)
Executive Summary: Education is the key to economic, social and environmental progress, and governments around the world are looking to improve their education systems. The future of education in the 21st century is not simply about reaching more people, but about improving the quality and diversity of educational opportunities. How to best organise and support teaching and learning requires imagination, creativity and innovation.
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that make use of tools such as open licensing to permit their free reuse, continuous improvement and repurposing by others for educational purposes. The OER community has grown considerably over the past ten years and the impact of OER on educational systems has become an issue of public policy. This report aims to highlight state of the art developments and practice in OER, but also to serve as a basis for exchanges and discussions that lead to cross-country peer learning on how to improve teaching and learning.
[Cross posted from the Communia Assoc., Link (CC-0)] How to secure user rights in education? This was the question we asked during a policy debate organised by Communia and hosted by MEP Michał Boni in the European Parliament on the 17th of November. Panelists, politicians and stakeholders participating in this debate discussed two approaches: the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OER), and a progressive copyright reform for education. While these issues are usually presented separately, as Communia we see them as two aspects of a single effort to ensure user rights in education.
[Nicole Allen, SPARC, Link (CC-BY)] Today the White House released its 2016-2017 Open Government National Action Plan, which includes commitments to expand access to open educational resources and the results of federally funded research. This exciting development shows continued support from the Obama administration for these issues, and sets the stage for continued progress beyond the 2016 elections. The commitment to Open Education has been highly anticipated by the community since this summer, after more than 100 U.S. civil society organizations — including SPARC — sent a letter to the White House calling for strong executive action to make federally funded educational resources openly licensed. While the OER commitment released today stops short of the broad policy changes that civil society called for, it lays out several meaningful steps in the right direction.
EDUin, a non-profit organization based in Prague worked with the Czech organization of civic education teachers to address the current migrant crisis. Students in schools were asking questions and wanted to understand what was going on. Why are so many people on the run? What is the difference between a refugee and a migrant? What is the difference between migration, emigration and immigration?
[Meera Nair, Fair Duty Blog, Link (CC-BY)] My last post focused on a very one-sided report bemoaning the fortunes (or lack thereof) of the educational publishing industry. That industry apparently needs our support in the form of continued high-priced payments. This, without regard for either developments in law or legitimate and innovative efforts on the part of the educational community to lighten the financial burden imposed on students, parents and taxpayers.
Creative Commons USA and over 100 other groups have sent a letter to President Obama urging a policy to ensure that “educational materials created with federal funds… are made available to the public as Open Educational Resources to freely use, share, and build upon” through the use of open licenses. The letter further notes that “the global standard for public copyright licensing for copyrighted content is Creative Commons. Existing U.S. Government grant programs including the TAACCCT and First in the World Programs mentioned above, use the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Releasing materials under a standard license, such as CC-BY, allows for increased reuse and compatibility between materials produced by different institutions, including private charitable foundations and other national governments.”
Washington, DC –The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) today passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, unanimously by voice vote and moved it to the full Senate for consideration. This marks the first time the Senate has acted on a government-wide policy ensuring public access to the results of publicly funded research, and is an important step towards codifying the progress made by the 2013 White House OSTP Directive.
[Priscila Gonsales, Digital Rights LAC, Link, (CC-BY-SA)] After the industrial revolution, the information was primarily physical, printed: books, records, CDs, textbooks, encyclopedias, among other instruments. With the advent of internet, the information no longer requires materiality: it can be spread, multiplied, copied, distributed, remixed, in other words, changed in an immediate and unlimited manner according to varied contexts and needs. If nowadays finding data, content and materials is a click away, education should benefit from this potential and start to use, create and share online teaching resources available, improving research skills, collaboration and authorship of teachers and students. Unfortunately, this is still far from reality.