Newsom calls textbooks “racket,” proposes money to create free ones - MIKHAIL ZINSHTEYN, Cal Matters

 Gov. Gavin Newsom called textbooks a “racket” during his press conference unveiling his budget proposal last week, saying he was “committed” to addressing the “usurious costs associated with textbooks.” “And so we’re going to do more this year… on open source textbooks,” he said. The typical full-time college student in California spends $800 on textbooks and related materials annually.

7 tips for navigating the shift to open educational resources - EdScoop

 Moving from traditional textbooks to open educational resources can improve accessibility to information and save students millions. But a speaker in a recent webinar hosted by say there are a few considerations administrators should keep in mind as they take on the shift to OER.

Planning a Great Online Class Through Roundabout Design - Flower Darby, Faculty Focus

Likewise, explore the options for Open Educational Resources. With large numbers of students facing food or housing insecurity, it is only right to look for robust, rigorous materials that don’t require the people in our classes to choose between groceries and the textbook. Want to teach an inclusive online class? Make every effort not to exclude students who are struggling financially.

Cost of College Includes Hidden Expenses for Textbooks, Course Materials - ALEINA DUME, Teen Vogue

 The hidden cost to study introductory Spanish at my liberal arts college was $154.94. After paying for tuition, fees, and other living costs, accessing the homework website and textbook for just this one class cost an additional $154.94. Luckily, Swarthmore College recently introduced a new textbook affordability program, so this sum did not have to come out of my pocket. Yet for students at many other institutions that lack these programs, the cost of required course materials — necessary to be students in class — is prohibitively high.

MSU libraries create collection available to all Big Ten universities - WLNS

 Content in the MSU Libraries will soon be made available to other Big Ten faculty, staff and students under a new collaboration called the “BIG Collection,” in an announcement made by the Library Directors of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. This new library collection is a sharing network between all of the Big Ten University libraries, according to the University Library Deans and Directors of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA).

Open Education Lightning Talks: Recordings and Slides - Cable Green, Creative Commons

In December, the CC Open Education Platform hosted a series of open education “lightning talks” (7 minutes + Q&A) in which open education practitioners discussed their work and answered questions with a global audience. We are grateful to all 24 speakers for sharing their open education work! To maximize access, we recorded all of the talks with the permission of the speakers. Many of the speakers have also shared their slides and other resources. Enjoy!

Open educational resources saved UCF students $750,000 last semester - Colin Wood, EdScoop

 Free textbooks and other materials made available to students through the university’s “Webcourses” platform and UCF Pressbooks, the university’s platform for creating and sharing open textbooks and other content, generated particular cost savings for two physics courses, UCF Today reported Monday; nearly 2,000 physics students saved more than $232,000 using OER, the university reported, thanks to the efforts of 10 faculty within the university’s physics department who partnered with UCF’s Center for Distributed Learning to help lower costs for students.

Newsom proposes increased funding to California’s colleges and universities to mitigate Covid-19 impact - MICHAEL BURKE AND ASHLEY A. SMITH, EdSource

 Other new investments in the community college system include: $100 million in one-time spending to support students in need of food and housing; $23.1 million to cover the costs of additional student  enrollments; $30 million for mental health services and computer access and equipment for students to help students bridge the digital divide; and $15 million in one-time funding for open-source textbooks to offset what he called the “usurious costs” of textbooks .

Free Resources to Help with Remote Learning in 2021 - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

As the pandemic continues bringing change to higher education through the academic year, faculty, instructional designers and IT professionals are being more selective about the technology they choose for instructing and engaging students. While hundreds of education companies, nonprofits and other organizations made their software and services free during the immediate switch to remote learning, many have become more thoughtful about how they help educators master online and blended instruction. We've winnowed through our original collection and sprinkled additions throughout, to bring you this updated set of free resources to help with remote learning in 2021.

OER Training with $250 Stipend Open to CU Boulder Educators - U Colorado University Libraries

The University Libraries are offering educators affiliated with the university the opportunity to participate in a two-part Open Educational Resources (OER) professional development experience and to receive a $250 stipend recognizing their engagement.  This opportunity is sponsored by Open CU, a project funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and with additional support from the CU Office of the President, the CU Office of Academic Affairs, and the Office of the Provost.

Open educational resources saved WVU-P students $140K - News & Sentinal

Students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg have saved more than $140,000 through the use of no-cost and open educational resources in 38 courses, the school said. “The benefit of creating and providing OER courses are shared among students, faculty, the college, parents and so many more,” said Dave Thompson, a professor and chairman of the WVU Parkersburg Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences. “Easy access, low costs, diverse instruction methods and user-friendliness are a few of the most valuable features.”

Open Textbook Initiative - American Institute of Mathematics

 The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) seeks to encourage the adoption of open source and open access mathematics textbooks. The AIM Editorial Board has developed evaluation criteria to identify the books that are suitable for use in traditional university courses. The Editorial Board maintains a list of Approved Textbooks which have been judged to meet the criteria linked below.

Open Textbooks Pilot Program - US Dept of Education

 The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports projects at eligible institutions of higher education that create new open textbooks and expand the use of open textbooks in courses that are part of a degree-granting program, particularly those with high enrollments. This pilot program emphasizes the development of projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields.

Open Textbook Alliance

 The Open Textbook Alliance is a nationwide coalition of student government leaders who are working to bring open textbooks to college campuses. Our goal is to reshape the textbook market by fostering a marketplace where open textbooks can compete with, and eventually replace, traditional textbooks. As open options become more widely used, the market will eventually reach a tipping point where the major publishing companies will be forced to compete on price and accessibility, or else step aside.

The Open Textbook Catalog In Higher Education - Canvas

 Of course, individuals write open textbooks for use in the higher education context as well. Several sites exist that catalog these individual contributions (and sometimes the institutional contributions as well). These sites include OER Commons (Links to an external site.) (use the advanced search to limit your search to textbooks), Open Textbook Store (Links to an external site.), and Open College Textbooks (Links to an external site.). You can also use Google advanced search to find open textbooks - for example, search for "political science textbook" and restrict the search to openly licensed results.

Open Education Resources: Find Open Textbooks - UIC

 These search engines are a great place to start your OER search, especially if you're not tied to textbooks. They search across a variety of OER collections, databases, and repositories to make your search a bit easier.

Where to find open textbooks - BC Campus

 On this site we have a curated collection of open textbooks that align with the top 40 highest enrolled 1st and 2nd year post-secondary subject areas in British Columbia. But there are many other places to find open textbooks that have already been developed and are ready for adaptation or adoption. The following resources contain existing open texts and other teaching resources that are openly-licensed and free for educators to use and adapt to their own needs.

Open Education Network: Reimagining higher education together

 Our community supports the Open Textbook Library, a comprehensive resource for openly licensed academic textbooks. All textbooks are free, and the majority are peer reviewed.  When you join the Open Education Network, you become part of a supportive community that works together to make higher education more open. The Open Education Network’s programs are designed to ignite, support, and sustain the needs of our community. We are an active community of higher education leaders that works together to build sustainable open education programs. We help each other, learn from each other, and create resources for each other and the common good. We work together to benefit everyone in higher education.

New Blume Library grant funds open source theology textbook - St. Mary's University

 St. Mary’s University is among two universities to receive a grant this fall from Atla to fund the creation of open educational resources.  The grant to Blume Library will support the creation of a modular, open textbook supplemented with primary source readings and community-created content for the undergraduate Core Curriculum course Foundations of Reflection: God.

Geogebra + Illustrative Mathematics + Your LMS = Great Teaching and Learning - via Open Resources

 Designed for middle school math using Geogebra’s digital Illustrative Mathematics apps for distance learning, these new LMS courses will work great in face 2 face classes, too.   Teachers can fully engage students in middle school math distance learning or in person classes. Student progress can be monitored in real time without the hassle of screen sharing in addition to  increasing  communication and collaboration between students.  These free, openly licensed LMS courses  extend the capabilities of Geogebra’s interactive applets designed for video conferencing software. (This link has a great short video describing the apps.) At their own pace and time, students will be able to continue their Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams online synchronous lessons to collaborate and work in groups.

3D Printing and Service Learning: Accessible Open Educationnal Resources for Students with Visual Impairment - Brian Stone, et al: International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

 We describe the benefits and logistics of a promising recent technology, 3D printing, that can benefit visually impaired students. The use of 3D printable designs shared as open educational resources can increase accessibility in the higher education classroom, even for instructors who have no interest in designing tactile learning aids themselves. The technology allows for incremental, iterative improvement and customization. For examples, we describe our experience using a 3D printed learning object in an introductory statistics course with a blind student, and we also describe our experience teaching an interdisciplinary service-learning course in which student teams worked with visually impaired individuals to design new 3D printable educational models.