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Showing posts from April, 2020

UNESCO Recommendation on OER - UNESCO

The Recommendation on OER - adopted unanimously by the UNESCO General Conference at its 40th session in November 2019 - supports the creation, use and adaptation of inclusive and quality OER, and facilitates international cooperation in this field. The Recommendation is the only existing international standard-setting instrument on OER and is the fruit of over a decade of efforts to bring together a wide diversity of stakeholders. The Recommendation outlines five Areas of Action
https://en.unesco.org/themes/building-knowledge-societies/oer/recommendation

OER Dynamic Coalition - UNESCO

The OER Dynamic Coalition - launched by UNESCO on 2 March 2020 - has been established to support the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommmendation. It  is composed of  experts from Member States, with a focus on UNECO National Commissions, IGOs, UNESCO Category 2 Centres, specialised institutions, civil society and the private sector.
https://en.unesco.org/themes/building-knowledge-societies/oer/dynamic-coalition

Learning Everywhere: Open Educational Resources in the COVID-19 Era - California State University Chancellor's Office

​​​​​​In these challenging times, the California State University continues to develop ways to reduce students' expenses while maintaining a high-quality education. The CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) is an innovative program that enables faculty to choose and provide more affordable (and even free) quality educational content for students across the 23 CSU campuses.
https://www.newswise.com/coronavirus/learning-everywhere-open-educational-resources-in-the-covid-19-era/?article_id=730156

What’s “Open” During COVID-19? In Global Pandemic, OER and Open Access Matter More than Ever Posted - Lindsey Gumb, NEBHE

Textbook prices are only part of the access barrier issue. As teaching and learning shifts fully online during the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have been forced to more closely consider and analyze how copyright restrictions set by publishers may limit their students’ access to these essential learning materials. The last few weeks have shown more than ever why true OER have significant value in ensuring students have access to their learning materials, because they are free and have licenses that allow for reuse and retention without limitation.
https://nebhe.org/journal/whats-open-during-covid-19-in-global-pandemic-oer-and-open-access-matter-more-than-ever/

The Best Free Resources for Students Learning at Home - Android Authority

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and school closures across the globe, learning at home is currently the new norm. The great news is that whether your or your child’s school offers distance classes or not, there are a ton of online learning resources you can utilize. The choice might be a bit overwhelming thanks to the sheer number of study materials and courses, but we are here to help! We have compiled a list of the best free online learning resources for students of all ages.
https://www.androidauthority.com/free-learning-resources-1101787/

YOUR GUIDE TO FREE GOOGLE BOOKS (AND ITS LIMITATIONS) - Elliot Riley, Book Riot

There are countless ways to find free books online. Google books is by no means the only source of free full-text works, but given that so many of us use Google on a daily basis, it can be a convenient option. The following is a guide to discovering free Google books and creating your own Google books library. Google books is a great place to find public domain classics and open source textbooks. You can also find some contemporary novels, although the selection is limited.
https://bookriot.com/2020/04/13/free-google-books/

The University Libraries receives Scholarly Communications Research Grant - McKenna Lambert, Nevada Today

The Association of College & Research Libraries has awarded a $5000 Scholarly Communications Research Grant to the University Libraries at the University of Nevada, Reno. ACRL is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. The Scholarly Communication Research Grant funds librarians who are seeking to conduct research that contributes to more inclusive systems of scholarly communications. The grant was awarded to the University Libraries to provide research funding to test the accessibility of open textbooks, which are free to read and often licensed to allow teachers to adapt and remix them. The University of Nevada, Reno was one of seven universities to receive the Scholarly Communications Research Grant.
https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2020/libraries-research-grant

The MIT Press offers e-resources during the Covid-19 pandemic - MIT Press

To address the increased need for digital content and distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, the MIT Press is rapidly expanding access to a variety of free content. From making select books freely available on their open-source platform to granting libraries complimentary access to its institutional e-book platform, the press will continue to bring content to readers in a variety of formats.
https://news.mit.edu/2020/mit-press-offers-free-e-resources-during-covid-19-pandemic-0409

Trine expanding programs, degrees featuring no-cost textbooks - KPC

Trine University’s Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Lou Holtz Master of Science in Organizational Leadership programs, both offered through TrineOnline, allow students to complete those degrees without paying for textbooks in their core courses or a large portion of their degree coursework.
https://www.kpcnews.com/features/life/article_d81d5410-6b51-5d12-9fcf-865d3712d8a8.html

The case for using open textbooks in HE in South Africa is growing - Kirk Perris and Mpine Makoe, University World News

Proposed policy solutions include eliminating the VAT on textbooks, licensing textbooks that can be copied, replacing textbooks with modules and encouraging the use or purchase of second-hand textbooks. A viable intervention under the bursary portion of NFSAS provides up to ZAR5,000 (US$272) annually to eligible recipients, and this has recently shifted from a voucher to a cash payment, widening student choice in the process. Yet, students claim that the amount is not enough and is only open to those who have received aid under NFSAS, overlooking thousands of other students.
https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200406074143993

Coronavirus: Here's where to find free ebooks and audiobooks while self-isolating - Mary Cadden USA TODAY

Thankfully, there are plenty of options to access free ebooks and audiobooks from retailers, local libraries and other sites. And it appears a lot of people are going this route. According to David Burleigh, a spokesman for the free digital content service OverDrive, “it has never been a busier time for accessing free library ebooks," citing that they have “seen unprecedented demand and setting records for Libby app installs, checkout and new users in the last few weeks.”
https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2020/03/28/coronavirus-free-ebooks-audiobooks-while-self-isolating/2928056001/

UI faculty create open-source materials to save students money, better serve class needs - Emily Nelson, University of Iowa

OpenHawks grant projects estimated to save students $100,000 in first year.  Ted Neal, clinical associate professor in the UI College of Education, is one of many Iowa instructors creating and providing open educational resources (OER) to customize their teaching materials save students money. From audio exercises to practice recognizing and pronouncing American English sounds to a textbook about global aging, developing and promoting the use of open educational resources (OER) is yet another creative way the University of Iowa is helping decrease college costs for students.
https://now.uiowa.edu/2020/04/ui-faculty-create-open-source-materials-save-students-money-better-serve-class-needs

UO Senate talks tests, textbooks and COVID-19 - Jack Forrest, Daily Emerald

Condon said the goal of his committee’s research is to look into the current deal UO has with Elsevier, a Dutch academic publishing company. The University of California school system ended its contract with the publishing giant last year after their demands for free access to UC scholarly works were not met.  UO, Portland State University and Oregon State University are now looking at a similar option if their combined negotiations do not end in favor of more open access by the current deal’s end date in December. According to Condon, the current deal with Elsevier is worth “hundreds of thousands” of dollars.
https://www.dailyemerald.com/news/uo-senate-talks-tests-textbooks-and-covid-19/article_b90d2286-68c3-11ea-af81-4b973eab806b.html

Moving Open Educational Resources from fringes to mainstream; an unintended consequence of Covid-19 pandemic - Frank Senyo, Loglo

A lot of foundational material already exist for adoption. As subject matter experts however, they are cautioned to evaluate the quality of the OER they adopt and adapt. Below is a list of ten (10) recommended OER sites, across disciplines, which can serve as a good reference point for teaching resources.
https://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/moving-open-educational-resources-from-fringes-to-mainstream-an-unintended-consequence-of-covid-19-pandemic/

ARL Urges Publishers to maximize access to digital content during COVID-19 Pandemic - Deb Nicolson, Patch

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joins global library associations in urging publishers to maximize access to digital content during the emergency conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented time for the academic enterprise, and humanity will benefit from an unprecedented response by publishers in support of research and learning.
https://patch.com/michigan/farmington-mi/arl-urges-publishers

OpenStax makes its online learning tools free - Betsy Foresman, EdScoop

The Rice University-based publisher OpenStax announced Thursday that it will provide free teaching resources through the end of the spring semester to support faculty transitioning to online course delivery in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
https://edscoop.com/openstax-free-educational-resources-oer-coronavirus/
When MSU Libraries faculty and staff developed a new strategic plan last year, they defined a vision of promoting equal access to information and spaces for all, then got right to work to advance the accessibility, equity and inclusion they promised. As part of a new Open Educational Resources, or OER, Program, they are awarding nine MSU faculty funding assistance for the creation and adaptation of OER course material for the 2020-21 academic year. Dean of Libraries Joseph Salem said the financial awards, which total $26,500, are designed to help instructors reduce costs for students, improve access to required text and increase student success. https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2020/msu-libraries-announce-awards-to-develop-open-educational-resources/

This ‘National Emergency Library’ is offering free online access to 1.4 million books - Huw Oliver, Timeout

The Internet Archive, a non-profit organisation best known for creating the Wayback Machine archive, has removed waiting lists from its comprehensive library of digitised books and other materials donated by libraries and universities around the world.
https://www.timeout.com/news/this-national-emergency-library-is-offering-free-online-access-to-1-4-million-books-032620

Ebooks vs Textbooks: Which Is Right for College Students in 2020? - Greenwichtime Lifestyle

Between ebooks and physical textbooks, neither has become the clear frontrunner. And while it’s easy to say that it’s a matter of personal taste, there are some distinct pros and cons when you look at ebooks vs textbooks. Give your medium of choice some consideration before defaulting to the on-campus bookstore. Between ebooks and textbooks, which is right for college students in 2020? Let’s review the major differences.
https://blog.greenwichtime.com/lifestyle/2020/03/31/ebooks-vs-textbooks-which-is-right-for-college-students-in-2020/

Students Get Free Access to Barnes & Noble E-textbooks - Michael Newsom, University of Mississippi News

University of Mississippi students have no-cost access to more than 55,000 e-textbooks thanks to Barnes & Nobles’ efforts to help college campuses ease their transition into online learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Barnes & Noble has locations on 1,400 campuses, including UM.
https://news.olemiss.edu/students-get-free-access-barnes-noble-e-textbooks/

How to download college textbooks for free and safe - Chris Smith, Know Techie

Some textbooks can be downloaded for free. This is possible thanks to open educational resources (OERs). But, who provides these resources? Well, an OER provider can be a non-profit organization with the sole goal of helping students. By using a resource like this, you can save a lot of money. You can download a textbook in practically any subject, from mathematics and science to business. You can have your private digital library on your computer without paying a cent!
https://knowtechie.com/how-to-download-college-textbooks-for-free-and-safe/

SOME FREE DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS FOR SPRING SEMESTER DUE TO COVID-19 - Ohio State Lantern

Textbooks left behind in Columbus may not need to be retrieved as soon as expected thanks to a new partnership between textbook publishers and Ohio State. Publishing companies are teaming up with professors at Ohio State to provide students with free digital textbooks for the remainder of the spring semester, and thousands of titles across large and small publishers are available now, Ashley Miller, associate director of affordability and access for the Office of Distance Education and eLearning, said.
https://www.thelantern.com/2020/03/some-free-digital-textbooks-available-to-students-for-spring-semester-due-to-covid-19/

Yale University Press makes online resources available to students for free - Mike Cummings, Yale News

As college students nationwide transition to online classes, Yale University Press (YUP) is providing them free access to its ebooks, including digital textbooks, through the end of the semester.
https://news.yale.edu/2020/03/26/yale-university-press-makes-online-resources-available-students-free

MAKING COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE - U Texas Arlington

Four faculty members will receive grants from The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries to support the adoption and creation of open educational resources (OER) that make college more affordable for students. The funds, totaling nearly $31,000, come from a grant program known as UTA CARES, or UTA Coalition for Alternative Resources in Education for Students. Open educational resources include textbooks, videos, quizzes and worksheets, as well as learning modules, lesson plans, syllabi, data and more.
https://www.uta.edu/news/news-releases/2020/04/02/library-oer-cares-spring-twenty

Saide welcomes adoption of UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources

Saide and its 0ER Africa initiative welcomed the adoption of the UNESCO OER Recommendation (40 C/32) at the UNESCO 40th General Conference. The Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) is aimed at supporting the development and sharing of open licence learning and teaching materials. 
https://www.saide.org.za/article.php?id=60

Launch of the UNESCO Dynamic Coalition for Open Education Resources (OER) - UNESCO

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the meeting, which was foreseen originally to take place at UNESCO Headquarters was quickly adapted to an online format and launched as foreseen on 2 March 2020 for a month of consultation   Thanks to the quick mobilisation of the speakers and experts, the presentations took place via video and questionnaires were sent out to the participants to collect feedback over the following days. Further to the support from the UNESCO Category 2 Centre for Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI - the Jožef Stefan Institute) in Slovenia, arrangements were made to ensure that presentations (videos, .ppt, etc.) could be made available on the Institute’s website: http://videolectures.net/OERCoaltion_2020/

https://en.unesco.org/news/launch-unesco-dynamic-coalition-open-education-resources-oer

EDUCAUSE’s 2020 Horizon Report examine the six most impactful technology-enabled practices and find that people are the essential ingredient. -Lauren Glenn Manfuso, EdTech

5. Open Educational Resources Embraced in Higher Education“In the United States, OER momentum is building in nearly every type and size of institutional profile, from community colleges and public universities to elite privates.” Around the world, a wealth of OER materials are being developed or collected by the higher education community. Multiple OER projects offer a unique look at how these efforts are affecting the global OER movement. https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2020/03/key-ed-tech-success-people-educause-report-says

Report: More Faculty are Making the Shift to Digital Classroom Resources - Sarah Wood, Diverse Education

Additionally, more faculty are realizing that many of their students often skip reading required texts because they can’t afford them. “We are in the midst of a transition in the way that course materials are distributed and I think this report really highlights that transition,” said Nicole Allen,  director of open education at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

https://diverseeducation.com/article/170792/

A Looming Challenge for OER? - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Awareness and adoption of open educational resources continue to grow, a new report suggests. But the movement could be overshadowed by publisher initiatives like inclusive access.  “The whole market has changed,” said Jeff Seaman, director of Bay View Analytics. The most recent data from the company suggest there is growing acceptance of digital materials over print among faculty. The survey of 4,339 faculty members and 1,431 chairpersons also finds that professors, college leaders and even entire college systems are increasingly concerned about how much students must pay for course materials.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/03/10/survey-suggests-challenges-open-textbooks-ahead

Free, Online Learning Resources When Coronavirus Closes Schools - Kerry McDonald, Cato Institute

Fortunately, there are numerous online learning resources that families can take advantage of, including many that are free. Some of these resources have paid or premium options if you choose, but even the free versions offer great features and functionality. There are also many low‐​cost online learning resources, such as Outschool, that are worth exploring.
https://www.cato.org/blog/free-online-learning-resources-when-coronavirus-closes-schools