[Open-education] [OER DIGEST] Pervasive Pirating, Happy Birthday to OpenCourseWare, Conference Deadlines

Ethan Senack esenack at pirg.org
Thu Apr 14 18:30:03 UTC 2016

 From Ethan Senack, Student PIRGs | Volume 11 | April 14th, 2016

Your tip sheet for U.S. OER updates, opportunities, and reminders

from researcher Laura Czerniewicz at the University of Cape Town finds 
that only 20% of students get all their course materials legally. Of 
1,000 students surveyed, more than 80% had either illegally downloaded 
digital files unawares, or intentionally done so when faced with high 
prices for the legal material. Interestingly, some students pointed 
ethical concerns back at publishers, for charging high prices for course 
materials. The study ultimately makes the case for more OER use in 
classrooms. Read more> 

**BIRTHDAY WISHES:** MIT's OpenCourseWare <http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm> 
is celebrating 15 years of open publishing. Since they launched the 
project, they've had more than 175 million visitors, and boast materials 
for 2260 different courses. For a fascinating read, check out this New 
York Times story 
announcing the project back in 2001.

  * KEY QUOTE: " 'I also suspect,'' [ President Charles M. Vest] said,
    ''in this country and throughout the world, a lot of really bright,
    precocious high school students will find this a great playground.''
    And ultimately, he said, ''there will probably be a lot of uses that
    will really surprise us and that we can't really predict.''

*CONVERGING IN **KRAKÓW:* OER advocates, researchers, and educators from 
around the world are meeting in Poland this week for the Open Education 
Global <http://conference.oeconsortium.org/2016/> conference. They're 
discussing "new developments in open education, research results, 
innovative technology, policy development and implementation, and 
practical solutions to challenges facing education around the world." If 
you're not there, take part and experience Twitter envy> 

*EVER HIGHER:* The College Board recently released their new "Average 
Estimated Undergraduate Student Budgets" for 2015-2016. No surprise, the 
recommended budget for textbooks and supplies increased over last year, 
hitting $1,298 for public 4-year schools and $1,364 for public 2-years.

***COOL CONCEPT: ***The Student Government at Texas A & M University is 
working with the university to launch the "SGA Open Educational 
Materials Awards," which will highlight educators that utilize and adopt 
OER in their classrooms. Bruce Herbert, a faculty partner on the 
project, says that 
the award will be highly prized by faculty, because the school considers 
teaching awards and student evaluations when considering professors for 
tenure and promotion. The first round of nominations are due on April 

*** Think your colleagues or friends might like the Digest? Send them 
this link: http://bit.ly/get-the-oer-digest ***

*It's Thursday, April 14th*. Here's some fun trivia: tomorrow is Tax Day 
in the U.S - or at least, it usually is. Turns out 
that Washington, D.C. celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16th, but it 
was moved to April 15th this year since the 16th was a Saturday. That's 
why the IRS extended the tax deadline to Monday, April 18th. But then, 
Maine and Massachusetts celebrate Patriot's Day on April 18th, so the 
IRS gave them until the 19th. Profoundly useful information for 
procrastinators and profoundly useless for everyone else.

Don't forget to send your OER tips, updates, opportunities, and feedback 
to esenack at pirg.org or @HigherEdPIRG.

Conference, job, and other OER-related opportunities

*CALL FOR PROPOSALS - OPEN ED*: The 13th annual Open Education 
conference will be in Richmond, VA this November 2nd-4th. Workshops 
proposals are due TOMORROW. See the call> 

*CALL FOR PROPOSALS - ACRL:* The Association of College & Research 
Libraries is hosting a conference in Baltimore, MD next year on March 
22nd-25th. They're very proactive - proposals are due May 6th of this 
year. See the call> <http://conference.acrl.org/conference-content/>

*WEBINAR - OPEN OREGON:* is offering a set of Webinars for faculty 
interested in implementing OER in their courses on May 9th & 10th. Check 
them out> <http://openoregon.org/events/>

Have an opportunity you want featured? Email it to esenack at pirg.org.

A brief snapshot of those making change on the ground level, and those 
most impacted
FROM GEORGIA: *Georgia Highlands College recently joined the Affordable 
Learning Georgia initiative. Here's a great quote to sum up how that 
went: "Almost half a million dollars’ worth of student savings was 
yielded for fall 2015 with GHC’s recent introduction of Open Educational 
Resources (OER)." Not a bad start... Read More> 

F*ROM MICHIGAN:* Northwestern Michigan College recently kicked off an 
OER pilot program after securing a small $5,000 grant from the college's 
foundation. Long story short? " About 4,000 students attend NMC. 
Together they've saved nearly 60,000 dollars this semester alone." Read 

Interesting Reads on Education and Open

*So, When During the School Day Should Teachers Create Curriculum?* | 
T.H.E. Journal

*Students Should Demand Their Colleges Produce Free Open Textbooks* | 

*Students request textbook affordable options* | The Egalitarian

*Nebraska Book Company and RedShelf Form Partnership around Digital 
Textbooks* | BusinessWire
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