[Open-education] OER Digest - August 8, 2019

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Fri Aug 9 01:15:47 UTC 2019


>From Cailyn Nagle and Nick Sengstaken (US PIRG) | Volume 87 | August 8th,


Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and
reminders register

Cengage McGraw-Hill Merger: The Department of Justice is deliberating
if textbook publishing giants Cengage and McGrawhill’s proposed merger will
negatively affect consumers on the textbook market. The publishing
companies claim it will lower prices while advocates and student disagree.
Students, consumer groups, and OER advocates are working together to oppose
the merger of McGraw-Hill and Cengage. US PIRG Education along with over
forty student leaders submitted a letter
to the DOJ outlining the financial impact the merger could have on
students. Another letter
opposing the merger from Open Markets on legal and economic grounds
received support from seven consumer advocacy groups as well as law and
economics professors. SPARC put out a comprehensive Q&A
<https://sparcopen.org/news/2019/qa-cengage-mcgraw-hill-merger/>around the

Pearson data breach:  Over 13,000 student’s personal information were
exposed by hackers this past March. The information was stored on a Pearson
academic progress tracking program. Information compromised was limited to
names and emails of the students. Pearson made the hack public at the end
of July. Read more here.

Open Syllabus Project: Recently, researchers at Columbia University
released the second version of their “Open Syllabus Project” which creates
a database of approximately “seven million syllabi from 2,500
universities.” The project, according to its director Joe Karaganis,
“served as a kind of proxy” in the process of making the “content of
American education” navigable. Karaganis continued that “Higher education’s
kind of a black box. You approach it with a grasp of the reputations of the
institutions you’re interested in. But other than what can be a very
arbitrary experience browsing around a university website, there’s no real
way to know what the contents of that education will look like.” Read more
here <https://edscoop.com/syllabus-database-columbia-university/>.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

OPPORTUNITY: The New England Board of Higher Education is looking for an
OER Fellow. More information here

OPPORTUNITY: Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado is looking for an
Academic Engagement and Open Education Librarian. More information here.

OPPORTUNITY: OpenStax has launched a paid, national student internship this
fall. Applications are due September 4th and more information can be found
here <https://openstax.org/general/new-national-student-internship-program/>

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Biennial Open Access Conference at San Jose State
University is accepting proposals for panels, workshops, and roundtable
discussions on the subject of research equity for campus and community. The
deadline for abstracts is August 16th. More information here

CONGRATS: SPARC is welcoming its third cohort of Open Education Leadership
Fellows, a professional development initiative for advancing open education
in academic libraries. Read the announcement here


Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those

FROM NEW JERSEY: Rowan University doubled the size of it’s OER grant
program to promote the creation of new open textbooks. Rowan’s Assistant
Vice President for Academic Support Services Sean Hendricks said, “We talk
about, could we lower the number to zero? We don’t know the answer to that,
but we can certainly lend a hand to make it more affordable.” Read more here

FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA: Kwantlen Polytechnic University now has six programs
which students can complete without buying a single textbook. These “Zero
Textbook Cost” programs saved students $2.2 million since their implementation
in 2018. Rajiv Jhangiani, Kwantlen's associate vice-provost of open
education said, "We're talking about higher education as a vehicle for
economic and social mobility." Read more here


Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

The Chang School’s Digital Education Strategies released an open ebook
entitled “Introduction to Web Accessibility: Essential Accessibility for
Everyone.” The text offers a practical guide for creating accessible web
content and provides examples of accessibility barriers and how to remove
them. Read more here <https://pressbooks.library.ryerson.ca/iwacc/>.


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

PPCC offers affordable textbook alternatives for students
| KOAA News5

The Radical Transformation of the textbook
<https://www.wired.com/story/digital-textbooks-radical-transformation/> |

How Administrators Can Support Adoption of Open Educational Resources on
Campus <https://higheredconnects.com/open-educational-resources-on-campus/>
| Higher Ed Connects

Interesting to Consider >>

Friday Fragments A merger, OER and a vacation
| Inside Higher Ed

Pearson Goes ‘Digital-First’ in College. What Does That Mean for K-12?
| EdWeek Market Brief

Transforming Energy Education In The Digital Age
| Forbes

Textbook Spending Continues Slow Decline
| Inside Higher Ed

Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at oerdigest at gmail.com,
or tweet us @OERdigest <https://twitter.com/oerdigest>.

The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of
stakeholders across the higher education community. You can join the open
Google Group or check out the distribution list here
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