Monday, September 12, 2016

OSPI Joins Network for Sourcing Education Materials

From OSPI:
State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced recently that Washington will officially join the #GoOpen initiative.

According to the U.S. Department of Education web site, the initiative “encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.”

Washington is the 17th state to join #GoOpen. “We have been and will be extremely supportive of open resources,” Dorn said. “For the past four years we have been working with districts on this issue. The result has been that quality classroom materials are getting to students at a lower cost. That’s giving districts more money to spend in critical areas like professional learning and technology infrastructure.”

Dorn cited the Open Education Resources (OER) program as an important part of district instructional materials strategy. “OER have great potential to increase equitable access to high-quality educational opportunities,” he said, noting that OER have been mentioned in nationwide publications.

Joseph South, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, stressed the importance of state work. “States are powerful collaborators in supporting and scaling innovation. They can connect forward-thinking educators, share effective ideas and approaches widely, amplify successes, and can support districts in leveraging limited resources,” he said.

Districts also play an important role in the #GoOpen initiative. The Bethel School District serves as one of 11 ambassador districts nationwide helping schools design and implement their strategy for transitioning to OER. Innovators from educational technology companies and nonprofit organizations have committed to create new tools and provide professional learning opportunities to help districts.

In addition to the #GoOpen initiative, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recently launched a new open policy that requires all copyrightable intellectual property created by OSPI employees, contractors, and grantees be openly licensed. This means the public will be able to use, distribute, and adapt resources from OSPI programs without getting prior permission from the agency.


NO 1240 said...
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Anonymous said...

This is an unfortunate policy move for the students of Washington State. Read on:


Anonymous said...

After taking a quick look at the OER resources in an area that I understand, I see only a superficial hodgepodge of topics and a complete lack of fundamentals. I don't believe that anyone should get political cred for stating that the district will use these resources.


z said...


Methinks you don't understand what this is about. OER is about free and open text books and other resources, not the faddish commercial "edutech" junk (even though some companies might try to sneak in their stuff).


I understand that there is a lot of chaff. That's the nature of Free/Open Source materials. But I've found some really good stuff as well that I was able to use to supplement my own kids' classes, when the district material wasn't very good. The great thing is that teachers -- and parents -- can sift through and find materials, either specific or general, that they find helpful. Entire courses can be built from this material, either from a single source, or pieced together from several.

I wouldn't be so quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater.