Category Archives: Open educational resources

Funding for open textbooks

The omnibus bill that passed both the House & Senate last week and was signed into law included a $5 million provision for an open textbook grant program. This money will be awarded to higher education institutions as part of a competitive grant process. The call for proposals will likely go out soon as the funds for the awards need to be allocated by September 30th. SPARC has a useful page for finding out more information about this exciting news.

This funding was the result of many years of effort from SPARC, U.S. PIRG, and many others. Thank you to them for their efforts on everyone’s behalf.

OK Go and OER

If you’ve enjoyed the very creative OK Go videos, you’ll probably love this new resource they’ve put together in cooperation with the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas: The OK Go Sandbox. The sandbox is designed to walk educators through the thought processes behind the OK Go videos and provide resources for incorporating some of those techniques in the classroom. From Damian Kulash:

“We want to give teachers whatever tools they need to connect the joy, wonder, and fun in our videos to the underlying concepts that their students are learning.”

The materials have a CC-BY-NC license so they are available for educators to remix and reuse. This is such a cool example of how learning can be fun and entertaining.

“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” Exhibit

tornsign4

In recognition of Open Education week (March 5-9), the Libraries have created a display to highlight the value of open educational resources at a time when the cost of a college education is at a premium.
“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” will be hosted at the Scholars Commons in the Perry-Castañeda Library, on view throughout the entire month of March.
Since 1977, the cost of required materials such as textbooks has increased over 1000%, more than 3 time the rate of inflation, and the average student cost of textbooks is $900 a year.
The Open Education movement seeks to reduce or eliminate escalating costs by providing access to free, quality educational materials, so that students and educators can focus on teaching and learning instead of financial impediments.
The exhibit intends to increase awareness about Open Education, Open Educational Resources and how these resources can be adopted and used in our modern and ever-changing educational system.

Travel scholarship available

The University of Texas Libraries wants to send you to OpenCon 2017 in Berlin, Germany!

If you are a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher with an interest in open access (OA), open educational resources (OER) or open data who wants to help shape the future of research and education at UT, consider applying for a travel scholarship being provided by the Libraries to attend this year’s OpenCon. OpenCon is an academic conference for early career researchers taking place November 11th-13th, 2017 in Berlin. OpenCon is an excellent opportunity to learn more about open access, open education and open data, to learn how to advocate for these issues, and to network with people from across the globe. It truly is an international conference – since 2014, people from 176 countries have applied to attend! The program includes keynote talks, panel discussions, workshops, hackathons, and there is usually an opportunity to lobby government officials. The UT Austin scholarship winner will be fully funded to attend the conference.

The scholarship winner will be expected to share what they’ve learned once they return to Austin. We are open to what that engagement may look like – for instance, the attendee may choose to host a presentation upon their return or they may decide to push for more open access in a particular area on campus. Library staff will be available to help coordinate events and meetings, but the attendee is expected to do most of the content planning.

To apply:

Please send a statement (no longer than 500 words) discussing how you might like to engage our campus in open agenda discussions. This statement is not binding, but it is an opportunity to brainstorm ideas that can be further refined later. Submit your statement and resume/CV to Scholarly Communications Librarian, Colleen Lyon, c.lyon@austin.utexas.edu, by Friday, July 7th, 2017. Applicants will be notified with a decision by July 21st, 2017. If you have questions about the conference or about the application process, please contact Colleen Lyon.

Professional development opportunity and stipend from COERLL

The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) is offering a $500 stipend and professional guidance to graduate student language teachers who are interesting in learning how to create open language learning materials.

Students can apply by filling out a project proposal form and submitting it to info@coerll.utexas.edu by May 31st, 2017. The graduate students who are chosen are required to attend a summer workshop at UT Austin, lodging and transportation paid, to develop their lessons.

More information available here.

COERLL Open Education Week event

The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) is hosting a webinar during Open Education Week (March 27th-31st). The webinar, Going Open in the Language Classroom, features speakers from the Parkway School District and George Mason University. The speakers will discuss the challenges and benefits of working together to create new, open materials for their students.

When:
Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 at 15:00 CDT

Presenters:
Megan Schacht, Parkway School District
Sonia Balasch, George Mason University
Alexia Vikis, George Mason University
Lisa Rabin, George Mason University
Colleen Sweet, George Mason University
Carl Blyth, COERLL

Registration

For more information, please see the COERLL website.

Scholarly communication brown bag discussions

The Scholarly Communication Group at UT Libraries organizes periodic brown bag discussions on a variety of schol comm topics. These brown bag sessions are open to anyone, although the primary audience is UT Libraries staff. They provide an opportunity to talk through either current or emerging issues for the Libraries and for the University.

Our next brown bag discussion will be May 8th, 2018 at 12:00pm in PCL 1.124. The topic will be a viewing of Siva Vaidhyanathan’s talk from ER&L, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects People and Undermines Democracy.

Here is the history of our brown bag discussions:

  1. January 31, 2014: Economics of the scholarly communication ecosystem
  2. April 18, 2014: Green vs gold OA
  3. June 13, 2014: Altmetrics
  4. September 12, 2014: Preview of OA Week 2014
  5. November 21, 2014: UT Press
  6. February 20, 2015: Scholarly Communication Strategic Initiative report and Sherpa/Romeo
  7. March 13, 2015: Open Education Week
  8. April 10, 2015: ACRL round-up
  9. June 19, 2015: #icanhazPDF
  10. September 25, 2015: Texas ScholarWorks
  11. February 12, 2016: Ethical vs deceptive publishing practices
  12. March 2, 2016: Statistics in Texas ScholarWorks
  13. March 21, 2016: Finding and repurposing data
  14. April 15, 2016: Publication agreements and author rights
  15. July 14, 2016: Conference round-up
  16. September 23, 2016: Journal club
  17. November 2, 2016: Data question and answer with Mike Geruso and Elizabeth Vandewater
  18. January 12, 2017: OpenCon discussion with Adam McBride
  19. February 17, 2017: Misinformation and Fake News
  20. March 31, 2017: ACRL round-up
  21. July 19, 2017: Digital Badging
  22. February 21, 2018: SciHub and LibGen in Perspective
  23. March 28, 2018: The legislative process and SB810

If you have a suggestion for a brown bag topic, please send it to tsw at utlists.utexas.edu