Meet Open Policy Network

In May 2014, the Open Policy Network launched. OPN works to increase access to educational content and more!

Timothy Vollmer of Creative Commons explains OPN below. Original post from Open Policy Network.

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Open Policy Network. The Open Policy Network, or OPN for short, is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to support the creation, adoption, and implementation of policies that require that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources.

Increasingly, governments around the world are sharing huge amounts of publicly funded research, data, and educational materials. The key question is, do the policies governing the procurement and distribution of publicly funded materials ensure the maximum benefits to the citizens those policies are meant to serve? When open licenses are required for publicly funded resources, there is the potential to massively increase access to and re-use of a wide range of materials, from educational content like digital textbooks–to the results of scholarly research–to troves of valuable public sector data.

There is a pressing need for education, advocacy, and action to see a positive shift in supporting open licensing for publicly-funded materials. The Open Policy Network will share information amongst its members, recruit new advocates, and engage with policymakers worldwide. The OPNmembers are diverse in content area expertise and geographic location.

The Open Policy Network is free to join and anyone is welcome!. More information on the Open Policy Network is available at the website, Google Group, Twitter, and Facebook.


Open Education Impacts Undergraduates

Below is a video of Michael Dennin, Interim Dean for Undergraduate Education at UC Irvine, explaining the value of Open Education resources to undergraduate services. Dennin was an early adopter of Creative Commons licensed course content at UCI. Interested in adapt your coursework? Contact us here at the library!

White House Celebrates Open Education Week 2015

From the Office of Science and Technology Policy blog. See original post here.

Open Education Week 2015

Posted by: Sara Trettin and Dipayan Ghosh

As we celebrate Open Education Week 2015, we look forward to implementing the new U.S. Open Government Partnership National Action Plan to promote Open Educational Resources and building momentum for Federal open education initiatives. The availability of high-quality, low-cost digital content in our schools is a priority for the President and a pillar of his ConnectED Initiative. Fostering the use of Open Educational Resources in our nation’s K-12 and post-secondary classrooms can help meet this goal.

Open Educational Resources are learning tools that reside in the public domain or that have been released with intellectual property licenses allowing their free use, continuous improvement, and modification by others. Open Educational Resources can deliver two great benefits for students: lower cost in obtaining the educational resources needed to succeed in school, so that students and schools can redirect funds for other instructional needs; and access to a universe of high-quality, updated content that can be tailored minute-by-minute by educators to reflect new developments and current events.

The Department of Labor has been at the forefront of advancing Open Educational Resources.  The Department recently developed new granting policies for its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Training Grant Program (TAACCCT), which aims to expand post-secondary education and training capacity.  For the first time, the Department has incorporated requirements for grantees to openly license all educational content created with grant funds, promoting institutional collaboration and sharing of Open Educational Resources. Since the program’s inception, grantees at over 700 colleges have launched over 1,500 new programs of study, including degree and certificate programs that prepare students for careers in emerging and expanding industries. By requiring all content, curricula, and learning objects created using TAACCCT funds be licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution license, the Department of Labor is investing in the world’s largest collection of Open Educational Resources.

The Department of Education’s Learning Registry project is another example of Federal efforts to increase the discoverability of open educational content, particularly for use in K-12 contexts, by aggregating and sharing data about online educational content through an open source platform. Several states, including Illinois andCalifornia, have built portals that allow educators to search, save, and share Learning Registry resources from institutions including the Smithsonian, National Archives, and NASA.

In the coming year, we will continue to build on these successes at the Federal level as we look to promote the use of Open Educational Resources. Current plans include launching an Online Skills Academy to leverage free and openly-licensed learning resources and using technology to create high-quality, low-cost pathways to degrees, certificates, and other employer-recognized credentials. In addition, the Department of State will conduct three overseas pilots to examine new models for using Open Educational Resources to support learning in formal and informal contexts. The results of the pilots will be shared later this year at a workshop – co-hosted by the Department of State, the Department of Education, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy – on challenges and opportunities in open education.

We look forward to working together to advance these initiatives.

Sara Trettin is Digital Engagement Lead in the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Dipayan Ghosh is an advisor to the Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Open Education Week @ Iowa State University

Open Education Week @ Iowa State University

March 9 – 13, 2015 is Open Education Week. As ISU’s Scholarly Communication Team, we are leading this year’s conversation on campus through our this blog. Open Education Week provides a week-long opportunity to discuss the Open Education movement, to investigate ways to decrease the cost of educational resources, and to advocate for innovative updates in teaching and learning. The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition introduces the topic below:

Open Education (from SPARC)

What is Open Education?

Open Education is the critical link between teaching, learning, and the collaborative culture of the Internet. SPARC supports policies and practices that advance the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) –academic materials that everyone can use, adapt, and share freely.

What are Open Educational Resources? 

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs can be textbooks, full courses, lesson plans, videos, tests, software, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge.

Why are Open Educational Resources important?

Technology creates an unprecedented opportunity to expand access to knowledge. Yet, our systems for communicating knowledge still have many of the same cost barriers and use limitations present in the pre-Internet, print-based world. This is especially true for educational resources. The cost of college textbooks has risen rapidly, forcing many students to forgo required materials due to expense. Digital alternatives have offered little financial relief, and are typically sold on a subscription basis with heavy restrictions on access. Moreover, traditional publishing systems too often discourage, rather than enable, the adaptation or improvement of content for the classroom.

Educational materials are both an important output of the scholarly research process and, in turn, an essential part of educating tomorrow’s scholars. SPARC believes that OERs are the ideal model to leverage the digital environment to unlock the full potential for education.

Check back all week for more information and resources related to Open Education!

For general information:

Read more from SPARC:


To contact a Scholarly Communications Librarian to learn more about Open Education: