Last week, a bill enabling the California Community Colleges to integrate open educational resources (OER) into its core curriculum was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. AB 2261 authorizes the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges “to establish a pilot program to provide faculty and staff from community college districts around the state with the information, methods, and instructional materials to establish open education resources centers.” The program would provide a structure by which community college faculty and staff could vet and repurpose OER in order to create high quality course materials and textbooks for college students. The resulting materials would themselves be openly licensed or available in the public domain so that they could be further adapted and repurposed for future and individual contexts. High quality OER would also set a new and much needed economic standard for publishers, who currently charge exorbitant prices for college textbooks. According to the LA times, textbook prices accounted for almost 60% of a community college student’s educational costs last year.
“This is the first legislation that puts the state of California squarely behind those of us who are working to create free, high-quality, vetted public domain — or “open” — educational resources for community college students, who stand to save literally hundreds of millions of dollars over the coming decade as a result.
The scholar David Wiley has observed that introducing Open Educational Resources into the public education system is the most significant development since the establishment of Land Grant colleges and universities in the mid 1800′s.
What’s also wonderful is the knowledge that, even in these difficult days when our system seems so very broken, an ordinary citizen like me can still offer up a useful idea and see it enacted into law.”
See the news article on this here, and the latest version of the bill here. The Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Silicon Valley is a leading institution in the open education movement; they established the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) last year, which exists “to identify, create and/or repurpose existing OER as Open Textbooks and make them available for use by community college students and faculty.”1 Comment »
ccLearn has re-opened the search for a ccLearn counsel. Note that the job title has been changed from the previous search to better reflect our high priority for someone with relevant and reasonably deep experience in intellectual property and copyright law. Though we had many superlative candidates for our initial round, we found that no one person could be expected to have all of the qualifications we needed on all fronts; hence, we have decided to re-issue the call for applicants. If you or someone you know is interested, we strongly encourage you to apply!
The primary duties for the presumptive ccLearn counsel will be to help us in minimizing the legal barriers that stand in the way of open education. Knowledge and interest in many aspects of intellectual property law, including an understanding of the international dimensions of open licensing agreements and protocols, is crucial. However, it is important to note that this position will primarily be seeking solutions within the existing constraints of the law, rather than actively seeking to change the laws to better reflect our needs. In this vein, the new ccLearn counsel will not only work on the legal side of things, but will also work on substantial communications (written and verbal, formal and informal), networking and engagement with a diverse communities of interest, strategic planning regarding pursuits of greatest impact for ccLearn, and close collaboration on a variety of related initiatives with the ccLearn and CC staff. In addition, we have access to great intellectual and legal resources associated with our organization which can be leveraged as necessary. It is expected that the candidate for this position will play a significant role in helping ccLearn to achieve its global mission, and will serve as a primary spokesperson for ccLearn and the open education movement generally.
To learn more or apply, see our Opportunities page!No Comments »