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Championing the Cause: Bridging State Policy and Practice in K-12 OER (Open Education 2014, Washington DC, 20 Nov 2014)

Presented by DeLaina Tonks, Director, Mountain Heights Academy

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Championing the Cause: Bridging State Policy and Practice in K-12 OER (Open Education 2014, Washington DC, 20 Nov 2014)

  1. 1. Championing the Cause: Bridging State Policy and Practice in K-12 OER Discussion led by DeLaina Tonks, Director, Mountain Heights Academy Sara Frank Bristow | Salient Research | @salientresearch #OpedEd14 | Washington DC |20 November 2014
  2. 2. Hi! I’m Sara. Sadly, I can’t join you today – I broke my foot and the doctor said I cannot travel. I’ve prepared some slides outlining my research. Thanks for coming! Please join me in thanking DeLaina Tonks for leading this discussion in my absence.
  3. 3. Who are K-12 OER champions? What have they done? What else can they do? How?
  4. 4. Background OER Research Hub Hypothesis: “Participation in OER pilots and programs leads to policy change at institutional level” • Sara’s research: Open Fellowship, October 2013, The Open University (UK) • #OERHub supported by Hewlett Foundation • Interviews: Utah (David Wiley, DeLaina Tonks), Washington state (Karl Nelson, Barbara Soots), others (Cable Green, TJ Bliss, more).
  5. 5. This Study OER Research Hub Hypothesis (Revised): “Participation in OER pilots and programs leads to policy change at state/policy level” • Does state policy drive change? (Is this necessary? When?) • What are the “ingredients” for successful statewide programs? • Are the elements of success transferable/documented? • Is there cross-pollination among states?
  6. 6. No large-scale program is succeeding without an “OER champion” – or champions Focus on: Utah and Washington
  7. 7. The Case of Utah: A Champion At Work December 3, 2009 blog post: Last year I began having conversations with Utah public school educators about sharing their educational materials as open educational resources… A call to the State Superintendent’s office and some research by their staff confirmed that there was no explicit statement about who owned the teachers’ work… So, last summer I testified at a meeting of the Interim Education Committee and had a longer conversation with our State Superintendent and one of his staff asking for a new Administrative Rule, explicitly stating that teachers can in fact share their work under open licenses. State Superintendent Larry Shumway then grabbed a hold of the idea and worked on making it happen. – Iterating toward openness blog, David Wiley,
  8. 8. OER in Utah: Timeline 2009 • Administrative Rule R277-111: “Sharing of Curriculum Materials by Public School Educators” removes barriers to OER • Mountain Heights Academy (Open High School of Utah) opens and performs well, using standards-aligned OER 2010 - 2012 • Utah Open Textbook Project pilots in schools, then across entire district 2014 • Open Textbooks available statewide through Utah Education Network: partnership with the Utah State Office of Education and Higher Ed Utah • Journal articles (then and now) reinforce positive outcomes • Utah on steering committee for new K-12 OER Collaborative
  9. 9. Utah: Summary • Open textbook pilots and Open High School create a local evidence base: “If it works for them…” • Ask teachers what they want/need • External funding, partnerships outside state and K-12 (e.g. in higher ed) • Transparency in documentation reinforce process, provide citations – “make it real” • Champions beget champions: PhD students, state policymakers, school directors, recent graduates take up the mantle OER champions drive communication among schools, higher ed partners, lawmakers, Utah Office of Education, other stakeholders
  10. 10. The Case of Washington: Robust OER Legislation Washington House Bill 2337, “Regarding Open Educational Resources in K-12 Education” (2012): The legislature finds the state’s recent adoption of common core K-12 standards provides an opportunity to develop high-quality, openly licensed K- 12 courseware that is aligned with these standards. By developing this library of openly licensed courseware and making it available to school districts free of charge, the state and school districts will be able to provide students with curricula and texts while substantially reducing the expenses that districts would otherwise incur in purchasing these materials. In addition, this library of openly licensed courseware will provide districts and students with a broader selection of materials, and materials that are more up-to-date. – HB 2337-2011-12,
  11. 11. OER in Washington: Timeline 2010 • OER advocacy drives launch of Open Course Library for community and technical colleges. Lawmaker equipped with elevator pitch, talking points, and one-sentence takeaways ( 2012 • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) OER work builds on that of earlier legislative session • K-12 legislation enables districts to explore OER (no change to state-level instructional materials policy) 2013 • Paid OSPI position leads OER efforts; small district grants awarded for adaptation, implementation • OSPI web site documents legislative mandate, shares OER review processes and materials ( (cont.)
  12. 12. OER in Washington: Timeline (cont.) 2013 • Existing (10-year-old) instructional materials review process sets stage for first annual open, OER-specific review • Focus is on Quality and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) alignment 2014 • Refining model process for districts considering the adoption of OER aligned to CCSS • OSPI’s OER Materials Review Instruments widely cited among other states ( • Washington on steering committee for K-12 OER Collaborative
  13. 13. Washington: Summary • Building on work of other OER champions • The college-level Open Course Library, and then OSPI’s Reviewed K-12 OER Library, offer an evidence base: “If it works for them…” • Transparency in documentation creates a template and tools for all • Reviewed materials draw from, and are available to, all (Utah’s open textbooks among these) OER champions carry out a legislative mandate, model processes for others, and focus on including OER in existing state review processes
  14. 14. Research Analysis: The Work of Champions • Focus on common drivers: universal issues of cost, quality, access, standards alignment • Implement policy change and good practice in parallel • Remove barriers to OER uptake: in policies, e.g. materials review • Get friendly: introduce advocates, policymakers, K-12 and higher ed partners, funders, district leaders, subject experts • Lead by example: establish schools-based evidence rooted in existing practice (everyone is looking for this!) • Document their work for the benefit of others – and themselves
  15. 15. Topics for Discussion • Are potential K-12 OER champions aware of existing advocacy opportunities, or must they create their own? • Do OER champions know they are champions? Should this be a more formal (e.g. designated) role in large-scale efforts? • What does successful OER collaboration between K-12 and higher education partners look like? • What lessons can/cannot, be learned from colleges/higher ed? • What factors led to the formation of K-12 OER Collaborative? Will the same drivers take it forward? • Do the same mechanisms address the needs of those a) Creating OER, and b) Using/adapting existing OER, in K-12? • Other ideas?
  16. 16. Who are K-12 OER champions? What have they done? What else can they do? How?
  17. 17. Thank you for coming! Discussion by DeLaina Tonks, Director, Mountain Heights Academy Contact Sara at, or tweet @salientresearch Sara Frank Bristow | Salient Research | @salientresearch

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    Nov. 20, 2014

Presented by DeLaina Tonks, Director, Mountain Heights Academy


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