Washington Joins Nationwide Open Resource Initiative
OLYMPIA — September 12, 2016 — 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.
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The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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