The fact that the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) — otherwise known as HEOA — was signed into law last year is probably not big news to anyone. One of the parts of the bill that I have been following and commented on here in DLTJ is the textbook disclosure rules. I haven’t posted follow-up commentary here because I’ve been expecting that the U.S. Department of Education will be forthcoming with new regulations regarding the implementation of the disclosure rules. As it turns out, a sentence was added into the legislation between the time I last read it closely and when it finally was made law: “No Regulatory Authority- The Secretary shall not promulgate regulations with respect to this section.” It would appear the language of the law stands on its own.
I had the pleasure of presenting on a panel at the Ohio Student Success Assessment Summit this morning on the topic of textbooks and open educational resources. Specifically, I was talking about the plans and desires of the University System of Ohio to help faculty help students with the escalating of costs of learning materials. My talk (below and on SlideShare) gives a background of the problem in the context of the State of Ohio, principles upon which a working plan for statewide support is forming, and strategic themes
The sand is really starting to shift under the traditional textbook providers as the open course content movement shows signs of, well, movement. Already this year there are two events that point to shifts in how instructors and students can shortcut the complex ecosystem of textbooks as we know it today. First, Flat World Knowledge — a provider of open access course materials — launched earlier this year. Second, new legislation has been proposed in the U.S. Congress to mandate that some agencies use their funding to produce open access course materials.
Flat World Knowledge Launches
Late last month, the University of Pittsburgh Press and Library System announced a joint effort to revive 500 titles with online and print-on demand access. I originally found this via a post on the Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education (CITE) blog. Since we have been ramping up discussions here in Ohio about ways OhioLINK can be an aggregation point for efforts at the four university press services in Ohio, I was interested to read about this and learn more.
Dr. Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine, will give the keynote address “Mediated Culture: Tales from New Guinea, New Media and New Experiments in Learning” on Monday, March 2, at the University System of Ohio’s Learning, Libraries & Technology Conference 2009.
Using examples from fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, YouTube and “the future,” this presentation will demonstrate the profound ways in which media are pervasive in our lives, mediating our relationships in ways we often do not recognize. Dr. Wesch will showcase and discuss his own attempts to leverage new media to create new forms of community and conversation to enhance learning and create a rich virtual learning environment. Visit thefor more information about Dr. Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography at Kansas State University, and his presentation.
Learning, Libraries & Technology 2009 Conference will be the tenth anniversary of Ohio’s premier higher education conference, previously known as the Ohio Digital Commons for Education Conference. Although the name might have changed, this year’s conference will deliver all the same great professional development and networking opportunities from past conferences, including keynote sessions, vendor exhibits and technology demonstrations. In order to attract as many people as possible to attend this special 10th anniversary conference, organizers are reducingto just $195 ($95 for students) for two-day registrations, and $95 ($55 for students) for one-day registrations.
One of the very relevant aspects of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement to libraries is the provision that allows for free public access to the full text of books in public and academic libraries. The Notice of Settlement summary says: “Google will provide, on request, ‘Public Access’ licenses for free through a dedicated computer terminal at each public library building and through an agreed number of dedicated computer terminals at non-profit higher educational institutions located in the United States.” (Notice; Q9(F)(1)(c); p. 18) The details beyond the summary are quite a bit more interesting and, of course, have tidbits of useful information that isn’t in the summary.
University System of Ohio
Pre-conference Workshops: March 1, 2009
Main Conference: March 2-3, 2009
Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio
The University System of Ohio invites you to for the , March 1-3, 2009. The conference features both submitted and invited presentations, technology demonstrations, pre-conference workshops and plenary presentations. Proposals for presentations in a number of content areas are sought and described below. In addition to the specific topics listed under each broad category, we strongly encourage proposals that represent effective use of educational technology, teaching and learning paradigms, efficient organization and dissemination of information, and innovations in education. This year, we are especially encouraging topics that deal with the intersection and interaction of higher education and the K-12 education community. Deadline to submit a proposal is October 15, 2008.
Earlier this week U.S. Senate passed its own version of the “College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007″ (H.R.4137 to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes) by unanimous consent (hence no recorded vote) and appointed members of a conference committee to resolve differences with the U.S. House version. The conference committee report was published yesterday1. This afternoon the House completed a roll-call vote approving the conference version.
If I remember my civics class correctly, the bill now goes to the president for a signature. The conference report had to be approved by the Senate, which it did late Thursday night. Although the White House previously opposed the bill, the Associate Press reports that .
Colorado Community College System (CCCS) signed an agreement with Pearson Education for flat-rate access to Pearson textbook content online. News of this comes by way of a link left by Lorcan Dempsey in a comment to an earlier DLTJ entry that pointed to a blog entry by Michael Cairns talking about yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article about custom textbooks, which in turn pointed to a blog posting by Alison Pendergast excerpting a Chronicle of Higher Education Wired Campus story about this agreement. (Whew! It was a long trail, but well worth it!) Key points in the agreement: