The post below is designed as a one-page policy briefing, focusing on the #GoOpen Initiative launched by the federal Office of Educational Technology in late 2015.

Michael W. Paul, Jr.
mike@pikemalltech.com
(270) 505 4815

Summary

The introduction of the Go Open Initiative in 2015 provided a path for school districts to use openly licensed, high-quality instructional materials freely. To date, 20 states have adopted the #GoOpen initiative and are moving to the use of freely accessible, easily updated, universally available curriculum for their students. Kentucky should join the #GoOpen Initiative and create a repository for teachers in every zip code to access.

Issue

  • The average high school textbook costs $70 with students needing as many as 7 textbooks.
  • Textbooks are often outdated years before they are replaced.
  • Students in low-income areas do not have access to current textbooks and often use books that are in physical disrepair and contain dated information.

Background

In 2015, the Office of Educational Technology launched the #GoOpen initiative. #GoOpen encourages states and school districts to use openly licensed materials for curriculum. These materials are, in most cases, produced digitally and are accessible to most Internet-connected devices.

Rationale

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, the federal government authorized $1.65 billion annually to support the effective use of technology in schools. By using #GoOpen resources for curriculum, schools could focus monies previously used for textbooks, along with federal funding through ESSA, to move toward 1-to-1 environments for students and faculty.

Recommendation

The Kentucky Department of Education should adopt a statewide policy to use #GoOpen resources, develop a repository for openly licensed resources, and encourage the participation among other #GoOpen states.

Contact

For further information, contact Michael Paul at 270-505-4815 or mike@pikemalltech.com.

 

References

  • Breaking down ESSA. (2016, April). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/docs/advocacy-resources/edtekwhitepaper_advocacy_nclb-essa.pdf
  • #GoOpen States. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://tech.ed.gov/open/states/
  • Open education. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://tech.ed.gov/open/
  • Textbooks vs. tablets: Schools begin exploring transformation in learning tools. (2013, July 7). Retrieved from http://www.newstribune.com/news/news/story/2013/jul/07/textbooks-vs-tablets-schools-begin-exploring-trans/518400/
  • U.S. Department of Education launches campaign to encourage schools to #GoOpen with educational resources. (2015, October 29). Retrieved from https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-launches-campaign-encourage-schools-goopen-educational-resources