The US Department of Education recently announced its new campaign #GoOpen which aims to encourage educators across the country to make use of accessible and open learning materials. The launch of this initiative was announced during the middle of a symposium put on by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the US Education Department. The attendees included state and district superintendents, plus educators, who are committed to adopting openly licensed educational materials.
“In order to ensure that all students – no matter their zip code – have access to high-quality learning resources, we are encouraging districts and states to move away from traditional textbooks and toward freely accessible, openly-licensed materials,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “Districts across the country are transforming learning by using materials that can be constantly updated and adjusted to meet students’ needs.”
This initiative falls right in line with the Administration’s open government push. Along with USAID, US Department of Labor, and other government entities, the Department of Education is using this push to make gains towards digital transformation.
#GoOpen pushes educators, and school districts, to use these tools to provide higher learning outcomes of their student body. By using open learning materials, educators experience the benefits of the tools made possible by modernisation. Education may never be the same but teachers’ jobs sound like they are getting a bit easier to handle.
John King, the senior advisor delegated duties of the Deputy Secretary of Education, stated, "By requiring an open license, we will ensure that high-quality resources created through our public funds are shared with the public, thereby ensuring equal access to all teachers and students regardless of their location or background.”
In utilizing these learning tools, educators will have updated content which readjusts to the needs of students. In turn, this will provide better learning outcomes from their students.
6 school districts have already signed on as #GoOpen ambassador districts:
- Bethel School District, Spanaway, WA
- Bristol Tennessee Schools, Bristol, TN
- Chesterfield County Public Schools, Chesterfield, VA
- Columbus Municipal School District, Columbus, MS
- Upper Perkiomen School District, Pennsburg, PA
- Williamsfield Community School District, Williamsfield, IL
If done right, this campaign can reduce costs, increase the quality of education, make sure content remains relevant, and provide support to educators. This campaign also fills a need to provide higher quality education to students, no matter what school district they are part of.
Campaigns like #GoOpen push the envelope of traditional pedagogy. As teachers and students alike, are transforming to the new digital world, openly licensed educational materials are complimentary tools.