GoOpenVA: Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiative
GoOpenVA is a statewide initiative between the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia school divisions with support from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. The purpose of the program is to promote the use of openly-licensed educational resources that can empower students and educators with engaging and equitable learning opportunities in support educational goals for Virginia’s students.
Some of the benefits from the use of OER include:
- Students – Allows for access to the most up to date information and interactive content to increase student engagement and retention.
- Teachers – Teachers can find and share high quality materials in a variety of mediums and feel free to adapt them to their students’ needs without fear of violating copyright laws.
- Divisions – Divisions can create greater equity in education as well as provide more personalized learning to students. Potential cost-savings may also be available.
Through this initiative and in partnership with the Office of Educational Technology’s #GoOpen campaign Virginia seeks to become a national example of the power and promise of open educational resources.
Resources for Divisions
For divisions interested in implementing OER programs please consult the Office of Educational Technology’s #GoOpen District launch packet (PDF) and the GoOpenVA Maturity Model-This is a PDF document. (PDF).
Any division who meets the criteria for one of the GoOpenVA designation levels-This is a PDF document. (PDF) is encouraged to submit a written summation of how they are meeting the stated criteria. Once complete and the division superintendent formally declares his/her division as a member of GoOpenVA the division may utilize the appropriate badge on their website.
Additional resources to include model policies/agreements-This is a PDF document. (PDF) and division mentoring are also available from work performed by current GoOpenVA Ambassador Districts.
Any additional questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission, Vision, & Goals
The vision of the #GoOpenVA campaign is to empower students and educators with engaging and equitable learning opportunities
In order to foster and sustain an educational environment to openly exchange and access meaningful, real-world, personalized learning experiences, the GoOpenVA initiative will:
- Increase awareness of the benefits and uses of Open Educational Resources (OER).
- Establish a community of practice to foster, create, share, and leverage Open Educational Practices (OEP).
- Understand state and division level use of OER and how to support further implementation.
- Encourage alignment of OER efforts with local and state strategies.
- Acknowledge school division efforts to implement OER.
Who is involved?
Representatives from Chesterfield County, Loudoun County, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, and Henry County as well as representatives from the Virginia Department of Education and WHRO are working together through the OER Advisory Committee. The committee has been meeting since June 2016 and is primarily focused on creating OER resources for use in Virginia schools.
In addition, all six of these counties have been designated ambassador districts within the GoOpenVA initiative. They all pledge to adopt at least one open textbook within a year and have positioned themselves to mentor other divisions who seek to get involved.
What’s Happening Now?
Work has now begun on the creation of three open textbooks which will be available for schools in Virginia to use at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. The textbooks and the process of adopting them will lead to the formulation of best practices for future OER textbook adoption.
Subject areas covered in this initial adoption process include Algebra I, World History I, and Virginia Studies.
The OER Textbook Team that will include teachers from five Virginia school divisions will have a kick-off and training session in Richmond on April 20, 2017.