sort the good from the bad in K12 OER

How to sort the good from the bad in OER

Online resources are overflowing, but reliable means to evaluate them and help teachers use them are rare

How to sort the good from the bad in OER

The need for reliable evaluation has become more urgent with the flood of new, often free, online materials.

a few OER sources provide teacher support (aka professional development) in their offerings. Among them: 
, a nonprofit created to continue the work of the Engage NY curriculum developers; 
Open Up Resources
, a nonprofit whose K-5 English Language Arts curriculum and middle-school math curriculum have both received top ratings from 
, an evaluator; 
Great Minds
, which makes the highly popular Eureka Math curriculum, and
IBM Watson’s Teacher Advisor

The Learning Commons, a new, free website that will gather curated professional development resources

Both the federal Department of Education and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) also offer information about quality resources on their respective websites.

Open Textbook Library and Open Textbook Network (OTN)

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) “promotes access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks”.  Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is a member of this network.  Check out what support resources we have as OTN members!

1. Earn $200 for reviewing an open textbook.  OTN offers free webinars to teach faculty about the Open Textbook Library, where you can pick a book and write a brief review for $200.  Click on one of the Spring 2019 dates to register for that day (all are on 2:30-4 pm) : Mon 1/28, Wed 3/27, Fri 5/20.

2. Sign up to learn about new open textbooks here.

3. Join the OTN Google Group to discuss topics around open textbooks, OERs, and Z degrees: 


Beware of Predatory Journals!

Colleagues: Have you received any emails from publishers that just don’t seem legit?

Jeffrey Beall provides definitions of predatory journals and predatory open access publishing here.  In 2008, Beall had started to generate and publish a list of predatory publishers to alert faculty to scammers, and received assistance from Cabell’s.  In 2017, Beall was forced to take down the list.

An anonymous group, “Stop Predatory Journals”, has taken Beall’s old list and updated it to provide a list of predatory publishers and predatory journals. They also provide some basic criteria for identifying a potential predatory publisher.

So–have you received any emails from publishers that just don’t seem legit?  What did you do about it, and how can we help?  Please share your experiences (as well as the names of those predatory publishers or journals) below–you will help out your colleagues by doing so!

(Thank you to SCSU librarian Cindy Gruwell for bringing this back to our attention, with those new updated lists!)

OER at St Cloud State University

What:     Spring 2019 CETL Resource Fair
Where:   Cascade Room, Atwood Memorial Union, St. Cloud State University
When:    Wednesday, January 9th, 10:30 am – 12 pm
Who:      Rachel Wexelbaum and Plamen Miltenoff

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials either Creative Commons licensed or within the public domain, allowing for re-use or adaptation.

OERs include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, software, or any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support free access to knowledge.

Where can I find examples of OER?

The St Cloud State University Library Open Access Subject Guide provides searchable collections of open textbooks, open educational resources, open access journals/ebooks, open data, and free licensed media.

The St. Cloud State University OER Blog will give people an opportunity to discuss and explore existing and new OER.

Who can help me find OER?

The University Library can help you locate OERs in your discipline and discuss Creative Commons licensing.  Please contact Rachel Wexelbaum at for more information.

Who can help me develop OER?

The University Library / InforMedia Services will work with you to develop OERs for your courses rich on multimedia and interactivity.  Please contact Plamen Miltenoff at for more information.

The Minnesota State System Office provides opportunities for OER review, learning circles, workshops, and funding opportunities through their Faculty Development Connect site.  To subscribe, please contact Kimberly Johnson, Minnesota State Faculty Development Coordinator, at

Spring 2019 convocation: OER 4 SCSU

OER 4 SCSU. Learn about the opportunities for Open Educational Resources at SCSU

Posted by InforMedia Services on Wednesday, January 9, 2019