Press Release: Maryland Launches New Statewide Education Resource Initiative
#GoOpen Initiative Called a New Model of Learning
For Immediate Release Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486
Baltimore, MD (February 26, 2016)
Maryland today announced the launch of a new statewide #GoOpen initiative, joining the inaugural cohort of states across the country committing to support school districts and educators transitioning to the use of high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources in their schools.
Maryland was recognized for its leadership by the U.S. Department of Education at the #GoOpen Exchange, a gathering of state and district leaders, innovative ed tech platform providers, and non-profit organizations working together to share knowledge and experiences to help educators transition to using openly licensed educational resources.
“States are powerful collaborators in supporting and scaling innovation. They can connect forward thinking educators, share effective ideas and approaches widely, amplify successes, and can support districts in leveraging limited resources,” said Joseph South, Director of the Office of Educational Technology with the U.S. Department of Education. “With the launch of statewide #GoOpen initiatives, states are helping districts thoughtfully transition to a new model of learning by facilitating the creation of an open ecosystem of digital resources that can increase equity and empower teachers.”
Maryland was cited for its commitment to a statewide technology strategy that includes the use of openly-licensed resources as a central component, developing and maintaining a statewide repository solution for openly licensed resources, and participating in a community of practice with other #GoOpen states and districts to share learning and professional development resources.
“Maryland is committed to transforming teaching and learning through personalized paths for each student and educator,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack Smith. “The ability to assemble current, shareable, engaging and adaptive digital resources will empower educators across the state to offer student-centered instruction and environments.”
Since the launch of the program, school districts from more than 16 states have worked with #GoOpen Ambassador districts and innovators from education technology companies and nonprofits that have committed to create new tools and provide professional learning opportunities to help districts in their transition to using high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources in their schools.
Howard County is one of the Maryland districts taking part. As a participant in the #OpenEd initiative, HCPSS goal is to replace one hard copy textbook with open educational resources in 2016-17. As HCPSS participates in this network, the system will be evaluating the resources and analyzing the financial impact of replacing hard copy textbooks with digital materials.
Openly-licensed educational resources have enormous potential to increase equitable access to high-quality education opportunities in the United States. “Switching to openly licensed educational materials has enabled school districts to repurpose funding typically spent on static textbooks for other pressing needs, such as investing in the transition to digital learning,” said Andrew Marcinek, Open Education Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. “We are excited that Maryland is committed to supporting its districts in using openly licensed educational resources.”
For more details on #GoOpen commitments made by states, school districts, and technology companies, visit http://tech.ed.gov/open.