Oregon Open Learning Winter 2023 Newsletter

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Oregon Open Learning Winter 2023 Newsletter




  • The Oregon Open Learning team invites you to attend its OER Office Hours on the afternoon of Friday, February 10th. These gatherings are designed to facilitate connections and conversation both with the team and between Oregon educators who are exploring the possibilities that Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Oregon Open Learning Hub present. Whether you are new to the OER space or a seasoned advocate, your perspective is welcome and valued. Each session, facilitated by members of the Oregon Open Learning core team, will include space for questions, individualized support, and open discussion about OER and the Hub. Register in advance and then drop in anytime between 1:00 and 2:00 pm PT.  If you have questions, please email OregonOpenLearning@ode.oregon.gov.
  • Save the Date: February 14th, #GoOpen Webinar “Share the Love: OER and Peer Mentoring” Join Gina Loveless, Educational Technology Consultant with the Michigan Department of Education, and Yvette McMahon-Arnold, Director of Instructional Development, State Office of Curriculum & Instruction, at the Virgin Islands Department of Education, for a discussion about how their collaboration offers high-value supports and about their ongoing development of OER strategies and implementation. Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT. Please register in advance.
  • The Open Education Conference Board of Directors is excited to announce that #OpenEd23 will be held as a virtual event on Nov 7-9, 2023. You are invited to join more than 1,600 advocates and practitioners to learn about the latest research, practices, and innovation in open education. Join the mailing list to receive conference updates including theme announcements, keynote reveals, registration dates, and the call for proposals!

OER News

  • 2022 marked a number of important anniversaries in the open education community. OpenStax and Open Textbook Library celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Additionally, Creative Commons and ISKME celebrated 20 years. These milestone anniversaries highlight the growth in the availability of course materials and the continued work put in by the community. (Adapted from OER Digest Volume 166)
  • The OpenEd 2022 Conference closing plenary featured a keynote by Dr. Kamille Gentles-Peart entitled Beyond Equality: Mobilizing Open Education for Racial Justice. Dr. Gentles-Peart is a Professor of Communication Studies at Roger Williams University. She co-founded the Collaborative for the Research on Black Women and Girls, which creates restorative and healing spaces for Black women and girls globally. She is also a faculty fellow with the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) where she co-created and directs the North Star Collective to promote reparative justice and uplift BIPOC faculty.

Professional Learning Resources

  • The Oregon Open Learning team is ready to partner with you to provide an introduction to the Hub and additional professional learning about OER to the educators with whom you work! Please reach out to OregonOpenLearning@ode.oregon.gov to schedule an introductory workshop or to request a previously recorded workshop webinar.
  • The Oregon OER Professional Learning group is a great place to get started on your Oregon Open Learning journey. The best place to start is the User Guide for OR Open Learning, which has links to short articles and videos to build your OER muscle. For example, if you are not sure where and how to find OER, or how to do an advanced search on OER Commons, check out these video tutorials: “How Can I Find OER?” and “How to Search OER Commons”

Featured Resources 

February is Black History Month! Also known as African-American History Month, Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to deepen student understanding of Black History and celebrate the contributions, achievements, and sacrifices of Black Americans to U.S. history, democracy, and culture. The Social Science group on the Oregon Open Learning Hub has a folder of curated Black History resources. Check out the featured resources below to get started.

Featured resources have been curated to groups on the Oregon Open Learning Hub. Groups are a working collaborative space. Within each group, you will find resources in all stages of development and of various "grain sizes," from an activity or strategy all the way up to units or full courses of content. While resources found in groups have not undergone a full evaluation process, they are reviewed by group administrators at ODE to ensure that resources are appropriate for the grade level and content area they are tagged with, they are fact/evidence-based, and they do not contain material that is harmful or otherwise inappropriate for an education setting.


Early Learning 

Learning About Black Leaders Bingo

Overview: Identifying contributions of people, past and present is important. In this activity, students will learn to celebrate individuals and the part they play in our lives. 


Upper Primary

Percy Julian: Chemistry and Civil Rights

Overview: In 1950, Percy Julian was one of the few African Americans with a Ph.D. He was Chicago's man of the year and a groundbreaking scientist. But it wasn't an easy road. Denied teaching positions and the target of death threats, Julian struggled to get ahead in a racially hostile world. In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will learn more about Percy Julian's contributions to science and civil rights. These resources, adapted from NOVA: Forgotten Genius, explore how Julian revolutionized chemistry with the first synthesis of a chemical compound, as well as the challenges he overcame as an African American facing legalized segregation.


Middle School

From 1619 to the American Civil Rights Movement to Today

Overview: This collection brings together the New York Times Podcast 1619 (Episode 1, "The Fight for a True Democracy") and Smithsonian resources to support 7th graders as they begin a unit on the American Civil Rights Movement. Later in the unit, the students will read March, a graphic novel based on the experience of former Congressman John Lewis during the Civil Rights Movement. In order for the students to understand why the Civil Rights Movement was necessary, they must first understand the history that led to it. This collection does not, by any means, provide a complete or comprehensive history. The podcast provides an historical overview and will serve as a jumping off point for further research. The visual artwork, poetry, articles, and films included at the end serve to provide additional perspectives and opportunities for exploration. The students will develop their own research questions inspired by the thinking they've done throughout this collection and may use the additional resources provided to begin their independent research. A PowerPoint lesson on developing research questions is included.


High School

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Overview: Noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the full trajectory of African-American history in his groundbreaking series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. The series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds.

Using video clips from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, this collection of lesson plans addresses a wide range of themes of the African-American experience from 1500 to the present.