Spring 2023 Oregon Open Learning Newsletter

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Spring 2023 Oregon Open Learning Newsletter

middle schoolers garden investigation



  • The Oregon Open Learning team invites you to attend its OER Office Hours on the afternoon of Friday, May 5. 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
  • Oregon Virtual Statewide OER Symposium: April 21 and/or 28, 2023: Register now to attend a free, virtual symposium about the design, use, and assessment of open educational resources. All employees and students from Oregon’s institutions of higher education, and interested K-12 educators, are invited. More information about the schedule and format can be found on the Open Oregon website
  • Integrating OER into Instructional Initiatives Webinar:  April 18, 2023 at 1 p.m. PT. to attend this free online learning event which will highlight tools designed as a strategic planning tool for district leaders wishing to promote the already pedagogically and financially compelling practice of creating or adapting open educational resources (OER) and toward helping achieve district goals in serving all students through diversity, equity, inclusion, or accessibility (DEIA) lens.

OER News  

  • An OER curriculum brings my students’ lives into our classroom. Read a first hand account of how OER made a difference in a middle school science teacher’s classroom, offering adaptability in materials selection and flexibility in pedagogy.   
  • NEW REPORT: Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution (2nd edition) Last month, the Student PIRGs released a new report on campus OER programs. The report compiles data from a survey of 61 OER grant programs in 32 U.S. states and British Columbia that have, to date, saved students more than $310 million in textbook costs. Read the summary and download the full report here. In other news related to Open Textbooks, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the Affordable College Textbook Act in the U.S. Congress. The bill would establish a grant program for the creation and use of free, openly licensed textbooks, while also strengthening federal price disclosure requirements for textbook publishers and institutions. If passed, the program would build on the success of the Open Textbook Pilot which is already projected to save students an estimated $250 million since its creation in 2018.

Professional Learning Resources

  • Engaging Equity: Equitable Mindsets, Practices, and Systems is an openly licensed professional learning series developed in partnership by the Oregon Department of Education’s Office of Education Innovation and Improvement and WestEd. The series is designed for participation in teams, PLCs, or other groups, and also available to individuals. Learners can access the content through a public Canvas course, or the modules can be imported into your organization's Canvas LMS.
    • The first four modules of the series focus on Racial Equity Foundations and they are now available on the Oregon Open Learning Hub in the PK-12 Professional Learning Group. Each module should take 60-90 minutes for the learner to complete. Additional modules are in development and will be available on the Hub as soon as they are published. For more details, view the full scope and sequence for the professional learning series.
  • 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”

Early Learning 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat!

Overview: This lesson introduces the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle and has students create a classroom waste management plan. 

Upper Primary

Think Before You Eat: How Can We Reduce Plastic Pollution?

Overview: The lessons in this project were developed as part of a collaborative effort between the Oregon Department of Education - Oregon Healthy Schools grant, and Multnomah ESD. Educators designed projects that integrated health or physical education standards with either math or science standards.  Project Summary: The project, “Think Before You Eat” is designed to provide students with a voice to be a change agent for their future environment and community. The motto for this unit, “If we know better, we do better.” Students will learn how plastic not only affects our earth's environment but also the harm it can have on us as individuals through the food chain. Students will identify these issues and develop new ways to create healthier alternatives for everyone by reducing plastic pollution. If we use less plastic, we eat less plastic. Students will create awareness in order to impact their communities.

Middle School

Why Does Climate Change Matter?


In this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College, listen as six Native American students share their concerns, hopes, and knowledge about climate change.

Navajo Reflections on Climate Change


In this video segment adapted from Navajo Technical College, meet two members of the Navajo Nation, one Elder and one scientist, as they share their observations about how precipitation has changed since they were children.

High School

Bending the Curve: Mitigating Climate Change


The goal of this unit is for students to gain an awareness of several potential ways to mitigate climate change. Many climate solutions exist, are in use, and can be expanded in scale. Students will examine solutions from Bending the Curve, explore carbon sequestration by trees, coastal wetland restoration, and food waste reduction in more detail. They will propose three (3) realistic solutions that could happen at an individual, school, or community scale that would assist in mitigating climate change.