Oklahoma launches statewide #GoOpen initiative

Oklahoma City (Feb. 26) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education 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.

Oklahoma was recognized for its leadership by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) at the #GoOpen Exchange, a gathering of state and district leaders, education technology platform providers and non-profit organizations working together to help educators transition to using openly licensed educational resources, which can reduce costs for items like textbooks.

Under the commitment, Oklahoma will develop a statewide technology strategy that includes the use of openly licensed resources as a central component, create and maintain a statewide repository of openly licensed resources and collaborate with other #GoOpen states to share learning and professional development resources.

“In order to ensure Oklahoma is offering an education that fully prepares students for college and career, we need to keep up with technology,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said. “Openly licensed resources can be updated regularly, and they reduce overhead for districts, freeing up funds that can directly benefit schoolchildren. The #GoOpen initiative offers districts the chance to collaborate on high-quality resources they might not otherwise have considered.”

Since the launch of #GoOpen, school districts from more than 16 states have worked with innovators from education technology companies, districts and nonprofit organizations who have committed to create new tools and provide professional learning opportunities.

“States are powerful collaborators in supporting and scaling innovation. They can connect forward-thinking educators, share effective ideas and approaches widely, amplify successes and support districts in leveraging limited resources,” said Joseph South, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the USDE.

After the launch of the #GoOpen initiative, participating states will be able to help local districts transition to the new model. Broken Arrow is the first Oklahoma district to pledge to #GoOpen; others are expected to follow.

Openly licensed educational resources have enormous potential not only to empower educators but also 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,” says Andrew Marcinek, Open Education Advisor at the USDE. “We are excited that Oklahoma 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.

Last updated on February 26, 2016