ED seeks nonprofit partners to expand #GoOpen network

The U.S. Education Department‘s Office of Educational Technology is seeking stories on how openly licensed materials have positively impacted teaching and learning, according to a recent blog post.

The office also expressed interest in working with one or more nonprofit organizations to either expand on the existing or build a new #GoOpen network, a campaign that began under the Obama administration in 2015 and has since grown into a network of 109 districts and 20 states.

“#GoOpen has shown that solutions to persistent education issues do not occur in isolation,” wrote Sharon Leu, a senior policy advisor for higher education innovation at ED. “And we have seen that, through strong partnerships and networks of support from diverse stakeholders, small changes can make big impacts.”

The department hopes to connect more districts and states to the #GoOpen initiative and, more specifically, expand best practices and integrate evidence of the efficacy of openly licensed resources into the broader education policy dialogue and research agenda, Leu wrote.

Candidate qualifications

Organizations “best suited” for helping the agency expand the #GoOpen network should have “extensive experience” helping educators and school leaders, including educational resource and technology staff, in “selecting and implementing a variety of digital and non-digital learning strategies.”

Leu also said such organizations should have specific expertise in providing assistance to stakeholders to share, use, and collaborate on open educational resources using a variety of digital learning platforms.

In addition, interested organizations should have a track record of leading or coordinating discussions on various education policy issues, especially related to the “promise and perils of digital learning and increasing educational opportunity for a growing diversity of students,” according to the blog.

Under the partnership, the Office of Educational Technology expects to collaborate with one or more organizations in providing leadership for the development of regional communities of practice and building networks comprising other committed partner organizations, Leu said.

Among other tasks, the selected organization(s) will coordinate with OET to:

  • Co-design, develop, and lead outreach activities geared toward developing a coalition of local leaders.
  • Create experiences that encourage educators, districts, and states to build on initial commitments.
  • Capture and share promising practices.
  • Advance the education policy dialogue on the use of technology to transform learning.

Proposal guidelines

Organizations that are chosen to undertake this work should have the resources necessary to support their own activities during the partnership, as OET will not provide any funding, the department said.

According to the blog, interested parties need to submit a written statement of interest to OET, including:

  • A proposal that describes a possible design for the structure of the new or expanded #GoOpen network.
  • The organization’s role and approach to scaling the #GoOpen movement through regional communities of practice.
  • The organization’s strategy to integrate evidence of the efficacy of openly licensed resources into the broader education policy dialogue.
  • Any other information relevant to the organization’s experience in education or technology policy.

Statements of interest should be submitted electronically to the Office of Educational Technology at tech@ed.gov with the subject line “#GoOpen Statement of Interest” no later than June 2, 2017.

Emily Ann Brown covers education technology and STEM education issues for LRP Publications.

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