The development of open education policies will help move OER and OEP from the periphery to the center of education practice.
David Ernst is Chief Information Officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. David is the Director of the Center for Open Education and Executive Director of the Open Textbook Network (OTN).
The OTN is an alliance of higher education institutions committed to improving access, affordability, and academic success through open education. David created and manages the Open Textbook Library (open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/) - a single source for faculty to find quality openly licensed textbooks. David and his colleagues are often invited to other institutions interested in starting their own open textbook initiative on campus.
David is also responsible for leading the College of Education and Human Development's mobile initiative, which began in 2010. Each year, ~450 college freshmen receive an Apple iPad which is integrated into the curriculum of their First Year Experience program. David and colleagues have documented how these mobile devices have especially benefitted students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
David developed Treks - a popular and effective faculty development program format/design that has been used (and improved upon) by college staff to work with faculty on various topics, including mobile learning, flipped classrooms, and hybrid course design. Faculty application to attend Treks is often competitive.
David has presented at many venues, including talks at TEDxKyoto in Kyoto, Japan, and TEDxUMN in Minneapolis, MN, USA. David is also a team leader and board member for Xperitas - a non-profit that works to promote peace, justice and respect through cross-cultural understanding and global cooperation. As a team leader, David brings teams of volunteers to live and work with indigenous peoples around the world. He has traveled to Nepal, Tanzania, Peru, and Thailand with Xperitas.
In 2011, David completed a swim from Alcatraz to the shore of San Francisco. And in 2013, he swam around the Statue of Liberty with his three sons.
Open educational practices also give agency to students by giving them more control over the structure, content, and outcomes of their learning and by creating opportunities for them to create learning materials.
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or that have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others.