Michigan Launches Statewide #GoOpen Initiative

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

February 26, 2016

LANSING – Michigan school districts will be able to use a wide range of teaching and learning materials free of charge with the launching of a new statewide #GoOpen initiative, the Michigan Department of Education announced today.

Michigan is 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.

Openly-licensed educational resources are learning materials that can be used for teaching, learning, and assessment without cost. They can be modified and redistributed without violating copyright laws.

Michigan was recognized for its leadership by the U.S. Department of Education at the #GoOpen Exchange, a gathering of state and district leaders, innovative education technology platform providers, and non-profit organizations working together to share knowledge and experiences to help educators transition to using openly licensed educational resources.

“Michigan is excited to join the other #GoOpen states in development, sharing, customization, promotion and use of open educational resources,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “Michigan’s Technology Infrastructure Readiness Grant has enabled us to move forward with the development of the MiOpen Bookssite, which represents our first statewide effort to provide open educational resources to Michigan educators.”

The collaboration with other states will accelerate these efforts and further enhance access to high quality digital resources in support of the Michigan’s content standards, according to Michelle Ribant, Director of 21st Century Learning at the Michigan Department of Education.

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

“With the launch of statewide #GoOpen initiatives, states are helping districts thoughtfully transition to a new model of learning by facilitating the creation of an open ecosystem of digital resources that can increase equity and empower teachers,” South added.

Michigan was recognized for its commitment to a statewide technology strategy that includes the use of openly-licensed resources as a central component, developing and maintaining a statewide repository solution for openly-licensed resources, and participating in a community of practice with other #GoOpen states and districts to share learning and professional development resources.

Since the launch of #GoOpen, school districts from more than 16 states have worked with #GoOpen Ambassador districts and innovators from education technology companies and nonprofit organizations that have committed to creating new tools and provide professional learning opportunities to help districts in their transition to using high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources in their schools.

Openly-licensed educational resources have enormous potential to 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 U.S. Department of Education. “We are excited that Michigan 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.