News in Open Educational Resources (OER)

New OER Funding
This month, CUNY and SUNY were each awarded an additional $4 million dollars in state funding, to help contribute to the Open Educational Resources Initiative. Sources estimate that by Spring 2019, up to $28 million may be saved in textbook and materials costs. 
New OER Creation
As part of the program, some faculty are being funded to create new OER resources. Let’s look at some examples!
One recently published textbook from SUNY OER Services is Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations, by Michelle Bonczek Evory. The text offers an introduction to the craft of poetry, with practical suggestions about starting out, as well as theoretical engagement with the concepts of play, physicality of language, and poetic form. 
Being an OER, the book is 100% free – to everyone. You can download it as a PDF or EBook format, or simply read it online.
Another example is “Foundations of Homecare, also produced by SUNY. Intended as a training resource for those aspiring to be Personal Care Assistants or Home Health Aides, the book is embedded with quizzes that track learning progress, as well as links to word definitions and concepts.
It’s interesting to note that the Creative Commons license used for this Ebook is CC BY, which is the most permissive of the licenses – the most “open.”
CC BY only requires that a user cite the original creator; future users can use the content for any purpose (commercial or non-commercial), and also “remix” the content by adding to it.
The authors may have chosen this license so that the book can be adapted as a training manual as part of a business or commercial enterprise. The Creative Commons license allows for this kind of mixed use, whereas under copyright, they would have to purchase a copy or subscription to the text. 
More OER Textbooks 
If you’d like to check out other texts being developed by SUNY, there’s a list here, with statistics about their current use.

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