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Key Messages

Hal Plotkin (DOE) has released Free to Learn: An Open Educational Resources Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials.

The guide explains how the flexibility and diversity of Open Educational Resources (OER) can improve teaching and learning in higher education, all while retaining quality and enabling resource sharing and collaboration.

Free to Learn features case studies and highlights several interviews with leaders of the OER community. The document suggests that community colleges are uniquely positioned to both take advantage of OER opportunities and to become pioneers in teaching through the creative and cost-effective use of OER.

“The tremendous promise of Open Educational Resources for advancing the mission of higher education is clear,” said Hal Plotkin, author of Free to Learn. “Higher education governance officials need only summon the will and enact governing board policies that institutionalize support for OER to move these activities from the periphery of higher education to its core, where the results would be truly transformative. We hope that this guide provides a starting point that builds understanding of OER and its incredible potential for transforming teaching and learning.”

Plotkin currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor to Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter at the U.S. Department of Education, and is a longtime supporter of community colleges and Creative Commons. He is the former president of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Governing Board of Trustees and penned one of the first articles about Creative Commons for SF Gate in 2002. (Creative Commons post)

= Other Notes

  • CCCCOER as a catalyst - Cable Green
  • WE - excellent resource to get the word out; i.e., textbook reviews - Jacky
  • OER helped our textbooks and our careers - Jacky quoting Barbara Illowsky


  • 1 year (no discount)
  • 3 year (30% discount) + lower transaction costs