More than 300 public educators from up and down the East Coast descended on the Fulghum Conference Center at the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center @ Hull for the #GoOpen Regional Summit conference today.
The national conference focused on Open Educational Resources (OER) in a digital learning environment and is part of the school division’s commitment to the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign. Attendees focused on blended learning in classrooms and free educational resources to support authentic online learning opportunities. They also heard from keynote speaker, Google’s Education Evangelist Jaime Casap.
“Chesterfield County Public Schools is proud to be the host of this national conference,” School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “Since our school division was named a #GoOpen Ambassador in 2014, we have embraced our role as a leader in developing a regional approach to collecting open educational resources to support innovative teaching practices.”
The #GoOpen regional summit, organized and run by the school division’s Technology Department, was for school districts that have recently committed to becoming a #GoOpen Launch district or are curious about making a scalable transition to openly licensed educational resources. The summit also linked the new and interested school districts with #GoOpen Ambassador districts that have done some work on making this transition and helped facilitate one or more of the workshops throughout the day.
“In the past, the teaching-and-learning process was dictated by how much a school division could spend on textbooks and the experts who authored them,” Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. James Lane. “What we know is that textbooks don’t teach; our teachers do. Now, our instructional leaders can change the face of the classroom by accessing and creating online curriculums that are free for everyone. It’s a great tool for our anytime, anywhere learning efforts.”
The U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign encourages states, school districts and educators to use OERs to transform teaching and learning. OERs are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research and other purposes.
Chesterfield County Public Schools was named a #GoOpen Ambassador in 2014. School districts that are designated #GoOpen are committing to transition to using high-quality, openly licensed educational resources in their schools. The #GoOpen Ambassador districts serve as mentors to school districts transitioning to openly licensed learning materials.