We are delighted to announce the full line up of featured speakers for our 2020 OER Conference. Joining The Zemos Collective and sava saveli singh who were announced at the end of 2019, we have now completed the line up with Joe Deville and Janneke Adema.
CORE is launching the 1.0 version of Economy, Society, and Public Policy (ESPP), its free, open-access text for non-specilaists in economics.
This new free, open source economics textbook was developed by polling students from 25 universities about what economics should teach, explains Professor Homa Zarghamee of Barnard College.
New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof thinks understanding the basics of the economy will help you get far in life.
College students receive any number of recommended introductory courses. But according to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, one of the key classes you might need to take to succeed in life might be an introductory economics course.
As part of the Marketplace Morning Report’s “Econ Extra Credit” project, host David Brancaccio spoke with Kristof about how an Econ 101 class can provide a student with a robust toolbox that could be used later in life to both understand and address larger issues like rent control or how to fund a tax cut.
“We’ve repeatedly mangled macro economic policy in the U.S.,” Kristof said. “It’s pretty obvious that even lawmakers kind of have no clue about really basic issues, like you know, what a fiscal stimulus is.”
Click on the player above to hear their conversation on the merits of Econ 101, as well as Kristof’s thoughts on how introductory economics has adapted to better reflect real world economic issues.
This interview is part of our “Econ Extra Credit” project, where we read a new introductory economics textbook provided by the non-profit Core-Econ together with our listeners. If you’d like to join us in this project, email MorningReport@marketplace.org and let us know you’re reading along with Marketplace through the end of Spring.
Naturally I worry that the participation rates will start high and end low, but the fact that they’re encouraging their listeners to expand themselves and delve a bit deeper than just listening to their show is fantastic.
And honestly, who couldn’t use an ECON refresher from time to time–particularly one that takes a dramatically different approach to the subject than the one many of us took?
Economy, Society, and Public Policy is intended to provide hands-on experience for students in using data to understand economic questions. For each unit there is an accompanying empirical project called Doing Economics. These address important policy problems using real data. Doing Economics: Empirical Projects is available as a free ebook. We have also produced a guide to Doing Economics for instructors.
We analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas. Here’s how political divides shape what students learn about the nation’s history.
📑 Highlights and Annotations
Conservatives have fought for schools to promote patriotism, highlight the influence of Christianity and celebrate the founding fathers. In a September speech, President Trump warned against a “radical left” that wants to “erase American history, crush religious liberty, indoctrinate our students with left-wing ideology.” ❧
I can’t help but think here about a recent “On The Media” episode A Civilization As Great As Ours which highlighted changes in how history is taught in India. This issue obviously isn’t just relegated to populist India.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:22AM
Pearson, the publisher whose Texas textbook raises questions about the quality of Harlem Renaissance literature, said such language “adds more depth and nuance.” ❧
If they wanted to add more “depth and nuance” wouldn’t they actually go into greater depth on the topic by adding pages instead of subtly painting it such a discouraging light?
But Texas students will read that some critics “dismissed the quality of literature produced.”
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:27AM
Publishers are eager to please state policymakers of both parties, during a challenging time for the business. Schools are transitioning to digital materials. And with the ease of internet research, many teachers say they prefer to curate their own primary-source materials online. ❧
Here’s where OER textbooks might help to make some change. If free materials with less input from politicians and more input from educators were available. But then this pushes the onus down to a different level with different political aspirations. I have to think that taking the politicization of these decisions at a state level would have to help.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:30AM
How Textbooks are Produced
- Authors, often academics, write a national version of each text.
- Publishers customize the books for states and large districts to meet local standards, often without input from the original authors.
- State or district textbook reviewers go over each book and ask publishers for further changes.
- Publishers revise their books and sell them to districts and schools. ❧
This is an abominable process for history textbooks to be produced, particularly at mass scale. I get the need for broad standards, but for textbook companies to revise their books without the original authors is atrocious. Here again, individual teachers and schools should be able to pick their own texts if they’re not going to–ideally–allow their students to pick their own books.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:33AM
“The textbook companies are not gearing their textbooks toward teachers; they’re gearing their textbooks toward states,” she said. ❧
And even at this they should be gearing them honestly and truthfully toward the students.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:39AM
OER Commons is a dynamic digital library and network. Explore open education resources and join our network of educators dedicated to curriculum improvement.
Legal scholars are increasingly adopting and creating free textbooks in an attempt to increase affordability for students. But are these textbooks considered open educational resources?
I’m happy to share it if others are looking for the same and don’t have the ability (or frankly the time) to make the conversion. I also have a .mobi version (for Kindle) of the text as well since it didn’t require much additional work. These are exact replicas with no changes and come with the same CC BY-NC 4.0 license. If Jesse or Sean want copies to make available on their site, I’m happy to send them along.
If you have the means, please be sure to make a donation to help support the book and Sean and Jesse’s work.
Then to quickly generate a subscribe-able podcast feed, create a free Huffduffer.com account (using the class name perhaps?) and use Huffduffer’s browser bookmarklet to save your Archive.org posts to your account. Huffduffer can provide podcast feeds out of individual user accounts, collectives, and even by tags, so you’ve got a lot of flexibility in how you and students can subscribe to content there. As an example you can subscribe to a “community podcast” for the tag A Domain of One’s Own.
If you create a custom/unique tag for the class, students can record and tag their own content to create an audio conversation back and forth if desired.
The open education community I run with is filled with the kind of people who think words really matter. For a while now we’ve been debating what to call the things we care about and do: open practices, open resources, open pedagogy, open licensing, open this, open that. Our debate is hot enough to make some people turn away and others dig in. But when words matter this much it signals real tensions in beliefs, priorities, territories and relationships.
Textbooks are too expensive.
tl;dr: Professors aren’t doing the learning, so at most they should recommend one or more textbooks, but never require them. The students should choose their own textbooks or otherwise fend for themselves (many are already doing this anyway, so why disadvantage them further with the economic burdens) and direct market forces will very quickly fix the problem of run-away book prices.
Professors should not be middle-people in the purchase decisions of textbooks.
This year the conference is going to have a number of featured speakers for our plenary sessions. Instead of traditional keynotes this year’s plenary sessions will have different formats and includ…
- Inoreader has been working on a beta product that will make following social feeds in Twitter, Micro.blog, the Fediverse, and even IndieWeb sites with h-entry easier and prettier.
- Kicks Condor has been iterating and doing some interesting work on the FraidyCat reader over the past few weeks.
- Malcolm Blaney has a fantastic little feed reader in his Unicyclic site (not to mention that he’s also got a cool looking IndieWeb as a Service site with i.haza.website that I desperately want to have time to try out).
- The volume of different and interesting content going into IndieWeb.xyz as a discovery hub has been increasing lately.
- I’ve been admiring the discovery/aggregation work of Terry Greene on his OpenLearnerPatchbook and OpenFacultyPatchbook sites within the education space.
- CJ Eller and others have been contributing to Blogging Futures as an extended online conversation in the form of an aggregated blogchain.
And none of this even touches on the excellent continuing work on Microsub readers which continues to astound me. Even with all of this activity, I’m sure I’m missing some fun little gems, so please don’t hesitate to mention them.
Fleming College faculty (and anyone else who’d like to add!) are building a community patchwork of ‘chapters’ into a quasi-textbook about pedagogy for teaching & learning in college. This space is that work in progress. Each patch of the quilt/chapter of the book (let’s call it a patch book) will focus on one pedagogical skill and be completed and published by an individual faculty member. Wherever possible, we’d like to have the student perspective embedded in the work as well.