Several years ago the state of Indiana saw a unique opportunity for teachers and students as educational technology became the focus for many districts thanks to the introduction of more portable device offerings. Educational leaders saw the potential of these devices in the hands of students and decided that textbook adoption money would be better spent elsewhere. Districts were now encouraged to simply adopt materials that met the needs of their students, regardless of format (Public Law 73-2011). Once districts were given permission to forego traditional textbook adoption, many started exploring the world of 1:1 initiatives and digital instructional materials. A lot has happened in the past eight years, and currently Indiana is a leader across the country in the educational technology arena.
As Indiana continues this work it only made sense to join the US Office of Educational Technology in their #GoOpen Campaign. In February of 2016 Indiana was named a #GoOpen state to help launch the initiative. By using openly licensed digital materials to support teaching and learning, Indiana districts are redistributing money to professional learning for teachers, increasing equity, providing timely and relevant resources to students, and supporting Indiana teachers as they strive to meet the needs of all students. Since 2016 Indiana has hosted three #GoOpen Summits and has five Indiana #GoOpen districts: Hamilton Southeastern School District, Noblesville Schools, East Noble School Corporation, MSD of Southwest Allen County Schools, and MSD of Warren Township. For more information on OER, check out this resource.
“Openly licensed educational resources can increase equity by providing all students, regardless of zip code, access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content.” - Acting Secretary John King
As teachers and students shift from print materials to digital instructional materials, they often discover that having access to a district Learning Management System (LMS) best supports a digital environment. If your district is searching for a LMS, this flyer may be of assistance; if you would like to use a rubric to evaluate potential LMS platforms, we have created one for you to use. To hear from teachers who are utilizing a few of the more popular platforms in Indiana, view this eLearning Lab webinar.