Open Educational Resources

Department of Ed Names First OER Advisor

The United States Department of Education has hired its first "open education" advisor. Andrew Marcinek's new job in the Office of Education Technology (OET) is to help K-12 and colleges and universities learn about open educational resources (OER), free digital teaching, learning and research resources available in the public domain.

"Creating a dedicated open education advisor position at the department will greatly enhance our ability to support states and districts as they move to using openly licensed learning resources," said OET Director Richard Culatta in a prepared statement. "The use of openly-licensed resources not only allows states and districts to adapt and modify materials to meet student needs, but also frees up funding to support the transition to digital learning."

The announcement comes just months after ED retired, a small corner of its site that offered links to digital teaching and learning resources created by the federal government and other organizations. In June, when the site was shuttered, the agency explained that technology had made it "increasingly easier" to find OER resources.

Before the appointment Marcinek worked on digital transitions in several school districts. In Massachusetts he served as the director of technology for Grafton Public Schools and instructional technology specialist at Burlington High School. He's the co-founder of EducatorU, a consultancy that advises on the integration of technology into schools. Marcinek is also the author of the book, The 1:1 Roadmap: Setting the Course for Innovation in Education and maintains the blog, "One more thing..."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.