#GoOpen Liberty53

Liberty Public School District shares our learning path as we begin our transformational OER journey. The sky is the limit.


#GoOpen Exchange Preparation

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Training to Upload OER Creations

Dr. Eric Langhorst has been a leading educator in our district working on curating OER materials to teach his 8th grade Social Studies class.  It was exciting to watch him and the Middle School 8th grade team, lead by Curriculum Representative Marie Goeglein, tackle the professional development plan and funding allocations for 2016-2017 as they move to spend their funding on OER work instead of purchasing a textbook for their class.Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.11.10 PM


Here is an example of what the team is looking at to hold their instructional materials for the course.  The team realized they had to plan around times to meet together to create documents and locate the best resources to support their units of study.


Amazon Education – First Date

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Partnering with Amazon Inspire (AI) to use and provide feedback on the design of the Learning Object Repository (LOR) offers our teachers a curation platform that joins teacher collaboration and resource searching to a level never before available. Liberty teachers – honestly, all teachers — spend an incredible amount of time researching, curating, and creating resources needed to provide the most valuable, appropriate, and effective learning experiences for our students. The process of searching and downloading offered in the AI platform will allow our teachers to share and save teacher created learning materials as well as save and share OERs for current and future use. The AI platform is one of the most progressive, dynamic tools, aside from a computer, to be placed in the hands of teachers in this decade. Liberty teachers have been looking for this tool for several years. It’s exciting to know the time is now.


Learning from our Ambassador District

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Right from the start of our journey with #GoOpen, Liberty was assigned an Ambassador District to help guide us in our journey.  DrHickmanPhoto-200x300 2We were fortunate to be assigned Dr. Phillip W.V. Hickman, Superintendent of Columbus Municipal School District (MS), as our Ambassador.


Learning from our MidWest Cohort – January 2016


Weekly Meetings with DOE EdTech – January 2016

Our work with the Department of Education Office of Educational Technology was hosted through weekly conference calls supported through a back channel platform called Slack.  The calls included all the schools in a cohort; Liberty was assigned Cohort 1.


I’m sure by design, Cohort 1 included schools in fair proximity to Liberty (MO).  We have had strong partnerships with several, so it was good to hear they were participating.  Cohort 1 included teams from North Kansas City (MO), Affton (MO), Lee’s Summit (MO), Lawrence (KS), and an Ambassador District – Williamsfield.  Although this was not Liberty’s assigned Ambassador district, it was great to have an experience district join our cohort.  In addition, the calls were hosted by Ernest Enzuego, Communications Specialist/Ed Tech, and Dr. Kari Arfstrom with ASCD.

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We spent most of our time on our weekly calls talking through our entry points for our #GoOpen plans, sharing our stories based on a template offered by Ernest and Kari, and finally talking through the upcoming #GoOpen Exchange on February 26th.


Sharing with the LPS Board of Education – December 2015

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Link to LPS #GoOpen White Paper.


Creating the Plan – December 2015



Creating the plan for our OER journey felt a lot like clearing a path to drive after a night in a blizzard.  Pretty appropriate for December.

First step was talking with Liberty’s Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services, Dr. Marlie Williams, about who would be best to include on the #GoOpen Leadership Team for our district.  After long consideration, it seemed very clear to include the curriculum teacher leaders from all the areas that were to be the first asked to #GoOpen:  K-12 Social Studies and Science.  In addition the the teacher leaders, the decision was logical to include the Executive Directors of Elementary, Secondary, and Special Programs, an Elementary and Secondary Principal, and K-5 Innovation & Learning Coaches who directly work with Social Studies and Science.

After checking with our Dr. Phillip Hickman, Superintendent of Columbus Municipal School District (MS), our Ambassador District, we knew we were headed in the right direction.  Dr. Hickman made to wise suggestion to ensure at least half of the #GoOpen Leadership Team be filled with teachers.  “Teachers will give you the best feedback about building curriculum using OERs.”




First Connections – November 2015


“We are Liberty.  We go big or go home.”  That was what we told Andrew Marcinek in our first call about #GoOpen. But perhaps we should start from the beginning…


It all started with a very unassuming, yet eye-opening introduction:

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Diana Laufenberg had been working with our Secondary Social Studies teachers and sent us this introduction email after working extensively with our district this year.  Our collective learning goal  was to professionally develop our team on the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in their units of study.  This was a new journey for some of our Social Studies staff and old hat for others.

Liberty has a traditional six-year cycle of resource review and acquisition that has proved challenging to maintain financially.  Our district’s entry point to #GoOpen, as Diana helped us see more clearly, was the professional development provided to our teaching staff in the year prior to them making a decision about what resources they would select to use for instruction.  This is what pushed us to reflect on our practice and seriously consider using OERs as a primary curriculum resource.  Well, that and the cost of textbooks compared to a seemingly generous resource budget until compared to the actual costs of such static resources.  And so, the journey was on to find the best dynamic digital resources available that fit our instruction and helped our students learn.

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