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Educelerate Twin Cities: OER Innovation and Opportunities

Educelerate Twin Cities:  Open Education Resources (OER)—Where is the Innovation Occurring? Where are the Opportunities?

March 13, 2014 (5-7 p.m.)

McNamara Alumni Center (Maroon & Gold Room), University of Minnesota

[SPECIAL PARKING NOTICE:  Due to the Gopher hockey game, we recommend parking in the Oak Street Ramp or Washington Avenue Ramp.]

For more information and directions, please visit"

Join us for our 4th meet-up event of Educelerate Twin Cities as we seek to continue building a diverse network of education stakeholders for conversation and goodwill on how we might work together to further the “edupreneurial ecosystem” in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  

The topic of this event—which is being co-sponsored and hosted by the J CENTER at the University of Minnesota--is: 

 Open Education Resources OER)—Where is the Innovation Occurring?  Where are the Opportunities?”  

Addressing this topic will be two national leaders in OER and digital publishing—one from academia and the other an entrepreneur and veteran of the higher education publishing sector.  David Weerts from the J CENTER will be the moderator.


• Dave Ernst: Dave is the Chief Information Officer at the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and a member of its Adjunct Faculty.  He is also the Executive Director of the Open Textbook Initiative at UMN, which works to improve higher education access, affordability and success for all students.  David helped create and manages the CEHD’s Open Academics textbook catalog where faculty can find over 140 open textbooks (

• Jeff Shelstad: Jeff is General Manager of the College of Professional Studies at Capella University, and the co-founder and former CEO of Flat World Knowledge, a college textbook content publisher and platform provider with an innovative and disruptive business model.  Before launching Flat World Education in 2007, Jeff held a variety of positions in the education publishing industry with Pearson Education and McGraw-Hill.  Jeff did his undergraduate work at the Carlson School of Management and holds an MBA in Marketing from The Fuqua School of Management at Duke University.


David Weerts: David is Associate Professor and Director of the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education at the University of Minnesota.  He is interested in connecting with creative partners who might collaborate with the Center to promote innovation and change in higher education.

Please join us to explore this timely topic and learn about the latest and projected future trends and innovations in Open Education Resources.   Space is limited so please register online.

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  • Jon P.

    I was not able to attend due to work commitments, but I am curious to ask the attendees about their opinion/viewpoint on when they believe that oligopolistic "dead tree" college textbook market will finally give way to more simple, convenient, and affordable options such as OER, e-textbooks, MOOCs. Many assume that "Big Textbook" will have its day of reckoning, but few seem to have any guess about when that day will come. And if that day is coming sooner rather than later, what product categories and companies do you think are best positioned to take advantage of the looming changes?

    March 14, 2014

    • Christopher N.

      Thats exactly what was discussed last night. Make sure to come to the next meetup!

      March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Diverse and wonderful group of people! Well organized and great dialogue and information. Well done and thank you for all the work you put into this!

    March 14, 2014

  • Larry W.

    Sorry we had to miss. Ann and I ended up having to do an important meeting this evening. See you all next time.

    March 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    A+ Dave Ernst's perspectives about the difficulties of creating an ecosystem of open education resources and actually getting professors (who aren't the ones paying for expensive textbooks!!!) to use them was fascinating. His statistics about the exorbitant cost of attending college were shocking. Jeff Shelstad made a very interesting point about how the selling point of OER has been that they are free, but that the real opportunity in the future is how OER allow teachers to take ownership of their course materials and adapt them to their needs -- which will further improve the ecosystem as teacher share their modifications. Gave a sense of what the future might look like . . .

    And the best part was meeting the incredible and diverse group of attendees.

    March 13, 2014

  • Joel D.

    I'm sorry. I will not be able to attend. I hope to attend a future session.

    March 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just notified I'm working tonite. My regrets. Hope to make a future meeting.

    March 13, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Just found out that I will not be able to attend. I will look forward to attending a future session.

    March 12, 2014

  • Jim H.

    Looking forward to yet another JCenter event and my first Educelerate Meetup!

    March 4, 2014

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