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Modesto Junior College
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Online Education


Friday, March 29 
"The Signaling Power of Zero Textbook Cost Degrees" by Hal Plotkin (FLEX #6100)
East Campus - Library Basement 10
Check out the recording below!

The Online Education Department welcomes guest speaker, Hal Plotkin, as he presents "The Signaling Power of Zero Textbook Cost Degrees." Key points to be discussed are as follows:

  • The roots and history of the open educational resources movement.
  • How Zero Textbook Cost degrees help overcome the psychology of poverty.
  • How faculty members can use their keyboards and subject matter expertise to become philanthropists.
  • The pedagogical advantages and opportunities associated with open educational resources.
  • Opportunities to lead the global open educational resources movement.

Hal Plotkin is the former Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Education during the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. Prior to his service as a presidential appointee, Mr. Plotkin was a member and president of the board of trustees of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. He is also the first graduate of Foothill College to ever serve on its governing board. Mr. Plotkin is one of the early leaders of the international Open Educational Resources movement. In 2003, he authored the first board policy at a community college in the United States that promoted the use of Open Educational Resources. In the years since, Open Educational Resources have saved students in the U.S. more than $1 billion dollars while also improving the quality of teaching and learning, according to the Scholarly Publishing and Research Coalition. As a professional journalist and commentator, Mr. Plotkin wrote more than 650 articles for a wide variety of outlets, including Harvard Business School Publishing, Inc. magazine,, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle, and International Business magazine, among others. He is a founding editor of the public radio program Marketplace, a former Bay Area radio talk show host, and served as Senior Open Policy Fellow at Creative Commons USA from 2014-2017. Mr. Plotkin was one of the key advocates of Governor Jerry Brown’s California community college Zero Textbook Cost degree initiative. He earned his A.A. degree in History from Foothill Community College and his B.A. degree in Behavioral Sciences from San Jose State University.

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