Monday, January 28, 2008

Unlocking the promise of open educational resources

This short notice in The Chronicle of Higher Education's Daily Report caught my attention last week, and I’m very glad it did.

January 23, 2008

Open-Access Activists Publish Declaration

The founders of Wikipedia and Connexions, an open-access source for educational material, revealed their Cape Town Open Education Declaration in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday.
declaration grew out of a September 2007 meeting to spur the open-education movement. The goal is to create more educational resources that anyone can freely access and contribute to. Members of the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation, which support education, attended the September meeting.
Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and Rich Baraniuk (Connexions) write that open education “promises to turn the textbook-production pipeline into a vast dynamic ecosystem that is in a constant state of creation, use, reuse, and improvement.”
—Hurley Goodall

The opening paragraph of the Capetown Delcaration is promising and exciting:

“We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.”

After reading the declaration, I realize that I am woefully unaware of the growing pool of open educational resources. But I intend to become a proactive learner and discover more about how I can integrate the practice of creating and using open resources in my own classroom. It’s an exciting notion.

Click here to read the entire declaration and follow the related links, and here is a link to the FAQs.

See Mark Shuttleworth as he introduces the Cape Town Open Education Declaration:

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