Help Design the OER Research Network

 - by Cathy Casserly

The Open University and Carnegie Mellon are working on a proposal to develop infrastructure, community and activity to help share research findings on the design and use of OERs. The draft proposal is available on an open wiki at with a discussion area available at

Wikimedia Foundation is hiring

 - by Cathy Casserly

I had the chance to meet with Sue Gardner, Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation and Eric Moeller, Deputy Director. They sent the following along for anyone interested in working for a great organization.

Wikipedia is about to hire a team of three fundraising people: one focusing on major gifts, one focused on “community” (primarily online) fundraising, and one on research and database management. The most unusual and hard-to-cast role will likely be the online fundraiser: we’ve decided it’s most important that this person have a web usability and writing background. For that role, we would probably forgo fundraising experience in favour of strong online communications skills.

The Wikimedia Foundation has three new job openings related to fundraising, open until May 15. The job descriptions and instructions to apply can be found on the Wikimedia Foundation website:

1) A Head of Major Gifts (AKA Major Gifts Officer), responsible for executing our major gifts strategy;

2) A Head of Community Giving, responsible for our fundraising efforts targeting the general public;

3) A Development Specialist responsible for managing donor information and supporting the above two positions.

If you are interested, please apply before May 15. Also, if you know individuals who might be a good fit for any of these positions, please feel free to forward this e-mail. Thank you. :-)

Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Deadline Approaching: 2008 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration

 - by Cathy Casserly

The deadline for nominations for the 2008 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC Awards) is April 14, 2008. The MATC Awards consist of up to ten $50,000 or $100,000 prizes, which a receiving institution can use in a variety of ways to continue its technology leadership. The awards honor not-for-profit institutions that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the development of open source software for one or more of the constituencies served by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: the arts and humanities in higher education; research libraries, museums; performing arts organizations; and conservation biology.


Awardees are selected by a distinguished committee of technology leaders, including Mitchell Baker, Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, John Seely Brown, Vint Cerf, John Gage, and Tim O€™Reilly. Previous winners include higher education institutions, libraries, and museums  from North America, Europe, and Asia.


An online nomination form and more information may be found at or from the sponsor at  The nominations are public: the community is invited to visit the site and comment.

Hewlett Board approves over $10 million in OER grants!

 - by Cathy Casserly

On March 17, 2008 Trustees of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation approved $10,075,000 in Open Educational Resources grants to the following organizations:

Creative Commons (San Francisco, CA) for general support of Creative Commons and ccLearn. ($4,000,000 over 5 years)

Foothill-De Anza Community College District(Los Altos Hills, CA) to plan and pilot the Community College Open Textbook Project ($330,000 over 1 year with additional collaborative funding from Improving Educational Outcomes in California)

Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) (Portland, ME) to develop and implement an open next-generation science learning environment that fosters innovation, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. ($900,000 over 3 years)

Ithaka Harbors, Inc. (New York, NY) to study the development of the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative at MIT and the broader impact of the OCW movement on users, institutions, philanthropy, and higher education. ($180,000 over 2 years)

Long Now Foundation (San Francisco, CA) to inspire long-term thinking and foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years. (Open Educational Resources $90,000 over 3 years with additional collaborative funding from Performing Arts)

Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE) (Monterey, CA) for general operating support. ($2,050,000 over 2 years)

Rice University (Houston, TX) for general support of the Connexions project ($2,000,000 over 3 years)

Silicon Valley Educational Fund (San Jose, CA) for a planning grant to explore the use of OER in the San Jose School District ($180,000 over one year) 

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) for a planning grant to build an open source, scalable, standards-based, end-to-end open webcast system for managing audio and video content acquisition and distribution. ($120,000 over 1 year)

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) for a planning grant to support opencourseware in health education with universities in South Africa and Ghana to ensure the project is demand driven. ($225,000 over 1 year)

Full proposals will be availble on the Hewlett Fuondation website in a few weeks.


2008 Hewlett Grantee Meeting at Carnegie Mellon

 - by Cathy Casserly

Please provide feedback on the 2008 Grantee meeting – free form is fine – but questions we are wondering about:

1. Is an annual meeting needed or should we move to an every other year schedule?

2. What is the value of bringing the full community together vis-a-vis segements of the community, i.e., content developers, tool developers, etc.?

3. What topics are you interested in?

4. Other thoughts.

 Thanks – we will keep you posted on our next steps. 

Hewlett OER Phase II Powerpoint

 - by Cathy Casserly

Hewlett Phase 2 OER Strategy  The blog is back! Mike, Phoenix, Vic and I will be posting to the blog on a regular basis – sharing thoughts, challenges and updates as our collective work on Open Educational Resources moves ahead. Attached please find the deck that describes Hewlett’s developing phase II strategy. Seems like slide 26 caught most people’s attention.

Language Translation and OER

 - by Cathy Casserly

Laurie Racine has generously offered to Hewlett grantees and other OER projects the use of the dotSUB tools for anything related to translation and closed captioning of any video you might need in multiple languages. There is no cost for this.

To fill you in on this you will find a video post from RocketBoom   that talks about the tools as well as a link to the Banker to the Poor video that was done for Ashoka in advance of the Nobel Prize ceremonies (hit the dropdown menu to the right of the video (in the box labeled WATCH) to see what the captioning would look like in other languages. – again hit the dropdown window under WATCH on the right to see the captioning in different languages).

In effect this isn’t only a service, but also another place to syndicate video content – and the video has embed tags similar to YouTube that allows users to run the video on their own sites and blogs. And there is an option to output the captioned video into compressed formats like WMV or Quicktime.