Category: Higer Education

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

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  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.


A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement

 - by Cathy Casserly

Hewlett Foundation Open Educational Resources Report - pdf version.

For Hewlett OER Report – doc version, click here.

 A comprehensive review and facing forward look of the OER field from:

  • Dan Atkins, Director of Cyberinfrastructure at NSF;
  • John Seely Brown, former Chief Scientist of Xerox, Director of PARC, and
  • Allen Hammond, World Resources Institute.

Just released, A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievement, Challenges and New Opportunities. Please distribute, read, digest and discuss here at OERderves. This report examines The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s past investments in Open Educational Resources, the emerging impact and explores future opportunities.

Central to the report is the idea of “The Brewing Perfect Storm” and the creation of an Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure.

We welcome your thoughts, creativity and expertise!

Must Read – Open Educational Practices and Resources

 - by Cathy Casserly

The Open eLearning Content Observatory Services (OLCOS) has just released its final version of its report on Open Educational Practices and Resouces - Roadmap 2012. The report was funded by the European Commission under the eLearning Programme and involved six project partners. The OLCOS engages in activities that foster the creation, sharing and re-use of OER in Europe and across the globe.

 The report includes a thorough examination of OER challenges in the years ahead to encourage further uptake. A clear distinction is made regarding the the production of OER vis-a-vis the their application in educational practices. The report argues for a intentional focus on innovative OER practices in the teaching and learning process if we are to transform teaching and learning. While the transformative nature of OER is what the movement is all about – we now need to move proactively to this stage. This report is a must read for anyone in the OER community.


 - by Marshall

Today we met with some folks from Intel and talked about school reform in Vietnam.  Intel is building a plant just outside of Saigon and is very involved with Viet Nam’s Ministry of Education. They are interested in exploring the possibilities of open education resources.