Creative Commons, U.S. Department of Education, and Open Society Foundations present

Why Open Education Matters

Create a short video that explains the benefits and promise of Open Educational Resources for teachers, students and schools everywhere.

Who creates Open Educational Resources?

As we've mentioned before, Open Educational Resources have been around for over 10 years now. And OER have been created and shared by a wide range of teachers, schools, nonprofits, and even commercial businesses. Below are a brief description of some of the projects that have been creating high quality OER. This list is attributed to Creative Commons and excerpted from the CC Education page.

MIT Open Courseware
MIT OpenCourseWare has been releasing its materials — web versions of virtually all MIT course content — under a CC BY-NC-SA license since 2004. Today, MIT OCW has 2000 courses available freely and openly online for anyone, anywhere to adapt, translate, and redistribute. MIT OCW have been translated into at least 10 languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, French, German, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian. In 2011, MIT OCW celebrated its 10th anniversary, having reached 100 million individuals, and announced MITx, an initiative to provide certification for completion of its courses. The OpenCourseWare concept has now spread to hundreds of universities worldwide.

Khan Academy
The Khan Academy offers over 3,00 instructional videos covering everything from basic algebra to advanced chemistry, biology, and even the current day banking crisis. While working at an investment fund, Salman Khan started tutoring his younger cousins in his spare time by creating and posting videos to YouTube. As the videos grew in popularity, the Khan Academy was born. 3.5 millions learners use the site each month, and all videos are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, with some already translated into Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, and more. The Khan Academy is currently exploring a system that awards learners points and badges as they progress.

CK-12 Foundation
The CK-12 Foundation addresses the growing costs of textbooks and the closed, outdated medium in which they are available. Focusing specifically on textbooks for U.S. K-12 schools, the nonprofit works with states and institutions to build web-based, collaborative "flexbooks" that are free to use and adapt in multiple formats like PDF, iPad and Kindle. Over 90 textbooks are available for reuse under the CC BY-NC-SA license. The CK-12 Foundation is also a major contributor to the California Free Digital Textbooks Initiative, a CA initiative that aligns open textbooks to state standards.

OER Africa
OER Africa is a network of projects that enables active participation by educators and other stakeholders in the improvement of education systems in Africa. Originally founded in 1992 by the South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide) to address the educational inequalities in post-apartheid South Africa, OER Africa now consists of a number of robust initiatives across the continent, including the African Health OER Network, AgShare project (Agricultural OER), and open university policies such as the default CC BY license policy for all Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology materials. The OER Africa site and its materials is also defaulted under CC BY.

Curriki is known as the "next generation wiki" for K-12 education; it is an online community and wiki platform for teachers, learners, and education experts to share, reuse, and remix educational resources. Instead of purchasing supplemental materials, teachers can find and develop resources, share lesson plans, and collaborate on materials with each other. More than 40,000 educational resources are available on the platform under CC BY-NC, with much of this content aligned to state standards.

Connexions is a repository and collaborative platform of educational materials that breaks down larger collections, such as textbooks and courses, into basic building blocks known as modules. Each module has a corresponding web page, so educators can mix and match pages to create custom lessons. All ~20,000 modules are licensed CC BY so they can be continually edited, translated, and adapted. Collaborative Statistics is an example of one textbook that has seen this remix and revision since its initial publication on the platform.

Bloomsbury Academic
Bloomsbury Academic is an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, publisher of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury Academic publishes its research titles in the humanities and social sciences under CC BY-NC, with the complete text of its CC-licensed publications available on its website. Bloomsbury Academic also offers the printed or ebook versions for purchase, resulting in a hybrid business model where free digital access supplements high quality formats. Its research publications include CC Board member Lawrence Lessig's Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

Flat World Knowledge
Flat World Knowledge is the largest commercial publisher of free and openly licensed college textbooks. Co-founded by the Director of Marketing for Prentice Hall Business Publishing, Flat World Knowledge provides free online access to textbooks under the CC BY-NC-SA license, while offering print-on-demand copies and supplemental materials for a low cost -- on average, students pay 80% less for FWK textbooks versus traditional commercial textbooks. Professors and students can also customize their textbooks via FWK's online platform.

Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU)
P2PU is a grassroots education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements -- creating a model for lifelong learning alongside traditional higher education models. Leveraging the Internet and open educational resources, P2PU provides a social environment for anyone to organize courses, study groups, and design challenges on anything from Copyright 4 Educators to Webmaking 101. All community-produced content is made available for reuse under a default CC BY-SA license. P2PU is also exploring alternative methods of assessment and certification through its badges pilot.