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The Hewlett Foundation Blog




Open Educational Resources: Breaking the Lockbox on Education 

November 26, 2013 — By Heath Wickline

The Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program published a new white paper on Open Educational Resources last week:

The idea behind Open Educational Resources (OER) is simple but powerful—educational materials made freely and legally available on the Internet for anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. These digital materials have the potential to give people everywhere equal access to our collective knowledge and provide many more people around the world with access to quality education by making lectures, books and curricula widely available on the Internet for little or no cost. By enabling virtually anyone to tap into, translate and tailor educational materials previously reserved only for students at elite universities, OER has the potential to jump start careers and economic development in communities that lag behind. Millions worldwide have already opened this educational lockbox, but if OER is going to democratize learning and transform the classroom and teaching, then it must move from the periphery of education practice to center stage.

The Foundation plans to help pave the way for that transition and this white paper describes how we plan to accomplish that goal.

A research report that informed the white paper is also available.