The Promise of
Open Educational Resources
APEC Education Meeting
Xian, China
January 16, 2008
Marshall S. Smith and Phoenix M. Wang
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Our Global Challenges
• Rapid social and economic change
• Great human-made problems
– Global warming
– Extensive poverty
– Terrorism
– Nuclear proliferation
Meeting Challenges Requires Social and
Educational Transformation
• Build on common values to strengthen
resolve to improve the world while cherishing
diversity and its innovative power
• Enable access for all to knowledge and
opportunities for learning
• Prepare all with old and new skills to address
problems
Changing World Requires Old + New
Basics
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Facts & skills based
Teacher controlled
Work alone
Avoid failure
Discipline based
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Deeper understanding
Student controlled pace
Creative by creating
Work in groups
Synthesize and analyze
Try, fail and try again
A Powerful Tool for Systemic Reform
and Transformation
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•
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High quality educational content and tools
Free on the Web anytime
Usable and re-usable
Adaptable for all cultures and languages
Accelerating Global Movement
Higher Education
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• 90+ universities around the world published OCWs
• 4,000+ courses, 400+ translated into 10 languages
K12
Journals, Books, Videos, Data,
Games…
Usage Expanding
4,500
4,000
3,500
3,000
2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
500
0
Number of Visits Per Month (000)
All other
MIT
Open is Powerful for Learning
Because…
…Institutions can now reach people that they don’t
have the capacity to serve
…Individuals have control over the content -- adapting
and perfecting
…Continuous improvement through user and expert
feedback and modification
…Act of modifying is an instructive learning process
Amartya Sen
Views knowledge, education, and health as necessary to
ensure freedom.
Winston Churchill
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candle with it.”
Thomas Jefferson
“He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction
itself without lessening mine: as he who lights his taper at
mine, receives light without darkening me.”
Movement Will Continue
• Changing habits
of the new
generation
• Challenges that require
different skills than often
taught in schools
• Openly sharing digital
content becoming cultural
norms
Some of The Obstacles
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Intellectual Property
Localization and Translation
Interoperability
Accessibility
Sustainability
Institutions and Individuals have taken the
lead so far…
Governments starting to define their roles…
How might openness enable government to
initiate systemic change? Four examples.
Dramatically Increase Access to K12 and Higher Education
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Reach remote areas without
qualified teachers with full
blown, complete courses:
(multi-media, lecture,
cognitive tutor.)
Reach people out of school
or lifelong learners
Using proctored
assessments to give credit
for open learning.
Photo by mathew ramsey via Flickr
Open Collaboration Enables Governments to
Build Leading Universities
•
Use Open Courseware: builds a
global library of teaching materials
from leading universities worldwide:
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Open archiving (publishing, data
bases and data analysis) to support
research: books, journals, video.
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Shared courses located on virtual
worlds.
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Open web-based laboratories create
lab experiences for those without labs
Openness Leads to Fast Feedback
Loops That Engage Rapid Cycles of
Improvement of Teaching Materials
Open Textbooks
Accelerated Learning Challenges
Conventional Wisdom
Beyond Systemic Reform –
Transform Learning
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•
•
•
•
Facts & skills based
Teacher controlled
Work alone
Avoid failure
Discipline based
•
•
•
•
•
•
Deeper understanding
Student controlled pace
Creative by creating
Work in groups
Synthesize and analyze
Try, fail and try again
Properties of 21st Century Learning
Environment
Motivating:
– Positive reinforcement for success and progress
– Allows learner to control pace, time, and level of engagement
Problem Oriented:
– Allows for experimentation, failures and practice
– Allows learner to test different hypotheses
Engages in real or simulated situations
– Driven by compelling problem
– Allow learners to try on different identities and change
perspectives
Allows for personalization through feedback:
– Capable of tracking an individual’s performance and
personalizing experience
Problem-Based Learning Environments:
Virtual and Open
Science Education:
Immune Attack
Politics:
PeaceMaker
Poverty:
Food Force
Harvard Law Extension
School’s Virtual Class in
Second Life
Opening The World to Knowledge and Education
http://www.Hewlett.org
http://www.OERCommons.org
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
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