The 'Why Open Education Matters' video competition hopes to raise awareness of the way OER is transforming teaching and learning.
A decade after MIT's OpenCourseWare project kicked off the Open Educational Resources movement, it's transformed people's ability to share knowledge across the globe. Last fall, Stanford professors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun offered their most popular class to the world for free, and Thrun went on to launch an entire open education platform. MIT launched MITx, which allows anyone to take MIT classes online and earn certificates of completion, and several universities are developing OER libraries stocked with free or low-cost digital course materials.
But despite these revolutionary examples—and the real impact they're making on people's lives—most people still don't know what the OER movement is. To help push awareness of OER into the mainstream, Creative Commons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Open Society Foundations are taking advantage of the first-ever Open Education Week by launching "Why Open Education Matters," a video competition that will award cash prizes of up to $25,000 to the "best short videos that explain the use and promise of free, high-quality open educational resources and describe the benefits and opportunities these materials create for teachers, students and schools."