“[E]veryone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint.” So states the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, which will be released on January 22. Modeled after the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which helped to spark the open access movement, this Declaration aims to stimulate the international development of open access educational resources and technologies by encouraging educators and learners to create, use and adapt open educational resources; calling on educators, publishers and institutions to release resources openly; and promoting policies that support open education. Open education can expand access to knowledge and support more flexible, learner-centered approaches to education. Those with an interest in education (and isn’t that all of us?) are invited to sign the declaration.
For a wonderful example of an open educational repository, check out Connexions. One of Connexions’ most popular and compelling courses is Understanding Basic Music Theory by Kitty Schmidt-Jones, whose modules have been viewed over 7 million times. (Full disclosure/bragging: Connexions got its start at Rice, and Kitty is my cousin’s cousin–or cousin-in-law?)
UPDATE: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Connexions founder Rich Baraniuk published an editorial about the Cape Town Open Education Declaration in the San Francisco Chronicle on January 22.