David, Goliath, and the Future of the U.S. K-12 OER Movement

I’ve been engaged in thinking deeply about the promise and opportunity afforded the U.S. K-12 education system by open educational resources (OER) since 2009, although my first exposure to the ideas and leaders of the movement stretch back to the launch of the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative. I’m deeply grateful for the support and collegiality of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation over this time, including for allowing me to attend this year’s annual OER meeting. I also owe thanks to the many others engaged in the movement, who have both helped to educate me and continue to welcome my – at times – persistent, sometime orthogonal pursuit of ideas, intersections, and root causes.

While the meeting retained for me some of its characteristic David versus Goliath ethic, it is hard not to see momentum shifting in favor of the acceptance of OER both as a positive social movement and as a pragmatic solution to curricular challenges facing schools.

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