You may have heard some buzz about the "Why Open Education Matters" video contest, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Creative Commons, and Open Society Foundations. The contest raises awareness about the promise of open educational resources (OER) -- free online materials with open licenses which allow teachers and learners to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the digital resources to their heart's content. What better way to keep educational materials relevant, customizable, and inexpensive?
Over sixty videos were submitted to the contest, and checking out just a few of them will help you understand what open education is all about. A panel of judges will choose winners and award cash prizes -- and there's also a Public Choice vote, open from now through July 11th. I myself am going to have a hard time picking just one to vote for -- so I've chosen a few of my favorites for this playlist. Go to the Why Open Education Matters website to vote for your favorite, or to see more! Winners will be announced on July 18th.
Video Playlist: Why Open Education Matters
Keep watching the player below to see the entire playlist, or view this playlist on YouTube.
- Why Open Education Matters (02:28)
I hadn't heard of rabble-rousing un-college startup Degreed before, but this beautifully animated video made me go straight to their website to see what they were about. Learn more about the video here, or vote for it here.
- Game Changer: Open Education is Changing the Rules (02:57)
A chorus of voices from the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), a foundation that offers workshops, support and training for OER. They also put on the wonderful Big Ideas Fest. Vote for this video here.
- The OERs - Open Educational Resources (02:37)
This lovely, colorfully animated video is reminiscent of vintage early sixties graphics. Produced by a team out of Venezuela known as "intheacademia." Vote for this video here.
- Smashing Cameras - "Open Education Resource!" (Official Music Video) (02:42)
I can't resist giving props to the student band Smashing Cameras for writing and performing an original rap song about OER. Awesome. Vote for this video here.
- Why Open Education Matters (02:50)
Self-described "edtech fangirl & startup addict" Ope Bukola submitted this great Sharpie animation that shows the impact OER can have in other countries. Keep an eye on her K-12 course-sharing startup, CourseSky. Vote for this video here.
- Open Source Education - King Philip Regional High School (02:59)
Extra points for creativity on this highly dramatic video from King Philip Regional High School. Keep the fire of knowledge blazing! Vote for this video here.
- Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society (01:51)
- Open Education Matters (02:32)
An endearingly low-fi video with apples as a metaphor for ideas -- student-produced by rising star entrepreneur Emilie Robert Wong, winner of the Technovation Challenge in 2010 for an Android app she developed at the tender age of 14. Vote for this video here.
- Open Education Matters: Why is it important to share content? (03:32)
This video is also subtitled in Spanish, and features a fun animated story about the sharing of resources across the globe. Vote for this video here.
- Why Open Education Matters
I have a soft spot for animation, and this one made me smile. A media company from Cape Town, South Africa called Blink Tower produced this cutie-pie explainer video. Love the characters and the happy tone. Vote for this video here.
More Open Educational Resources
While much of the Open Education movement is focused on higher education, with sites like Coursera, Flat World Knowledge, and Udacity offering free college courses and textbooks, and universities like MIT and Yale making their materials available freely online, there is also a wealth of places to find OER for the K-12 set. Here are just a few websites where you can start digging. You can also follow the #OER hashtag on Twitter.