The internets are buzzing with the news of the $2 billion grant program jointly offered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor. There was some initial hype (driven partly by a blog post on CreativeCommons.org) that the grant would go toward creating $2 billion of open educational resources. However, while the grant program does require that curricular materials created under its auspices be released under a creative commons license, there is no requirement that the grant money go toward creating curricular materials in the first place. According to a spokesperson from the Department of Education,
“[A]t this point, as the solicitation phase is just beginning, we don’t know how much of the $2B (or even $500-million in the first year) will be spent on open educational resources.”
She added, “All of the intellectual property that is created as a result of the grants has to be shared as OERs, and it would be accurate to say that the money is available to fund open educational resources, but there is no guarantee all those funds—or even any of those funds—will be spent for that purpose. The applicants have to make their case that what they propose will help students finish college more reliably with market-ready skills, degrees and certificates. We think OERs will be an important part of that. But how much? We can’t say yet.”
But dispair not, dear reader. There are still plenty of opportunities to move OER forward—with your help. Case in point: smARThistory needs just $10,000 to generate the 100 more OER art history videos they need to provide a complete textbook replacement.
Take a look:
Make your donation to this project today at KickStarter.