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$25,000 prize: “Why Open Education Matters” Video Competition

Guest post by Timothy Vollmer, Creative Commons

Khan Academy has been killing it. The popular video education website now contains over 3,000 educational videos, with topics ranging from basic algebra to 17th century baroque painting. The Khan Academy videos are made available on their website under an open license which allows users to not only view the videos, but also incorporate the video in their websites and remix the videos for their customized educational needs. Khan has delivered almost 130 million of these video lessons to hungry learners online. The Khan Academy videos are Open Educational Resources–OER for short.

Open Educational Resources are free to use and always permit users to engage in the “4Rs”: they can revise, reuse, remix, and redistribute the OER. Online, these automatic permissions are super useful because they save teachers, students, and self learners the time, money, and effort of having to track down the owner and ask their permission to use the learning resource. Open Educational Resources have been around now for over 10 years. You may have heard of some big OER projects such as MIT OpenCourseWare or CK-12 open textbooks. Most Open Educational Resources are licensed under Creative Commons licenses.

The problem with OER is that not that many people know about them. So, Creative Commons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Open Society Institute have teamed up to host the Why Open Education Matters video competition. We want people to create short videos that explains the benefits and promise of Open Educational Resources for teachers, students and schools everywhere. Even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a champion of OER, and recorded a short video that introduces the contest. The first prize winner will be awarded $25,000, and we’ve lined up some great judges, including Nina Paley, Davis Guggenheim, and James Franco. Please jump in and share your creative video-making skills to explain and promote OER.

Submissions are due by June 5, 2012 on We’re eating our own dog food too–any video that is submitted must be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license so that it can be freely used and shared by anyone to help explain Open Educational Resources. Roll camera!

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