CoverI. Intellectual Property1. James Boyle, “The Why of Intellectual Property”2. James Boyle, “Thomas Jefferson Writes a Letter”II. Free Software3. Richard Stallman, “What is Free Software?”4. Richard Stallman, “The GNU Project”III. Open Source5. Eric Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”6. Eric Raymond, “Homesteading the Noosphere”IV. Open Content7. David Wiley, “About the Open Publication License”8. David Wiley, “Open Content: The First Decade”V. Defining Free9. Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The Four Freedoms Speech”10. Richard Stallman, “Four Freedoms”11. Erik Moller, “Freedom Defined”12. Bruce Perens, “Debian Free Software Guidelines”VI. Defining Open13. Bruce Perens, “The Open Source Definition”14. David Wiley, “Open Content”15. OKFN, “Open Definition”16. David Wiley, “The Access Compromise and the 5th R”17. David Wiley, “Open Definitions, Specificity, and Avoiding Bright Lines”VII. Open Source Software Licenses18. GNU General Public License19. BSD License20. MIT License21. Apache License22. Comparison of Open Source LicensesVIII. Open Content Licenses23. Creative Commons Licenses24. GNU Free Documentation License25. Open Publication LicenseIX. Open CourseWare26. Charles Vest, “Disturbing the Educational Universe: Universities in the Digital Age — Dinosaurs or Prometheans?”27. History of MIT OCW28. MIT OCW Evaluation Report (2005)29. MIT Reaches OCW Milestone30. David Wiley, “OpenCourseWars”X. Open Educational Resources31. UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing32. Cape Town Open Education Declaration33. UNESCO, “2012 Paris OER Declaration”34. Wiley, Bliss, and McEwen, “Open Educational Resources: OER Literature Review”35. Boston Consulting Group, “Open Educational Resources: The OER Ecosystem”XI. Open Textbooks36. Nicole Allen, “Open Textbooks: A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Affordability”37. Frydenberg and Matkin, “Open Textbooks: Why? What? How? When?”XII. Research in Open Education38. OER Research Hub39. Open Education Group40. Marshall Smith, “Ruminations on Research on OER”XIII. The Economics of Open41. Yochai Benkler, “Coases Penguin, or Linux and The Nature of the Firm”42. Yochai Benkler, “Common Wisdom: Peer Production of Educational Materials”43. Yochai Benkler, “‘Sharing Nicely’: On shareable goods and the emergence of sharing as a modality of economic production”XIV. Open Business Models44. Eric Raymond, “The Magic Cauldron”45. OSI, “Open Source Case for Business”46. Various, “A Summer 2014 Conversation on Business Models in Open Education”
An Open Education Reader

Cape Town Open Education Declaration

Read the article at


Five years following the monumental UNESCO forum in 2002, the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation convened a meeting in Cape Town to which thirty leading proponents of open education were invited to collaborate on the text  of a manifesto about how OER should be funded and supported. The Cape Town Open Education Declaration was released on 22 January 2008.  The declaration garner over 2727 signatures of support from many different countries and institutions. 

Key Points

The declaration urged governments and publishers to make publicly funded educational materials available at no charge via the internet. It takes that the Purposes of OER is to make materials accessible in areas with low funding and nourish a participatory learning, creating and sharing culture needed in rapidly changing societies.  In addition, OER facilitates collaborative, flexible learning that empowers teachers to benefit from one another.

The declaration addresses the roles of educators as well.  In order to increase the reach of OER, educators and learners should actively participate in making OER a priority by creating, using, adapting, and improving OER materials.  Educators should also focus on building education around collaboration, discover and knowledge creating

Lastly, the declaration calls on funders and policymakers to make OER a priority by using taxpayer dollars and then releasing the materials to the public in open content and in widely-accessible formats so that use and editing are encouraged.

Discussion Questions

  1. Take a look at the breakdown of countries who signed the declaration.  How may the country demographics have affect on the development of open courseware?
  2. How do differences in culture affect the purpose and implementation of open courseware? 
  3. If governments pay for OER but it is produced by educators, who decides and owns the copyright law? Are there other models of funding other than government funding?
  4. If schools used OER that teachers collaborated on, how would that change the dynamics of funding, research, and learning?
  5. What would happen if everything the declaration called for actually occurred? 

Additional Resources

Examine the missions of OER-funders.

Check out the Shuttleworth Foundation at this website:

Check out the Hewlett Foundation at this website:

Read the World Bank Report on countries’ educational expenditures here:


CC BY: This work is released under a CC BY license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you properly attribute it.