Just days before ending her term as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the Open Book Project, an initiative to expand access to free, high-quality open educational resources.
The first Open Book Project will focus on Arabic-language open educational resources (OER) and the translation of existing OER into Arabic. They plan to disseminate the resources free of charge through a partnership with the Arab League.
On the larger backdrop of open education, the initiative:
- offers training and support to governments, educators, and students to put existing resources to use and develop their own, and
- raises awareness of the potential of open educational resources and promotes uptake of online learning materials.
We in the OER language learning community will be eager to see how the initiative develops in the area of collaboration and creating a sustainable model that can be duplicated for other languages and areas of the world. The U.S. government brings technical expertise to the table and the Arab league countries bring content expertise. This is a model for global education.
If we agree that sustainability of open education depends on finding reciprocal relationships — mutual benefit — between those involved, what projects can we dream of that would feature international collaborators? What does U.S. higher education have to offer the developing world and what do they have to give U.S. higher ed?
Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
— Form Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton