Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace

UNESCO releases new publication on open educational resources
26-06-2009 (Paris)

UNESCO has released its first openly licensed publication. Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace brings together the background papers and reports from the first three years of activities in the UNESCO OER Community. Access the online edition – or buy the book! Education systems today face two major challenges: expanding the reach of education and improving its quality. Traditional solutions will not suffice, especially in the context of today's knowledge-intensive societies.

Open Educational Resources (OER) offer one solution for extending learning opportunities. The goal of the OER movement is to equalize access to knowledge worldwide through sharing online high quality content. Open Educational Resources are digitalized materials offered freely and openly for use and reuse in teaching, learning and research.

Since 2005, UNESCO has been at the forefront of building awareness about this movement by facilitating an extended conversation in cyberspace. A large and diverse international community has come together to discuss the concept and potential of OER in a series of online forums.

The background papers and reports from the first three years of discussions are now available in print. Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace provides an overview of the first steps of this exciting new development: it captures the conversations between leaders of some of the first OER projects,and documents early debates on the issues that continue to challenge the movement. The publication will provide food for thought for all those intrigued by OER – its promise and its progress.

Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace is UNESCO's first openly licensed publication – an indication of the commitment of the Organization to the sharing of knowledge and the free flow of ideas.

  • Purchase the print edition
  • Access the online edition
  • 2009-06-21

    Bridging the Knowledge Divide

    Bridging the Knowledge Divide: Educational Technology for Development
    Edited by: Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies; Wanjira Kinuthia, Georgia State University; and Wallace Taylor, The University of the West Indies.

    In many international settings, developing economies are in danger of declining as the digital divide becomes the knowledge divide. This decline attacks the very fabric of cohesion and purpose for these regional societies and causes increased social, health, economic and sustainability problems.

    This book, the first volume in the book series “Educational Design and Technology in the Knowledge Society”, discusses how educational technology can utilise ICT to transform education and assist developing communities to close the knowledge divide. It provides a comprehensive coverage of educational technology in development in different professions and parts of world.

    The book provides examples of best practice, case studies and principles for educators, community leaders, researchers and policy advisers on the use of educational technology for development. In particular, it provides examples of how education can be provided more flexibly in order to provide access to hitherto disadvantaged and under-represented communities and individuals.


    OASIS: A sourcebook on Open Access

    With the growing interest in Open Access (OA) worldwide comes the increasing demand for training, knowledge development, and skills for the implementing of OA repositories and OA journals, the twin routes for making research results openly accessible.

    OASIS aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies. As such, it is a community-building as much as a resource-building exercise. Users are encouraged to share and download the resources provided, and to modify and customize them for local use.

    The concept of an OA resource arose because much ‘spreading the word’ activity (currently at least) is carried out by a core set of individuals who are invited to travel to address audiences or carry out training activities on all continents. This is reasonably effective on the local level at which it operates, but is costly for both trainers/speakers and participants, and the one-size-fits-all approach that necessarily has to be adopted is not the most effective way of educating and informing. Thus the current model for disseminating reliable and authoritative information about Open Access is unsustainable, is not effective on the large scale and is overly-onerous on the individuals concerned. The information needs of the scholarly community worldwide can better be addressed by the provision of an authoritative and informative resource on Open Access, delivered in various formats that accommodate the needs of all constituencies.


    The online content is intended to provide training and resources for anyone or institutions who wish to provide open access to their research publications. The objectives are:
    • to increase the number of trainers and centres of expertise worldwide
    • to expand the knowledge base of open access implementation
    • to share resources and best practices
    • to demonstrate and record successful outcomes of OA around the world

    Key Characteristics of OASIS

    • Open to any users
    • Open to contributions from diverse practitioners
    • Modular approach for content development to enable additions
    • International cooperation
    • Expert coordination and editorial team


    An online education resource center

    AcademicInfo is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. Its mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers).

    AcademicInfo was founded in 1998 by Mike Madin, a librarian coordinator, and is now maintained by multiple contributors.

    The site currently features over 25,000+ hand-picked resources and the website is updated on a daily basis.