The first-ever Open Education Week kicks off today online and at locally-hosted events around the globe. The event, which will run through March 10, 2012, is intended to raise awareness around the benefit, impact, and success of open education resources (OER) around the world.

The open education movement strives to bring increased learning opportunities to individuals of all ages across the world by increasing quality, access, and opportunity to free and cheap learning tools. OERs have been making an impact in recent news as more states develop initiatives to offer textbooks to students with open licensing. The New York Times reported two articles today on OER: “Beyond the College Degree, Online Educational Badges” and “Instruction for Masses Knocks Down Campus Walls” by Tamar Lewin.

Even more organizations are working to develop missions around delivering a quality education to anyone anywhere, anytime. Today, we’re seeing how OERs are breaking down barriers to learning by reducing the cost of an education.

Open Education Week asks participants to connect, collect, create, and share their resources this week in honor of the open education movement. Connect with others by chatting online on Twitter and the organization discussion page or by attending local events and online webinars. Then, collect resources on the open materials and ways of publishing currently available today in order to develop your own open resources. Lastly, spread the word to continue the momentum of the movement to provide learning opportunities to all.

For more, visit openeducationweek.org or follow the buzz on Twitter with the hashtag #openeducationwk. Check back with Getting Smart this week for OER tools in honor of Open Education Week!

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