|The Centre for Educational Technology's Eve Gray (left) and Dr Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams have been driving the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, which urges governments and publishers to make publicly-funded educational materials available over the Internet.|
The Cape Town Open Education Declaration was launched on 22 January. The declaration urges governments and publishers to make publicly-funded educational materials available freely over the Internet.
Eve Gray and Dr Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, researchers from UCT's Centre for Educational Technology, were among 30 open education leaders who met in Cape Town last year, a meeting organised by the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation.
Participants identified key strategies for developing open education.
Alumnus and Linux entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth said: "Open-sourcing education doesn't just make learning more accessible, it makes it more collaborative, flexible and locally relevant. Linux is succeeding exactly because of this sort of adaptability. The same kind of success is possible for open education."
The declaration is part of a dynamic effort to make learning and teaching materials available to everyone online, regardless of income or geographic location.
"Open education allows every person to access and contribute to the vast pool of knowledge on the web," said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikia and one of the declaration's authors.
"Cultural diversity and local knowledge are a critical part of open education," said Gray. "Countries like South Africa need to start producing and sharing educational materials built on their own diverse cultural heritage. Open education promises to make this kind of diverse publishing possible."
To read or sign the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, please visit the website
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