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2012 Hewlett OER Grantees Meeting

Meeting: April 10-12, 2012

Hack Day: April 13, 2012

Harvard University

Hashtag: #oer12hf



Open Educational Resources (OER) are an increasingly rich source of teaching and learning materials, with rapid global growth across widely varied learning environments and contexts. The OER movement has matured from innovative upstart to an important driver in the field of education, but much work remains to be done. Teachers, administrators, advocates, funders, and policymakers are looking for ways to strategically leverage the impact of existing and future open resources – including content, tools, and policies – on education.

As the quantity and diversity of open resources grow and different OER models emerge, what concrete actions can be taken to advance innovative teaching and learning on a global scale? How do we engage questions and challenges around accessibility, equity, and efficacy?

The focal point of this year’s meeting is Education – the “E” in OER – with the goal of collectively developing an action-oriented roadmap for increasing OER’s impact across different educational contexts, from classrooms to informal learning settings.


OER is a dynamic field with many players. Three overlapping but analytically distinct stakeholder groups will form the central lenses of our inquiry: learners (“demand side”), facilitators (“interfaces”), and builders (“supply side”). Evidence, narratives, and the role of supporting infrastructure will be considered throughout the sessions. Presentations, moderated discussions, small group meetings, and exhibitions are organized into an opening exercise and three main segments.

The meeting will begin with an informal activity in which teams of attendees will work together to create a heat map of the current state of play of the OER ecosystem. This session will be followed by a presentation and discussion of the Hewlett Foundation’s 2012 OER strategic goals by Hewlett team members.

Starting the following day, the first segment will map the current OER landscape, utilizing a field perspective to identify trends in the production, dissemination, and use of OER resources across different educational settings. The session will provide empirically-informed deep dives into important factors that influence the production, ubiquity, and accessibility of open resources for education.

The second segment will feature a series of case studies highlighting OER practices in different learning and teaching environments. Participants will develop and exchange narratives, data, and experiences regarding the challenges and opportunities for growth of OER and identify specific points of connection, leverage, collaboration, and intervention.

The third segment will center on the core infrastructure that needs to be strengthened or created in order to increase the impact of OER in diverse contexts on a global scale. Participants will debate and explore accessibility, interoperability, enabling public policies, implementable standards, and methodologies to measure progress, reach, and sustainability.


  • Deepen understanding of the OER ecosystem, with a particular focus on the factors that influence the production, ubiquity, and accessibility of open resources for education
  • Identify ways to increase OER’s impact across different cultures, communities, and formal and informal settings of learning and teaching
  • Communicate and discuss field-wide goals for 2012, against the backdrop of Hewlett’s OER strategic goals and a description of the current state of OER from a field perspective
  • Increase visibility and awareness of OER projects among grantees, identifying powerful narratives and best practices and highlighting areas of collaboration and future intervention
  • Enrich a community of practice through conversation and by identifying opportunities for collaboration
  • Develop an action-oriented roadmap to leverage OER’s impact on education that reflects these objectives and takes into account the field-wide goals for 2012




Heat Map Based on Pre-Conference Inputs

Evidence Hub

Updated Map from Cluster Group Inputs




Location: Wasserstein, Milstein Hall West

List of Exhibitions:

  • Richard Baraniuk, Rice University
  • Guustaaf van de Mheen, Mango Tree
  • Kathleen Ludewig Omollo, University of Michigan Medical School Office of Enabling Technologies
  • Kathy Perkins, PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
  • David Wiley, Brigham Young University
  • Charles Nesson, Berkman Center for Internet & Society


  • 4/12, 9:30AM Breakout Sessions - Please indicate your interest in attending each of these breakouts & add ideas
  • 4/12, 2:00PM Breakout Sessions
    • High Quality Supply - Austin West Classroom, Austin Hall
    • Implementable Standards - Austin North Classroom, Austin Hall
    • Supportive Policies - Austin East Classroom, Austin Hall


The Hack Day will bring together local leaders, hackers, and thinkers, along with those working on open education projects. Hack day participants will select a project to work on that seeks to increase the positive impact of open education resources on education, broadly put. Self-organizing teams will aim to rapidly develop a working idea for a project, service, model, program, website or tool into a mockup or prototype by the end of the day, coupled with a creative pitch that includes clear ideas for implementation, funding, workflow, and future development. Participants will include conference attendees and other guests from within and without the Berkman community.


Archives from past meetings can be found on this page: Please continue to add relevant resources, links, and articles here.

Please add links to papers, articles, blogposts, and other items related to OER and of interest to symposium participants to this page. Users need to create an account to edit this wiki -- click on the link in the top right corner of this page to obtain a username/password.



Boundless Learning is having an breakout session Wednesday at 6 pm at WCC 1019 (a classroom in the same building as the rest of the conference). Will share high level vision, how we fit into the OER community, and gather feedback as we move forward.


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