My friend Mark Surman, all round nice guy and Open Philanthropy Fellow with the Shuttleworth Foundation, recently sent out an email asking people to take note of, and if possible sign, the Cape Town Declaration on the future of open education.
The Declaration is the brainchild of the Shuttleworth Foundation, Wikimedia and several other organizations, as is set to be released shortly.
What is it? This extract will give you a clue:
Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.
This emerging open education movement combines the established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet. It is built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint. Educators, learners and others who share this belief are gathering together as part of a worldwide effort to make education both more accessible and more effective.
These are exciting times, and it is critical that the legal and network infrastructure that enables them to be exciting is preserved so that more people can use these newly emerging educational tools to grow and learn.