Definition: Open Education is the idea that learning should be free and openly accessible. Thanks in no small part to Internet technologies, it is becoming far easier for educational opportunities to be created and shared outside the realm of more traditional institutional settings.
List of Resources:
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that helps clarify copyright licensing and helps ensure that creative works can be easily shared with the proper credit. The Creative Commons organization helps expand and strengthen the public domain and as such is an invaluable resource for teachers and students. Through the Creative Commons licensing that gives alternatives to "all rights reserved," materials can be shared without the creators losing their rights to attribution, for example.
OCW Search indexes the open courseware catalog of ten major universities. OCW Search just announced an API this week. OCW Search is a window into the various universities and academic institutions that have open courses, including MIT, Yale, and the Open University.
The Open Courseware Consortium is an organization that brings together over 200 academic institutions from around the world who have at least ten opencourseware offerings. The consortium's mission is to help expand access to educational materials and to promote opencourseware and help it become a sustainable and effective project.
The Open Education Commons is another site that gathers various open education resources and shares them with teachers.
Why Open Education?: When we share our knowledge, everyone benefits. When we remove the barriers to access to knowledge, everyone benefits. But a model of education that is based on freely available, easily accessible, and widely disseminated knowledge differs substantially from the models of education in which we now operate. And while we have the technological capabilities to open education to everyone, it will take a concerted effort in order to support this system, not just for students, but for teachers as well.