On Becoming a Shuttleworth Fellowship Alum

shuttleworthOn March 1 my Fellowship with the Shuttleworth Foundation ended and I officially became an alum of the program. It was an absolutely amazing experience! If you are passionate about using openness to overcome a social problem, you should stop every single thing you are doing right now and go learn about the Shuttleworth Fellowship program. A brief quote from the site:

The Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship Program funding consists of two components for each Fellow – the fellowship grant and the co-investment project funding.

The fellowship grant covers the cost of the Fellow’s time for a year and is guaranteed to the fellow for that year. The grant amount varies and is determined by each Fellow’s salary equivalent outside of the fellowship.

The co-investment project funding is the most unique part of the Fellowship Program, as Fellows are rewarded for investing in their own ideas. An amount of $245,000 is set aside per Fellow per year as potential project funding. This funding is unlocked through a light weight project pitch process and the Foundation tops up the Fellow’s own investment by adding at least 10 times as much funding from their project funding pool.

Despite the relatively large financial value of the Fellowship, the application process is one of the fastest and easiest I have ever seen (and I’ve applied for a lot of grants in my time). The online application form asks you to answer 16 questions, upload your resume, and provide a link to a 5 minute video of you pitching your idea. That’s it. And not only is their application process extremely simple, their reporting process is equally unobtrusive. Shuttleworth Fellows spend their time changing the world and not wrestling with administrivia.

And did I mention how awesome the other Fellows are? When you receive a Fellowship, you become part of an absolutely incredible network of people working on projects far cooler than you had ever imagined possible before. My mind is repeatedly blown every six months when I read about the work the new group of Fellows will be doing. And the Shuttleworth Foundation staff themselves are awesome, too.

In short, I can’t say enough good things about the Shuttleworth Fellowship. It’s been an incredible experience. I look forward to staying connected to the network of Fellows as I continue working on the cost and quality issues facing education. Will you be joining the network? You should!


The OER Adoption Impact Explorer

(Cross-posted from the Open Education Group blog)

impactI’m very excited to announce the launch of the OER Adoption Impact Explorer. This interactive tool lets users adjust a range of Institutional Settings to match their local context and estimate what the impact of adopting OER would be on their students and campus. Users can also tinker with a group of Research-based Settings to make the estimates more conservative or more aggressive.

The goal of the Explorer is to provide OER advocates with rigorously modeled, data-based arguments that they can use in conversations with a wide range of stakeholders (faculty, administration, students, policy makers, etc.).

We’d love your feedback! Let us know how we can make the Explorer more useful to you in your advocacy work.


The Review Project Launch

Cross-posted from the Open Education Group website.

At #OpenEd14 John Hilton presented a summary of all the empirical research on the impact of OER adoption that we could find. The presentation was extremely well received, and John has turned it into a nice journal article which is currently under review at a journal which shall remain nameless (for the time being).

By the time the article appears, however, it will almost certainly be out of date. As a service to the field, we’ve published an abstracted version of John’s article on the OEG website under the label The Review Project. We’ll keep this page up-to-date as we come across additional articles that actually take a solid empirical look at the impacts of OER adoption. Do you know of one we’ve missed? Head over to The Review Project and leave a reference in the comments.