I’m happy to point to this comment by Vic Vuchic from the Hewlett Foundation on a previous post I wrote about what seems to be happening with OER. It’s a great perspective (that he is uniquely qualified to provide) that warmed my heart a bit. Some highlights:
Hewlett made over $16 million in grants last year that were 100% OER focused… In 2009 alone, foundations such as Gates, Lumina, MacArthur and many others pumped over $10 million of investments into OER focused projects. VCs made a couple of forays into OER… And a number of governments made their first investments in OER. In all 2009 was a record year both in the amount and diversity of OER funding, which is amazing considering most other things in the world collapse financially.
So from Vic’s point of view, the field of OER is in transition, and definitely for the better! This is a great perspective that I’m happy to hear.
Vic also writes, “Just to put a a stop to the rumors, Hewlett is not shutting down OER, and it is very much a part of what the education program is doing moving forward.” I re-read my previous post and I don’t think I implied anywhere that Hewlett was shutting down its OER program – just that funding seems to have slowed down. Vic indicates that Hewlett’s and other foundations’s endowments are down 40%, so that makes sense.
Vic’s perspective of what’s happening as the field transitions is good news for everyone who cares about OER.