News

US Department of State Unveils Open Book Project

Cable Green, January 28th, 2013

Department of State


Department of State Seal / Public Domain

Earlier today, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled the Open Book Project (remarks, project page, press notice), an initiative to expand access to free, high-quality educational materials in Arabic, with a particular focus on science and technology. These resources will be released under open licenses that allow their free use, sharing, and adaptation to local context.

The initiative will:

  • Support the creation of Arabic-language Open Educational Resources (OER) and the translation of existing OER into Arabic.
  • Disseminate the resources free of charge through project partners and their platforms.
  • Offer training and support to governments, educators, and students to put existing OER to use and develop their own.
  • Raise awareness of the potential of OER and promote uptake of online learning materials.

Creative Commons is proud to be a part of the Open Book Project, partnering with the Department of State; the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization; and our open colleagues around the world. CC licenses are core to OER, providing the world’s teachers and students the rights needed to legally reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute educational resources. When education content is CC licensed, it may be legally translated into (or from) Arabic and any other language. Using CC licenses provides an unprecedented opportunity to ensure OER are able to bridge cultures and fill educational gaps that exist on a global, regional, and local level.

In Clinton’s words, “Talent is universal, but opportunity is not. It’s incumbent upon all of us to keep opening doors of opportunity, because walking through it may be a young man or young woman who becomes a medical researcher and discovers a cure for a terrible disease, becomes an entrepreneur, or becomes a professor who then creates the next generation of those who contribute.”

When digital learning resources can be openly licensed and shared for the marginal cost of $0, many educators believe we collectively have an ethical and moral obligation to do so. Congratulations to all of the partners who will work together to help more people access high quality, affordable educational resources.

Update (Jan 29): The full text of Secretary Clinton’s speech is now available.

10 Responses to “US Department of State Unveils Open Book Project”

  1. Ryan Smith says:

    This all sounds great for the Arab League, but where can I find information about how these benefits will be extended to US citizens?

  2. Sam Muirhead says:

    Which CC license is being used? Will the resources retain a commercial monopoly or has that not been decided yet?

  3. Bonnie says:

    Sounds great for both of us… But I wanna know which CC license is beging used?

  4. Cable Green says:

    Thank you, gentlemen for your comments.

    @ Ryan: Anything produced in this project will be openly licensed, which means everyone (including US citizens) will be able to benefit from the OER.

    @ Sam: Which CC license will be chosen for new materials produced will be determined by the project partners at a later date. As you know, for something to be an “OER” everyone must have (a) free access to reuse the resource and (b) the legal rights to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the resource.

  5. Thanks for posting this! We noticed that the link to the transcript isn’t working. Here’s one that might work better: http://translations.state.gov/st/english/texttrans/2013/01/20130129141569.html#axzz2JtHvIBV3.

  6. Ahmed Shawky says:

    I would like to participate in this initiative. I am an Academic Lecturer at Ain Shams University faculty of medicine. I have also made Wikipedia contribution in English, Arabic and few french pages (medical & non medical fields). My Wikipedia username is ashashyou. Any details?

  7. rangga says:

    I wanna know which CC license is beging used?

  8. AHMED MEKHAIMAR says:

    THIS IS A GRATE PROJECT .THIS IS MY DREAM TO SOLVE THE EDUCATION PROBLEM IN MY COUNTRY BY USING THE POWER OF INTERNET AND THE OPEN RESOURCES
    I HAVE MASTER IN LOW AND POLICE SINCE FROM EGYPT ION POLICE ACADEMY LET ME KNOW IF I CAN HELP . THANK 4 ANY ONE CAN GIVE HELP IN THIS GRATE IDEA .

  9. Timothy says:

    When are the materials expected to be online?

  10. Really good strategy for providing education so helpful for many people because education is only thing we can change our life and change the future of our country.i really appreciating this idea.