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USU-Based COSL to Host International Conference on "Open Education"

Friday, Sep. 22, 2006

September 22, 2006
Contact: David Wiley (435) 797-7562,
Writer: Morgan Bramble, 435-797-1356 []

 USU-based COSL to Host International Conference on “Open Education” 

            LOGAN — Some of the leading proponents of “open education” will be assembled at the international conference “Open Education 2006: Community, Culture, and Content,” Sept. 27-29 at Utah State University.

            The conference, hosted by the USU-based Center for Open and Sustainable Learning, is a multidisciplinary event designed to promote discussion about educational opportunities to those who currently go without.

            The conference focuses on social, cultural and technical aspects of open education. Information about the conference program, including registration information, is available online at

            “We’ll hear about everything from intellectual property law to youth-managed resource centers in Nepal,” said David Wiley, the director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning. “One of our keynote speakers, Rex Allen, will talk about the impact the LDS church Perpetual Education Fund is having in the developing world. We have an excellent program lined up this year.”

            Presenters include representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as university initiatives from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

            “Open education is an effort to extend educational opportunity to everyone and it is steadily growing around the world,” said Wiley. “Hundreds of open education projects are springing up from Tokyo to Boston to Paris to Beijing.”

            More than 2,500 free university courses are now available through OpenCourseWare projects alone (see Utah State University’s own OpenCourseWare initiative ( provides free community access to more than 40 courses.

            Wiley said Utah State University-based COSL believes that all human beings are endowed with a capacity to learn, improve and progress and that free and open access to educational opportunity is a basic human right.

            COSL carries out research, development, implementation and service initiatives that strive to make educational opportunity freely available to all who desire it. Part of the department of instructional technology in Utah State University’s College of Education and Human Services, COSL projects are funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

            The convention will present the latest and most up-to-date information about today’s open education environment by offering concurrent session spanning three days. Speakers from MIT, the flagship college in the open education forum, will join speakers from other universities publishing their courses, including Utah State, Johns Hopkins and Tufts.

            More information is available online at

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