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At the World Summit on the Information Society this week in Tunis, Tunisia, MIT OpenCourseWare co-hosted a half-day event with the United Nations University, "Widening Access to Knowledge Through Open Sharing: The Growing OpenCourseWare Movement."
More than 100 people attended the Nov. 14 forum, which featured presentations by prominent leaders from the global education community. The proceedings focused on the burgeoning OCW movement -- which now includes participating universities on five continents -- and how to best to leverage OCW resources to improve education around the globe.
"I am surprised by all the OpenCourseWares, open educational resources and other 'open movements' around the world. It is truly a global movement, and MIT started it all with OCW," said Professor Shigeru Miyagawa, the MIT Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture, who represented OpenCourseWare. "A UNESCO official told me that MIT is a 'trailblazer.' We set the world in motion with this OpenCourseWare Movement, and as the UNESCO official said, 'Nothing can stop it now.'"
The keynote address at Monday's event was given by G.M. Reed, director of the U.N. University's International Institute for Software Technology. Featured speakers included leading educators from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, Keio University in Japan, the UniversitÃ© Paris 3-Sorbonne in France, the African Virtual University, the UNESCO Information Society Division and MIT, among others.
"I'm also gratified that so many people around the world know about MIT's OpenCourseWare, and the respect that they have for MIT and our faculty because of it," Miyagawa said. "I chaired the panel on 'The Growing International OpenCourseWare Movement,' and it was truly amazing to hear about OpenCourseWares being launched in Japan, France and other American schools such as Tufts. Everyone who attended our discussion 'got it' -- OCW is about sharing educational content freely and openly with anyone who wants to use it."