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Using Technology to Make Education Free

Connecting the Dots for Open Education

The Saylor Foundation, a private operating foundation located in Washington D.C., is dedicated to making education free. We’ve found that significant barriers are preventing individuals from receiving the college education that they desire. These obstacles include: rising costs, including tuition, fees, and textbooks; physical distance to a campus; and a fixed class schedule. By developing, soliciting, and disseminating free online academic materials in a structured and intuitive format, and offering these resources via its website, Saylor.org, the Saylor Foundation provides an opportunity for individuals currently facing barriers to education, serving as a zero-cost alternative to traditional academic institutions and a complement to willing mainstream education providers.

The Saylor Foundation works with over 170 credentialed college professors who create course blueprints and locate, vet, and organize openly licensed content into a structured learning format, all in the context of a traditional academic program. Complete with a final exam and a peer review to ensure quality, our courses are developed so that students around the globe have the opportunity to gain the knowledge equivalent of a U.S. college degree. Our goals are to feed knowledge-hungry individuals and to motivate individuals to pursue personal growth and career ambitions, as well as to inspire institutional change amongst educational providers everywhere.

This presentation will first provide an overview of the open education space and will give attendees a background of the Saylor Foundation’s mission. We will then cover our content aggregation process, providing a glimpse of Saylor.org, which currently hosts over 200 free, self-paced, and automated college-level courses.