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Greetings and best wishes for the New Year!

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is celebrating its five years of commitment to the area of Open Educational Resources (OER). In partnership with our grantee partners, we continue to expand our work on OER, building on the foundation of open high quality academic content. Recently, we have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, where we have had the opportunity to meet many people, institutions, and countries that are eager to or have started to engage with OER. Our passion for OER has only increased, as both a knowledge sharing mechanism and as a vehicle to positively impact teaching and learning.

This past year has also been one of reflection for Hewlett's OER Initiative. We have asked a prominent external team to assess our work and progress to date and to make recommendations for the future. The review team is composed of Dan Atkins, Director of Cyberinfrastructure at the National Science Foundation, on leave from his professorship at the University of Michigan; John Seely Brown, former Director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center; and Al Hammond of the World Resources Institute. The team will present its findings and recommendations at the Foundation board meeting in late February. We will also meet with the board to discuss future strategic directions.

Accordingly, we are planning a two-day OER grantees meeting at Rice University in Houston Texas on Tuesday, 27 March, and Wednesday, 28 March, 2007. The agenda will include a presentation by Dan Atkins, John Seely Brown, and Al Hammond on their findings on the state and potential of the OER field.

The Connexions project at Rice University will host this event on behalf of the Foundation. For those who can join us, there will be an informal dinner on Monday evening, 26 March. The meeting will be a full day Tuesday, 27 March, and extend through noon on Wednesday, 28 March. A meeting web site is being developed and will be ready by 2 February. For now, please ink in the dates on your calendar and you will be contacted by Rice University by 2 February. If you have any immediate questions contact Elvena Mayo at elvena@rice.edu.

We hope you will join us for this important meeting.

Sincerely,

Catherine Casserly
Program Officer for Education

Marshall Smith
Program Director for Education

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