The Hewlett Foundation has announced that it is working with the Creative Common’s ccLearn division to build a web search portal dedicated to open educational resources, with the assistance of Google. Organizations that sponsor repositories or collections of open educational materials are invited to submit information to CCLearn’s OE Search project.
The initiative’s goal is to build a comprehensive directory of open educational resources, encouraging their broader discovery and use. There are a large number of open content repositories, but they have been difficult to find in larger, more aggregated search tools, their riches often lost in the forest of commercial or deep web results. As the OE Search FAQ states:
Institutions have done amazing work creating and publishing OERs on the web, but the infrastructure to fully realize the value of these investments is still at the Web 1.0 level. Web-scale open education search is a component of taking the OER ecosystem to the next level, as well as a driver for interoperability and standards across OER implementations.
At Google, Ramanathan V. Guha is facilitating the development of the interface; Guha earlier led the development of the Open Directory Project and helped author the RDF specification. The ccLearn FAQ includes a discussion of the technical information it seeks for repository submittals.