Best Open Education Resource, People's Choice Awards

By Sarah Wright

open education resources oer open courseware ocw open culture khan academy academic earth

The Winner of the Best Open Education Resource category is… Open Culture!

Do you like movies, music and other cultural works? Do you like free stuff? If so, Open Culture should be your new favorite website. In addition to providing free audio books, ebooks and movies, Open Culture provides free courses and language lessons. Founded and edited by Dan Colman, the Director and Associate Dean of Continuing Studies at Stanford University, this site's mission is to make cultural and educational media available to a wide audience of learners.

The offerings on Open Culture are extensive and impressive. In this one virtual space, you can learn Arabic, study computer science, watch a Tarkovsky film and access free textbooks. One fun feature (of many) on the site is the 'cultural icons' section, which allows you to explore audio and video from 290 cultural luminaries. In this section, you can listen to W.H. Auden reading his poetry in 1972, watch Marlon Brando discuss civil rights with Sidney Poitier, watch Jimi Hendrix play the Beatles, see Picasso's painting skills in action and watch Carl Sagan's final television interview. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what's available from this fantastic open education resource.

About the Runners-Up

There can never be too much access to open education, so we suggest you also check out our runners-up. These excellent resources provide educational access to all intellectual explorers with an Internet connection.

Khan Academy

If you or someone you know is struggling with foundational math, physics, history or finance concepts, the Khan Academy can help. With an extensive database of more than 2,600 educational videos, this open education site helps break down problem subjects, providing a supplement to traditional classroom activities. And unlike traditional classrooms, students pursuing the Khan Academy's course of study can move at their own pace. With the help of the site's videos and practice exercises, students of all ages can work through problem areas and gaps in their knowledge. It's like having a free tutor you can access on your own schedule.

Academic Earth

Featuring content from world-class universities like Stanford, Princeton, U.C. Berkeley, MIT and Yale, Academic Earth seeks to create an 'educational ecosystem' in which online learners from across the globe can access excellent academic content. In addition to hosting lecture videos, the site also allows users to download and grade the lectures on offer. The library of more than 1,500 lecture videos are arranged by school, subject and scholar, meaning that if you find a particular instructor whose style works for you, you can easily seek out their content again and again.

The Education Resource People's Choice Awards helped spread the word about the great educational resources available for students. These resources help students achieve their academic goals and wants to continue to highlight great initiatives. If you want to continue to support the Open Education Movement, find out more about the OpenCourseWare Consortium's Open Education Week. will donate $1 to Open Education Week for every 'like' our Facebook page gets now through November 30th. 'Like' our page now and find more great ways to support the Open Education Movement at!

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