MentorCloud and Open Doors Group/College Open Textbooks Partner to Facilitate Sharing Best Practices Among the Open Education Community

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New mentoring initiative features launch of a new online community at http://OpenDoorsGroup.MentorCloud.com that will foster mentoring in the open education community. Mentees and Mentors will both share in experiences focused on enriching their personal and professional experiences.

MentorCloud, an online platform for private peer-to-peer wisdom-sharing and mentoring, and Open Doors Group/College Open Textbooks announced today the availability of a private open education community that allows 24x7 discussion threads and broadcast email messages to all members by all members. Generally all members will be both mentors and mentees in keeping with 21st century models of learning communities.

Education in the 21st Century faces enormous challenges including how to give a larger group of global inhabitants’ access to affordable quality education, and how to scale current education processes to meet this challenge; in particular, it is impossible to train enough instructors. Education in the 21st Century is afforded three important opportunities to meet the above challenge:

  •     Telecommunications and computing technologies radically lower the cost of educational materials.
  •     Discoveries in pedagogy in the past century show that cooperative and developmental learning are far more effective than traditional methods.
  •     New business models including openly-licensed content and tools can remove barriers and create sustainable affordable learning.

OpenDoorsGroup.MentorCloud.com, powered by MentorCloud, is the tool that will help address many of these challenges faced by open education in the 21st Century including providing collaboration tools that:

  •     Encourage the sharing of best practices: We cannot afford to reinvent processes in every institution, state/province, or country.
  •     Empower mentor/mentee relationships in careers and the process to make instructorless open courseware educationally sound. Open Courseware Consortium and Saylor Foundation have large numbers of open-licensed instructorless courses.
  •     Offer mentor/mentee tools to help create and facilitate relationships in the expanding Open Educational Resources (OER) movement.

"There is absolutely a need for a central place for those in the open education community to share best practices," says Mitchell Levy, co-director, College Open Textbooks. “MentorCloud is a great partner for us and we believe that this is a great tool to provide the level of service this community needs,” he continued.

“Our vision at MentorCloud is to ensure aspiring individuals globally, have ready access to good insights, knowledge resources and experienced mentors, to achieve their goals. Open Doors Group/College Open Text Books is therefore a fantastic and synergistic initiative that we are proud to be part of,” said Ravishankar Gundlapalli, founder and CEO of MentorCloud.

During the beta period, OpenDoorsGroup.MentorCloud.com will be free to all individuals who are contributors to open education. The tool will be free during the beta period. There may be a fee for organizations that sign up 5 or more individuals as well as organizations looking to tap into the open education community. There will also be a fee for organizations that are looking for facilitators to drive

About Open Doors Group/College Open Textbooks
Open Doors Group is an umbrella organization for several major open education initiatives including College Open Textbooks (COT). Since 2008, COT has driven awareness, adoptions, and affordability of textbooks for community colleges. The Open Doors Group has an even broader mandate as it serves K-12, universities, industry, and life-long learners as well as community colleges. Open Doors Group promotes all affordable learning methods and materials, not just textbooks. For more information, go to http://collegeopentextbooks.org

About MentorCloud
MentorCloud is a private online platform for alumni networks and non-profits, to engage members in peer-to-peer wisdom-sharing and mentoring. For more information, go to http://mentorcloud.com

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Sharyn Fitzpatrick

Ravishankar Gundlapalli
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