Dear Friend of OCW,

Here at MIT OpenCourseWare, we are acutely aware that while human potential is universal, opportunity is not. The hundreds of thousands that visit our site each month are testament to the worldwide desire to learn, and to the limited capacity of educational systems around the world to fulfill that desire. As we celebrate our tenth anniversary this month, we're proud of what we've accomplished in providing new educational opportunity in the past ten years, and are committed to having even more dramatic impact in our next decade.

In the past ten years, we estimate that MIT OpenCourseWare materials have reached 100 million individuals around the world. Forty-three percent of those accessing our site are independent learners, many of whom are unable to pursue formal education due to cost or personal circumstance. Through OCW, we provide an opportunity for them to enrich their minds and improve their lives. Every day we receive e-mails from self-learners such as this one from Canada, expressing appreciation for access to our materials:

"I have only a grade 10 education, and unfortunately due to my lifes circumstances, I have been unable to further my education. Even though I will not obtain a degree from MIT in this way, a degree is not my motivation. I wish to learn because I want to know."

In the next ten years, our goal is to increase the impact of OCW ten-fold. If we've reached 100 million people so far, we'd like to reach a billion by 2021. If a million educators have brought our materials into their classrooms so far, we'd like to help 10 million do so in the next ten years. And we have a plan for how to do this. Working with the MIT faculty and other advisors, we've identified four key focus areas for innovation that can help us reach this ambitious goal:

Share OCW everywhere. We already share some of our materials through iTunes U and YouTube. We've also placed more than 250 local copies of our site at universities in low-bandwidth areas. We plan to continue placing OCW materials in strategic places throughout the web and beyond, bringing our information to where it can do the most good.

Serve key audiences. With Highlights for High School and OCW Scholar courses, we've already created sections of our site for US high school students and independent learners, and we'll continue adding resources targeted to the needs of specific site visitors.

Create open learning communities. We've begin adding study groups to our site in cooperation with OpenStudy.com, and we'll continue to explore the wider ecosystem of open learning.

Empower educators worldwide. Educators are a key multiplier for us, bringing our content to millions of students who may never visit our site, and we can help them do this better.

As always, our global community of supporters will be important partners in reaching this goal. Over the past three years, we've demonstrated that our supporters can play an important role in funding OCW as we move forward.

MIT remains committed to supporting half of OCW's $3.6 million annual cost directly. We've also been fortunate this year to receive support from the Bechtel Foundation, the Dow Chemical Company and the Stanton Foundation. Donations from individuals, though, provide us a predictable and flexible source of income that supports the key innovations that will drive OCW's future. We'll kick off our spring fundraising drive in three weeks and I hope you'll support us in whatever amount you can.

Sincerely,

Cecilia d'Oliveira
Executive Director
MIT OpenCourseWare