Democratising higher education with OERs and FOSS

A2 | Tue 22 Jan | 3:50 p.m.–4:25 p.m.

Presented by

  • Dave Lane

    Dave is a long time Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) user, contributor, and advocate. He's committed to many causes related to digital (and physical) freedom, including keeping NZ software-patent-free, moving towards mandatory open standards compliance for government IT procurement, and offering digital education to NZers without requiring them to buy into a US corporate IT monoculture. He ran Egressive, a pure-play FOSS services and dev company for many years and is now working to improve access to higher education to people worldwide using Open Educational Resources (OERs) and FOSS as Open Source Technologist for the OER Foundation (Dunedin). He and his family are based in Christchurch, NZ. He's also been the president of the NZ Open Source Society since 2011.


The Open Education Resource Foundation, based in Dunedin, NZ, exists to make higher education available to everyone in the world at a reasonable cost. We achieve quality by using an open source process to assemble world-class openly-licensed curriculum materials at We deliver course materials through our OER universitas ( network, which includes more than 30 institutional partners, using our "next generation digital learning environment" made up entirely of open source online services, situated around the world. All of our custom development and integration is made available as open source software, and we provide both an open code repository and a "how-to" blog ( which helps others recreate our services for their own institutions or communities. My presentation will detail the state of our open source technology stack (it will be built around the content of this blog post: The foundation operates on the principle that no learner should have to compromise their freedom to participate in our learning, nor should they have to compromise their digital privacy. To aid that, we use exclusively open source software, and all content is openly available without registration. The only cost to learners is for assessment services for formal academic credit provided by our institutional partners. Linux Australia: YouTube: