Why Open Education Matters Video Competition Winners Announced

What would you do if you thought you had a solution that would make a high-quality education freely available to anyone with a computer or cell phone, help instructors build new teaching skills and get credit for their accomplishments, and also greatly reduce costs for schools, families and students?  You’d want to tell the world!  That is just what the nearly one hundred videographers who entered the “Why Open Education Matters” video competition, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, spent part of this summer doing.

Here are the top three winners:


Congratulations to Blinktower, a creative agency based in Cape Town, South Africa


Congratulations to Laura Rachfalski and her team.  Laura is an artist, videographer and photographer from Philadelphia.


Congratulations to Nadia Paola Mireles Torres and her collaborators from the design firm Funktionell. Nadia has also made all the video assets available for download and reuse under a CC BY intellectual property license.

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

In addition to the winning videos, all qualifying videos are available for viewing on the competition website, http://whyopenedmatters.org. All of the videos are licensed CC BY, which means others may distribute, remix, and build upon them, even commercially, as long as they give credit to the creators.

The prize winners were determined by a panel of distinguished experts, including Davis Guggenheim, Nina Paley, Liz Dwyer, Anya Kamenetz, James Franco, Angela Lin, and Mark Surman. The contest was a partnership between Creative Commons, The Open Society Institutes and the U.S. Department of Education.  All prize money was provided by non-governmental sources.

Hal Plotkin is a senior policy advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.


  1. I think that Open Education is needed for high school students to be highly competitive with each other and the world. The point that “open education is a public good” resonated with me. The question remains: What are viable options to deploy effective tech solutions to our high school students?

  2. I love the concept and hopefully the videos will increase awareness of what’s available out there.

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