Oplerno is an Open Learning Organization—a global higher education movement for the 21st Century. Over the past six months we have built most of our technological infrastructure, recruited over 50 faculty from all over the world, developed a sustainable and profitable business plan and applied for approval to operate from the State of Vermont. We are launching this campaign to raise capital to take our organization to the next level and launch a platform in higher education that will lower costs for students, increase faculty pay and make access to small class size personal education a reality for everyone on the planet. We also want to pay our staff for their hard work and dedication, and get our technological infrastructure up and running on secure servers. We want you to found (and fund) Oplerno with us.
1% for Change
Our campaign is a little different. Besides the perks listed on the right we make this promise: for every $100,000 we raise, Oplerno will donate 1% of our net profits—forever—to fund educational, economic development, health and ecological projects. (We will make this commitment up to $1,000,000 or 10% of our net profits forever.) Your gift will not only fund our work, but it could also form the foundation for funding other change projects in the future.
Oplerno is built upon empowering faculty and students.
· Faculty own their courses, control the content and teaching approach, and earn at least 80% of the tuition they generate per student. Most importantly, they set the price of their class. We expect faculty will earn on average between $4,000 and $12,000 per 12-week class.
· Students choose their courses based on content area, skills offered, faculty experience/reviews and cost. Most courses will cost between $500 and $1,500 per 12-week, 3-credit class.
· Our infrastructure can be accessed using a smart phone or tablet enabling greater worldwide accessibility. If you have cell service you can access Oplerno.
· “The Marketplace” is a proprietary dynamic sortable and searchable software system that creates an educational exchange where students find the courses and teachers that will meet their needs.
· “Skills Portfolio” is a proprietary software program that offers another way to evaluate and document students' achievements and skills acquisition. This is used in addition to traditional grades and transcripts.
Our perks reflect our grassroots movement and hand-built customized approach to education. Take home a beautiful desk by Vermont woodworker Eli Jager crafted out of beautiful, sustainably harvested white oak, or some world-famous Vermont maple syrup. We also offer ways for you to display your support of the movement and redesign of higher education. Grab a T-shirt, sticker, or even a program or college within Oplerno! All of these are great ways to show that you support empowering great teachers, decreasing the burden of student loans, and stepping into the new way that education will be experienced. And it wouldn’t be a true grassroots movement if we didn’t remind you that every dollar counts and helps us reach our campaign goal, so please give what you can!
If we don't reach our entire goal, we will still use our funds in the ways we described above (paying staff, launching our technological infrastructure on secure servers, helping get us toward accreditation). We want to get this project operationalized and start allowing faculty members to teach for their fair share and for students to access high-quality education at a reasonable cost!
Below is the print being offered by photographer Michael Everett (www.everettvideo.com). It represents Oplerno's mission of building a boat and setting out on our journey to reach the corners of the globe with access to high quality higher education:
We are all Founders
In coming up with an idea, building the foundation and creating a team is the first part of founding a new kind of educational institution. However, the real founding happens when people take ownership and build something greater than ourselves. If you can spread the word, donate some money, or build a course then you are a founder. Oplerno is an Open Learning Organization designed to create a new kind of higher education. During this campaign, anyone who donates money, signs up to be a faculty member, or spreads the word is a founder and we will list them as such on our website forever. Let's get the change started!
Oplerno is a group of practitioners, teachers, staff members, advisors, and technological gurus. We have three staff members, 50 faculty members (so far, and are always recruiting more!), and a strong team of advisors to help us on our quest. Our staff has started schools, built software and houses, taught in all levels of education, and are ready for a change for students and faculty alike. Our faculty are rocket scientists (really!), lawyers, educators, doctors, and passionate experts in their fields. Our advisors should make any startup envious, as we have recruited a group with great energy, vast knowledge and experience, and a genuine support for Oplerno’s mission.
Find Out More
We have an extensive and very detailed website located at Oplerno.com. There is a lot of information on our operations including where our faculty are in the world and what they teach. You can also access a FAQ page at http://oplerno.com/faq/.
Voiceover by Liz Regan of The Color Machine (www.thecolormachine.com)
Music by (Ben Whalen is) Sugarbeard