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July 26, 2005

MERLOT Partnership with O'Reilly Media

Nashville, TN-- The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) , an open resource designed to aggregate, evaluate, and make available quality online instructional resources, and SafariU, O'Reilly Media's new Web-based platform for creating and sharing custom course materials online and in print, announced a new partnership today at the 2005 MERLOT International Conference taking place in Nashville.

SafariU gives Computer Science and Information Technology educators access to the most current and comprehensive repository of computer technology content available, and allows them to create print textbooks and online syllabi tailored precisely to their teaching needs. SafariU users are free to search and select the content they want--and only what they want, even if it's just one section of one chapter--from the wealth of resources in Safari Books Online, a joint venture of O'Reilly and the Pearson Technology Group. Safari includes thousands of titles from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall, and other respected technology publishers as well as O'Reilly's 5000-strong periodical database.

Through this new partnership, MERLOT and O'Reilly users will have a greater quantity of high quality online resources that can be easily incorporated into faculty-designed courses. "O'Reilly recognizes that the MERLOT community offers a well-spring of quality education through its efforts in creating, organizing, and evaluating teaching and learning resources. We greatly appreciate O'Reilly's funding fellowships for faculty participation on MERLOT's Information Technology Editorial Board to grow this watershed for IT education and workforce development," says Gerry Hanley, Executive Director of MERLOT. The partnership will enable qualified MERLOT members to have access to SafariU's rich library of technology content, and they'll be able to deliver course materials that include that content in print, online, or in both formats. SafariU users will be also be invited to join the MERLOT community.

O'Reilly and MERLOT will collaboratively develop and deploy technology tools and services that will integrate access to MERLOT and O'Reilly resources so our students, faculty, staff, and life-long learners in the IT community will have easy access to high quality and relevant digital content. In addition to SafariU's tools for creating course materials, O'Reilly's platform features the web-based Learning Object Exchange, where instructors post course material, trade teaching strategies, and share book and syllabi projects. The partnership will dramatically increase the pool of participants in the Learning Object Exchange by opening it up to MERLOT's users. SafariU will also adopt MERLOT's time-tested evaluation system for Learning Object Exchange materials, in which both peers and qualified faculty panels evaluate community members' contributions.

"This collaboration with MERLOT is exciting," says CJ Rayhill, CIO and General Manager of O'Reilly's Education Division. "The Learning Object Exchange was really the starting point for SafariU. To facilitate conversation and information exchange--that's what made us want to develop a web-aided instructional tool in the first place. MERLOT is a great example of how a working exchange can inform and enhance online education."

About Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online is a joint venture between the industry's leading technical publishers, O'Reilly Media, Inc., and The Pearson Technology Group. Safari's flagship service, Safari Tech Books Online, is the premier electronic reference library for programming and IT departments. Unlike an online bookstore, Safari is a fully searchable database of the electronic versions of books from O'Reilly Media, Inc. and Pearson's many imprints: Addison-Wesley Professional, Adobe Press, Cisco Press, Macromedia Press, New Riders, Peachpit Press, Prentice Hall PTR, Sun Microsystems Press, Que, and Sams. A growing number of titles from other publishers such as Microsoft Press and Thomson South-Western are also available. Safari's portfolio includes four additional electronic reference libraries: Safari Bookshelf for the individual technologist, Safari HelpDesk Online for enterprise knowledge workers, Safari Business Books Online for business professionals and Safari Enterprise Library.

For more information about Safari Books Online

About MERLOT

The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching is an international cooperative formed for the purpose of aggregating and making freely accessible high quality online resources to improve learning and teaching within higher education. The cooperative connects systems, consortiums, and institutions of higher education, professional organizations of academic disciplines, corporations, and individual members to form a community of people who strive to enrich the teaching and learning experience.

For more information about MERLOT

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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