Education

Open Educational Resources
Our Projects
Get Involved

With the internet, universal access to education is possible, but its potential is hindered by increasingly restrictive copyright laws and incompatible technologies. The Education program at Creative Commons works to minimize these barriers, supporting the CC mission through consulting, education, and outreach on using the right technologies and licenses to maximize the benefits of open educational resources (OER) and the return on investment in publicly funded education and research programs. Our work cuts across all levels of education (K-12 to postsecondary) and sectors of industry (nonprofit to corporate).

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.1

When educational resources are digital and openly licensed under Creative Commons licenses, they can be shared with everyone for the marginal cost of $0. Textbooks, courses, and lesson plans become free and easy to find, share, customize, and combine. Thanks to CC licenses, learners can find and incorporate free materials for reports and presentations, educators can customize textbooks and lesson plans, universities can distribute video lectures to a global audience, and publishers can adapt materials and develop services for an enhanced learning experience.

Case Studies

All over the world, from Argentina to New Zealand, people and projects are using CC licenses for education. Browse the slide deck below for a snapshot of some of the major education initiatives using CC licenses, and read more about each in detail at the OER case studies page.

Find OER

For tips on searching for open educational resources that fit your needs, see this Find OER page curated by the Open Professionals Education Network.

Version 4.0 for Education

Version 4.0 of the CC license suite is ready for you to use. But what does that mean? What’s new in 4.0 that wasn’t there in 3.0 or previous versions? What has stayed the same? Who has upgraded to the 4.0? This slide deck (zip file), accompanied by detailed presenter’s notes, is a resource for open education practitioners to explain Version 4.0 to their communities. You can also watch the recording of the webinar given during Open Education Week here.

Creative Commons Version 4.0 for Education

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Our Projects

In addition to our ongoing consulting, education, license adoption, and policy work in education and research, we have a few major projects where we are focusing our efforts. We continue to explore ways to improve access to education and invite ideas for collaboration below.

School of Open

Educating about open.

To address a general lack of knowledge of the practice and benefits of open licensing, we have launched the School of Open to offer free education opportunities for anyone to learn about the meaning and impact of open licenses and resources in the digital age and their benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and more. Individuals and organizations will learn how to use free technology and tools, such as Creative Commons licenses, to share, improve, and build upon their materials. We are coordinating the project in collaboration with the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) at http://schoolofopen.org.


Open Policy Network

Ensuring open access to publicly funded resources.

To fully scale the opportunity of OER and maximize the impact of taxpayer money, we need open policies to ensure publicly funded resources are openly licensed. The Open Policy Network is a coalition of experts who work to foster the creation, adoption, and implementation of open policies and practices that advance the public good. Through this initiative, we will enable advocates, researchers, and policymakers to access resources, expertise, and model policies to advance the spread of open policy adoptions at the institutional level. We are coordinating activity to shape this project in its beginning stages at http://openpolicynetwork.org.

As part of the network, we are hosting the OER Policy Registry, a community-curated database where you can share, update, or browse current and proposed open education policies from around the world.


Open Professionals Education Network

Supporting open policy program grantees.

The Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) provides free support and technical assistance to all grantees of the $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program from the U.S. Department of Labor. OPEN works with grantees to meet the provisions of the grant, including the CC BY open licensing requirement for all educational resources produced as a result of grant funds. OPEN services are provided by Creative Commons (CC), Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI), Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) at http://open4us.org.


Learning Resource Metadata Initiative

Making it easy to find and share open resources.

The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) is a project led by Creative Commons (CC) and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) to establish a common vocabulary for describing learning resources. The vocabulary is the first independently developed industry-specific framework designed to work with schema.org, the web metadata framework launched by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, thereby improving the practical search and discovery of learning resources online. To learn more, visit www.lrmi.net.

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Get Involved

The Education program at Creative Commons is represented by Cable Green (Director of Global Learning), Paul Stacey (Senior Project Manager), Jane Park (Project Manager), and Billy Meinke (Project Assistant); and is extensively supported by staff from across the organization. We invite you to join us in our current efforts, or otherwise propose an idea for collaboration:

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