open education

ccLearn—Features in Open Education

Jane Park, April 22nd, 2008

Lately, a virtual whirlwind of projects and people and organizations have blown our way, and we don’t expect the dust to settle any time soon. To keep track of some of the progress and collaboration within open education, we’ve started to host bi-monthly features ranging from individual interviews to project spotlights. We hope to open your eyes and ears to what these voices in the movement have to say.

This month’s feature is on “Attribution Only” as Default Policy—Otago Polytechnic on the How and Why of CC BY; this and all subsequent features will be on our home page. You can join our listserv for automatic updates on these and other ccLearn issues. And for those who like to compartmentalize, you can even sign up for a separate feed of our news blog.

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ccLearn Workshop at Stanford’s Open Source Lab Tomorrow

Jane Park, April 22nd, 2008

ccLearn‘s Executive Director, Ahrash Bissell, will give a talk at Open Source Lab’s fourth official workshop, a series that features various speakers promoting openness across a variety of fields. The Open Source Lab at Stanford was founded just last November, and already hosts video content from three past workshops on their site. The ccLearn workshop will be held tomorrow, April 23rd, at 3pm in the Learning Theater on campus. Ahrash will speak on:

“Open source, open content, open practices. What is “open”, why is it compelling, and where is all of this heading? I will focus on recent developments in the open education movement, including the hopes, challenges, and promising advances in this international effort. We can discuss any number of things, including: the establishment of and current work at ccLearn (including a federated search project, best-practices in (CC) licensing, etc.), the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, key barriers to the implementation of open educational resources (OER) in both higher education and K-12, international efforts and coordination, technical platforms for enabling participation (OER creation, use, and adaptation), and more.”

In homage to its content, the event is also open to the public—here are the details. But don’t worry if you can’t make it; according to co-founder Henrik Bennetsen, a video of the workshop will be available on their site later.  

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Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears–A New Online Magazine for Elementary School Teachers

Jane Park, March 5th, 2008

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is the new online science magazine for K-5th grades focusing on polar issues wrought by global climate change. Developed by a host of contributors, including the Ohio State University with funding from the National Science Foundation (Research on Learning in Formal and Informal settings), the magazine will get much of its content from existing material in the National Science Digital Library. According to this article on NSDL’s website, the magazine will contain a multitude of resources, including online activities, images, text, and multimedia (podcasts, videos, “even a browseable Virtual Bookshelf” with children’s literature for classroom use).

The first issue is titled “A Sense of Place” and it’s already up for you to browse. In addition to the resources mentioned above, this issue offers quirky animations, links to web sites, printable and foldable book versions of its articles, and to top it off—a poetry lesson plan featuring work from students in Anchorage, Alaska.

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears will be a valuable contribution to science education for Elementary students, something that has been lacking in the past. It will cover content across five departments: In the Field: Scientists at Work, Professional Learning, Science and Literacy, Across the Curriculum, and Polar News and Notes. The magazine is headed by a great team of contributors from various organizations, signifying change towards openness in the climate of education (perhaps a positive to counteract the negative in global climate change?). All content is offered under a Creative Commons License—CC BY-SA.

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CC and Net Neutrality

Jane Park, February 26th, 2008

OpenEducation.net tracks the changing climate of education–more specifically, the movement towards the growing availability of Open Educational Resources on the web. In a recent post entitled, The Digital Commons — Left Unregulated, Are We Destined for Tragedy? , they explore the potential of the open digital commons, concluding that open access is the key to avoiding, not creating, tragedy.

They also recognize ccLearn as a part of this movement. ccLearn’s Executive Director, Ahrash Bissell, recently spoke with OpenEducation.net about ccLearn’s and, in general, Creative Commons’ relationship to net neutrality. Check out the interview here.

Both articles are licensed CC BY.

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2008 Science Video Collection and Remix Challenge

Jane Park, January 15th, 2008

If you have access to educational science videos for kids (or if you even want to make your own), ccLearn encourages you to participate in the 2008 Science Video Collection and Remix Challenge! Check out the website for official details, but here’s the important stuff. Deadline is March 31, 2008. The grand prize includes:

  • $2,000
  • an OLPC laptop
  • winning producer material featured on laptops and press materials worldwide

Venkatesh Hariharan / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo by Venkatesh Harihara / CC BY-NC-SA

One Laptop Per Child and Intelligent Television are working to bring educational video to kids (namely 8 to 16 year-olds) who don’t have it. Your submissions will help to increase the amount of great educational video content available as part of the Open Education movement.

Basically, anyone can enter—kids, students, teachers, filmmakers, working people with time on their hands… The aim is to gather as much existing scientific video material as we can; this is the first stage of the competition. All contributed video material must be openly licensed (CC BY, CC BY-SA ), which means it can be copied, distributed, transmitted, and adapted by others.

There are other prizes too, which will be awarded by an international panel of judges. After you submit the prime material, the remixing stage will be announced. Remember, it’s all about the best science archives. Happy gathering!

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