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Creative Commons & the Association of Educational Publishers to establish a common learning resources framework

Jane Park, June 7th, 2011

Today Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) announce the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, a project aimed at improving education search and discovery via a common framework for tagging and organizing learning resources on the web. The learning resources framework will be designed to work with schema.org, the web metadata framework recently launched by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, as well as to work with other metadata technologies and to enable other rich applications.

Some of the details on my Moleskine
Some of the details on my Moleskine by Kim Joar / CC BY

The great promise of Open Educational Resources (OER) to provide access to high quality learning materials is limited by the discoverability of those resources and the difficulty of targeting them to the needs of specific learners. Creating a common metadata schema will accelerate movement toward personalized learning by publishers, content providers and learners, and help to unleash the tremendous potential of OER and online learning.

From AEP’s press release:

“This is a watershed project for our industry. It benefits both users and content providers because improved discoverability expands the market,” said Charlene Gaynor, CEO of AEP. “Being part of the process allows publishers to address issues such as quality and suitability as dimensions of educational content.”

CC is co-leading the LRMI with the Association of Educational Publishers, which includes publishers such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, Scholastic, Inc. and Pearson. Open education organizations in addition to CC also support the project, including the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISMKE), Curriki.org, BetterLesson.org, and the Monterey Institute for Technology (MITE).

To learn more about the timeliness and impact of the LRMI, CC’s role in the project, and what this means for OER and online education publishers, grantees of the U.S. Department of Labor’s $2 billion TAACCCT program, other CC-using publishers and platforms, and technologists, please see our LRMI FAQ.

You can keep up to date and contribute to the broader conversation by following http://creativecommons.org/tag/lrmi and using the tag #lrmi on social media. If you want to get involved, join the LRMI list at http://groups.google.com/group/lrmi and introduce yourself. We look forward to your contributions!

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Educational Search and DiscoverEd

Alex Kozak, June 25th, 2010

Last week in the vuDAT building at Michigan State University, a group of developers interested in educational search and discovery got together to contribute code (in what’s commonly called a code sprint) to Creative Commons’ DiscoverEd project. Readers interested in the technical details about our work last week can find daily posts on CC LabsDay 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

DiscoverEd is a semantic enhanced search prototype. What does that mean practically? Let’s say you’re a ninth grade biology teacher interested in finding education resources about cell organelles to hand out to students. How would you go about that?

If you’re web savvy, you might open up a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing and search for “cell organelles”. You’d find a lot of resources (Google alone finds over 11 million pages!), but which do you choose to investigate further? It’s time consuming and difficult to sift through search results for resources that have certain properties you might be interested in, like being appropriate for 9th graders, being under a CC license that allows you to modify the resource and share changes, or being written in English or Spanish, for example. As you throw up your hands in dismay, you might think “Can’t someone do this for me?!”

DiscoverEd is an educational search prototype that does exactly that, by searching metadata about educational resources. It provides a way to sift through search results based on specific qualities like what license it’s under, the education level, or subject.

Compare search results for “cell organelles” in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and now in DiscoverEd. You can see that finding CC licensed educational resources is friendlier because of the available metadata accompanying each result.

While most search engines rely solely on algorithmic analyses of resources, DiscoverEd can incorporate data provided by the resource publisher or curator. As long as curators and publishers follow some basic standards, metadata can be consumed and displayed by DiscoverEd. These formats (e.g. RDFa) allow otherwise unrelated educational projects, curators, and repositories to express facts about their resources in the same format so that tools (like DiscoverEd) can use that data for useful purposes (like search and discovery).

Creative Commons believes an open web following open standards leads to better outcomes for everyone. Our vision for the web is that everyone following interoperable standards, whether they be legal standards like the CC licenses or technical standards like CC REL and RDFa, will result in a platform that enables social and technical innovation in the same way that HTTP and HTML enabled change. DiscoverEd is a project that allows us to explore ways to improve search for OER, and simultaneously demonstrate the utility of structured data.

Continued development of DiscoverEd is supported by the AgShare project, funded by a grant from The Gates Foundation. Creative Commons thanks MSU, vuDAT, MSU Global, and the participants in the DiscoverEd sprint last week for their support.

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Yahoo Brings CC Filters to Image Search

Fred Benenson, May 26th, 2009

Forgive me, but a picture (screen shot) is worth a thousand words (searches):

Yahoo Image Search

Today, on Yahoo’s Search Blog, Polly Ng and Anuj Sahai announced the addition of CC license image filtering options to their image search and also explained why CC licenses are so important for finding images online:

Finding a great image online elicits a little thrill, but it can be tricky – if you’re looking for a pic to pop into a presentation or illustrate a Web page, you need to know if you’re allowed to use that photo, and how you can use it. Today, Yahoo! Image Search is launching a Creative Commons license filter that allows you to simply and quickly find images that are available for reuse.

When you use Yahoo! Image Search, you’ll now see a checkbox for Creative Commons allowing you to filter for images from Flickr that can be used commercially or that can be modified (remixed, tweaked, or built upon) with restrictions set by the image’s creator.

Congrats to the Yahoo! team for extending CC even further into their platform!

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Berkman Center for Internet & Society in San Francisco

Melissa Reeder, September 11th, 2008

If you’re around the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday Sept. 15th, definitely check out this event:
Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society is hosting a book talk and reception in honor of their newest publication Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. We hope to see you there!

Special thanks to these sponsors: David Hornik of August Capital, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Creative Commons, Tod Cohen of eBay Inc., the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society, and Meg Garlinghouse of Yahoo! Inc.

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Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons

Mike Linksvayer, March 23rd, 2005

Six months ago we noted that one could use Yahoo! link: searches to find Creative Commons licensed content out of 4.7 million indexed pages that linked to a Creative Commons license at that time.

Last month we mentioned that the Yahoo! search index contained over 10 million pages that link to a Creative Commons license.

Now we’re very happy that Yahoo! has built a Creative Commons search interface. As with our own search engine, you can limit results to works you can use commercially or that you can build upon or both.

We’ve added a box to our search engine’s results page that allows you to easily try a similar search at Yahoo! — try out this search for ‘shark’.

For developers, Yahoo! has added a license parameter to their Web Search API.

Read more on the Yahoo! Search blog, where the announcement of Yahoo! Search for Creative Commons features an inspiring guest post from Creative Commons chairperson Lawrence Lessig.

Way to go Yahoo!

(Now close to 14 million pages linking to a CC license.)

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