Open Educational Resources Survey

Jane Park, April 9th, 2008

In May of 2007, the Center for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report called, “Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources.” This report published the findings from a study in 2006, which included the results of a survey taken by 193 people in 49 countries. At the time, a quarter of them used one of the Creative Commons licenses, with half using no license at all. This data curiously contrasted with what the majority of the respondents actually said, according to the report, that “they were deeply involved in OER activities, mostly as users of open content and only slightly less as producers.”

However, two  years is a long time considering the nature of the net. That’s why, in order to accurately track and capture developments in the world of OER, CERI/OECD has posted an OER Follow-up Survey on the web. Whether you’re a teacher or researcher, ccLearn encourages you to contribute just 15 minutes to this survey. Your answers will be valuable in gauging and relaying the (perhaps leaps and bounds of) progress that has occurred in the field of OER and open learning. 

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ccNewsletter #6 — CCi

Melissa Reeder, April 9th, 2008

Looking for another way to stay abreast of current CC news? Subscribe to the bi-monthly ccNewsletter — a one stop shop for all the current CC related news you could want. This month’s newsletter highlights the amazing work of Creative Commons International’s (CCi) affiliate network as well as the most interesting and informative links from the CC Blog. And in case you’d rather read in print (or just love well-designed documents), check out the ccNewsletter #6 PDF — collaboratively designed by CC Philippines project leads and CC’s Senior Designer Alex Roberts.

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From My Space to Hip Hop: New Media in the Everyday Lives of Youth

Jane Park, April 9th, 2008

On April 23, the MacArthur Foundation and Common Sense Media are hosting a public forum at Stanford University on “how digital technologies and new media are changing the way that young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.”  Julia Stasch, the Vice President of the foundation, will shed light on MacArthur’s $50 million digital media and learning initiative in addition to introducing presenters. Some topics of interest include:

  • Teen Socialization Practices in Networked Publics
  • Understanding New Media in the Home
  • Hip Hop Music and Meaning in the Digital Age
  • New Media from a Youth Perspective
All are exciting and pertinent issues in the changing climate of education today. It is in this digital age that open educational resources are the most effective; in this space, OER are created, shared, improved, and expanded. For more information and to register for the event, see the program info. Although registration is free, space is limited, so don’t wait to nab a spot. They have extended their deadline from today (April 9th) to April 18th. 
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Powerhouse Museum Joins Flickr: The Commons

Timothy Vollmer, April 8th, 2008

Market Street, Sydney | No known copyright restrictions.

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia has become the first museum in the world to release publicly-held historical photographs for access on the Flickr: The Commons. Powerhouse has released an initial 200 photographs from its Tyrrell Collection, and will continue to add more from this 7900+ image collection over the coming weeks. The Powerhouse Museum joins the Library of Congress in the ‘Commons’ initiative. The Library of Congress is sharing over 3,300 photos from its vast collection on the Flickr site.

The key goals of The Commons are to firstly give you a taste of the hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer. You’re invited to help describe the photographs you discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments

Read the Powerhouse announcement.

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Design cover for James Boyle’s new book — Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

Mike Linksvayer, April 7th, 2008

Creative Commons board member (now chair) James Boyle’s forthcoming book The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind which will be published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial license.

You could design the book’s cover. To do so, participate in a contest held at Worth1000 with $300 in prizes:

The book is about the fate of the public domain – the realm of material that is available for everyone to use without permission or fee. The book argues that we have been neglecting the vital role of the public domain in innovation, culture, science and politics and increasingly “enclosing it” by expanding the length, breadth and scope of intellectual property rights – copyright, patent and trademark – to cover material that used to be in the public domain. Some examples:
  1. We have extended the length of the copyright term repeatedly and retrospectively, so that most of 20th century culture (books, movies, poems, photos) is still subject to copyright — even if it is not commercially available and we cannot find a copyright holder. That means we cannot digitize that work and make it freely available online.
  2. Copyright over music has become increasingly “granular,” covering even the tiniest 2 or 3 note sample. Would jazz or the blues have developed under the rules we have today?
  3. Broad patents over foundational technologies hamper scientific research in genetics and synthetic biology. Vague business method patents and software patents pose barriers to entry into new markets and hurt free and open source software.
  4. Digital fences and digital rights management are used to prevent “fair uses” of books, songs and movies.

The book ranges over all these subjects – discussing everything from Thomas Jefferson’s view of intellectual property and the way that soul musicians borrowed from gospel standards (and were in turn sampled by hip hop artists and remixers) to the challenges posed to the emerging field of synthetic biology. The author argues that we need a movement – akin to the environmental movement – to preserve the balance between the realm of intellectual property and the “commons of the mind.”

The contest ends in seven days. Read on for the complete rules.

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Berkman@10, Berkman awards, Lessig v. Valenti replay, and the world ten years ago

Mike Linksvayer, April 7th, 2008

Berkman at 10The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the wellspring of Creative Commons, is celebrating its tenth year with a public conference and awards.

Conference registration is open. A number of current and past CC staff and international project leads will be present.

Nominations for the first Berkman Awards due April 11:

The awards will be presented to people or institutions that have made a significant contribution to the Internet and its impact on society over the past decade.

The primary awardee will receive $50,000, and five smaller awards will be given in specific categories such as: human rights/global advocacy; academic and intellectual leadership; pro bono work; infrastructure/communications tools; arts/culture/media; and news/information/journalism.

Berkman is also highlighting media from its first ten years, including a classic Lessig v. Valenti debate from 2001.

Creative Commons launched December, 2002, a little over five years ago. Wikipedia is seven. Ten years ago Berkman and Mozilla were just getting started. The free software movement was just getting started 25 years ago, but widespread recognition of its potential is not much more than ten years old. What’s up for the next 5, 7, 10, and 25 years? Berkman@10 may be the best conference venue to obtain some insight. The conference, and the future of openness, are sure to be interesting.

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LugRadio Live USA this weekend in San Francisco

Mike Linksvayer, April 7th, 2008

LugRadio Live, the GNU/Linux/Rock conference from the UK, is coming to San Francisco this weekend. Register for only US$10.

Speakers include lots of people from the open media world, including yours truly. Check the schedule.

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DRAFT Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses

Mike Linksvayer, April 4th, 2008

Next in a series addressing a suggested Wikipedia CC BY-SA migration checklist, today I’m publishing a DRAFT Creative Commons Statement of Intent for Attribution-ShareAlike Licenses.

This draft statement attempts describe 1) what CC does as a license developer and steward, 2) why CC Attribution-ShareAlike licenses play a special role in the movement for free cultural works — clearly inspired by the free software movement, and 3) CC’s intentions as steward of Attribution-ShareAlike licenses, in the context of (1) and (2).

Note that while (1) provides a reasonable explanation of the role CC plays for all of the licenses it develops, (2) and (3) apply only to Attribution-ShareAlike licenses. Anyone who wants a thorough understanding of the contours of content in this age should take the time to understand the movement this statement addresses. However, other communities have different requirements. It is conceivable that at some point CC will need to address the requirements of other communities in relation to other particular CC licenses and tools that help those communities. One example of this — which takes a different form because all existing CC licenses are too restrictive for the community in question (but public domain and the in-development CC0 waiver are just right) — is the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data. Still other communities rely on more restrictive CC licenses.

This particular draft statement has been previewed to many people within CC, CC’s international project teams, Wikipedians, and free software advocates. However, I take responsibility for its unwieldy verbosity and any minor or fundamental flaws it may have, and for taking too long to take this step of posting for public review. Comments and criticism are strongly encouraged. Leave a comment on this post, on the wiki (requires registration), or on the cc-licenses mailing list (requires subscription).


Videos: Education is Changing?

Jane Park, April 3rd, 2008

Hey, remember when, as a kid, you read or heard about Rip Van Winkle? Yeah, he was the dude who went into the mountains, got intoxicated by gnomes or elves or whatever and fell asleep for a hundred years. Then he woke up and everything was crazy and different.

Well, check out “Mr. Winkle” by Mathew Needleman, primary author of Creating Lifelong Learners, a blog dedicated “to offer[ing] practical tips for elementary teachers in teaching language arts, valuing students and their cultures, appealing to different learning modalities, and integrating technology in the curriculum.”

“Mr. Winkle” is short and silly, but it makes a crucial point—that the world is changing fast around us, and some of us have done a good job of keeping up. But it’s also been changing without regard to those who haven’t kept up—in short, around our educators, educational institutions, and yes, even our students. The question is not: can education keep up? The question is: what must we do to get education up to speed?

More and more educators are realizing the power of technology—that the internet and the Open Educational Resources offered are what is integral to learning today. ccLearn hopes this realization will continue to spread and reach those not yet involved. We encourage you to check out these other videos, if you haven’t already:

  • Did You Know 2.0” is a fantastic video with an equally fantastic soundtrack—commenting on the rapidly changing state of information. Last updated in June of last year, the statistics are mind-boggling. Did you know, for instance, that if MySpace were a country, it would be the 8th largest country in the world? “Shift Happens”—that’s their gimmick, and it works. Check out their page at
  • A Vision of Students Today” effectively captures just that—have you ever wondered how college students lug all those books around and read them? Well, the truth is, most of them don’t.

Both of these videos (and Mr. Winkle) are licensed CC BY-NC-SA.

Finally, in one more video—Ken Robinson affirms that “intelligence is dynamic” and hence, creative. Instead of “educating people out of their creative capacities,” he makes a case for nurturing the creativity we are born with. Check out “Do Schools Today Kill Creativity?” on TEDTalks. All TEDTalks are distributed under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND.

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Nominations for the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration

Mike Linksvayer, April 3rd, 2008

Many institutions that use CC licenses also build free and open source software to support content creation and publishing. The Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration is an excellent opportunity for such organizations to gain recognition and funding for these software activities.

The deadline for nominations for the 2008 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC Awards) is April 14, 2008. The MATC Awards consist of up to ten $50,000 or $100,000 prizes, which a receiving institution can use in a variety of ways to continue its technology leadership. The awards honor not-for-profit institutions that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the development of open source software for one or more of the constituencies served by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: the arts and humanities in higher education; research libraries, museums; performing arts organizations; and conservation biology.

You can nominate an institution and project starting here. The FAQ tells all. There are already some great projects nominated this year, including one CC uses extensively.

Via Tim Berners-Lee, who sits on the Award’s illustrious committee.

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