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2009 December

The Future of Peer 2 Peer University

Jane Park, December 8th, 2009

wall of organized ideas
Photo by John Britton CC BY-SA

The pilot phase of P2PU (Peer 2 Peer University) ended in October, after having run for six weeks with seven courses and approximately 90 participants. Last month, the pilot phase volunteers, including the course organizers, met in person for the first time at the first ever P2PU Workshop in Berlin. The goal of the workshop was to integrate pilot phase experiences into a working plan for the future of P2PU. Judging from the outcomes, the workshop achieved its goal. Check out CC Learn’s video download of the workshop at Blip.tv, Vimeo, or YouTube. (It’s CC BY, so feel free to share and remix!)

Background

“The mission of P2PU is to leverage the power of the Internet and social software to enable communities of people to support learning for each other. P2PU combines open educational resources, structured courses, and recognition of knowledge/learning in order to offer high-quality low-cost education opportunities. It is run and governed by volunteers.”

Why is CC Learn interested in P2PU?

“P2PU is the social wrapper around open educational resources.”

The open education movement started by focusing on the legal and technical aspects of educational resources, and how they could be opened up for use by anyone, anywhere. Creative Commons licenses provide the legal, technical, and social infrastructure for OER, enabling the easy use and reuse of OER while improving discoverability and adaptability around the world. This movement towards opening education has resulted in an abundant and still growing commons of open educational resources (OER).

However, P2PU recognizes that content isn’t enough. Accessing OER does not automatically result in learning. There are reasons why traditional education institutions exist, one of these being the social interaction between peers that enables, facilitates, and motivates learning. But what about those that want to learn outside of brick and ivy walls? P2PU is an initiative outside of the traditional institution that aims to provide the social learning structures, the “social wrapper”, around existing open educational resources.

Because P2PU is a true OER project, testing the bounds of what can work when you empower a community of volunteers and peers to learn for free from each other, CC Learn is interested in where it’s going.

Where is P2PU going?

In the short term, P2PU is aiming to double its courses for its second pilot, which launches towards the end of January next year. P2PU has also established a strong community of core volunteers in tech, outreach, sustainability, research, and course organizing. These volunteers run P2PU, and they are all very busy getting P2PU ready for its next phase which will feature, among other things:

  • a new website and social platform
  • an orientation process for new course organizers
  • a CC BY-SA licensing policy (and a compendium on how to choose a license for your open education project)
  • a set of core values that the community subscribes to

P2PU is also preparing a research workshop on alternative accreditations in early 2010, and building relationships with other organizations (such as CC Learn) to explore avenues in research, assessment, and sustainability.

What is the role of P2PU in education?

Good question, and good answers—here. Like the education landscape, P2PU is still evolving. For more reflections on the workshop, check out the video, Nadeem Shabir’s post on Talis Education, and my post on OnOpen.net.

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We Met Greenplum’s Matching Challenge!

Allison Domicone, December 7th, 2009

greenplum
Thank you to all who gave a donation to CC over the past week! All gifts were generously doubled by Greenplum, who matched $5000 of donations to our fundraising campaign. We’re extremely grateful to Greenplum for their ongoing support of Creative Commons and their dedicated work building digital tools for the 21st century.

We rely on the generosity of our corporate and individual supporters to enable us to carry out our mission of facilitating participatory culture, and we hope you will join all those who have already supported CC by donating to our annual campaign!

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Commoner Letter #5: Indaba Music’s Daniel Zaccagnino and Matthew Siegel

Allison Domicone, December 7th, 2009

Indaba Music, an international community of musicians, music professionals, and fans exploring the creative possibilities of making music with people in different places, has been up to some pretty impressive stuff since being founded just a few years ago. We’re honored to have Daniel Zaccagnino and Matthew Siegel, the company’s co-Founders, write the fifth letter in the Commoner Letter series of this year’s fundraising campaign. We hope you will be inspired by their story of remix, collaboration, and creation in the online music world and will join them in supporting Creative Commons today.

Subscribe to receive future Commoner Letters by email.


danoncolbertreport

Dear Creative Commoner,
 
It has been an incredible year for Indaba Music – with much owed to Creative Commons and the incredible tools and culture it has fostered.
 
Indaba Music is a community of over 350,000 musicians from 185 countries who create music together in online recording sessions. As you might surmise from this concept, Indaba Music leverages Creative Commons licensing in a number of ways, each meaningful to our business and to the community we have cultivated. The following are just a few examples of how Creative Commons has enabled us to create some of the most interesting musical opportunities in the world:
 
Indaba Music Sessions are online projects in which musicians come together to combine tracks recorded in different places into single pieces of music. Every file that is uploaded to a session can be explicitly licensed under Creative Commons so musicians have control over how their music is used by those with whom they collaborate.
 
The Lawrence Lessig vs. Stephen Colbert Remix Challenge is an incredible example of an Indaba Music Session that leveraged Creative Commons licensing to create something extraordinary. In January of 2009 Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig was a guest on the Colbert Report. He discussed his just-released book “Remix.” As Larry and Stephen debated the merits of remixing, Stephen interrupted and issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge to his audience: “I will be very angry and possibly litigious if anyone out there takes this interview right here and remixes it with some great dance beat and it starts showing up in clubs across America.”
 
Of course, the Indaba Music community took the challenge seriously and began to remix the interview. Days later, hundreds of remixes emerged and Stephen caught wind of the Indaba Music Session. Again he issued a remix challenged to the Colbert Nation and, again, the Indaba Music community responded in force. Ultimately, we were invited to come on the show as the guest and, on February 4, 2009, had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen and defend our community and all Creative Commoners! It was great fun and a wonderful example of how everyone can benefit from being open with their content – from Colbert generating an incredible viral marketing campaign, to Indaba getting exposure, to a few select musicians who had their music played on national TV.
 
Indaba Music Contests are another great example of how Creative Commons has continuously broken down barriers in music. We have run several collaborative contests in which our entire community was able to remix and re-imagine such artists as The Roots, Rivers Cuomo, John Legend, and The Crystal Method with all remixes licensed under Creative Commons.
 
In particular, two contests have pushed the barriers of music creation and distribution. We just concluded a contest in which Indaba Music members competed to remix the entire Marcy Playground album Leaving Wonderland… In a Fit of Rage. All of the remixes are CC licensed and winners will actually get royalties on the sale of a remix CD that will hit airwaves early next year. Taking CC utilization a step further, Canadian pop-duo Carmen & Camille were the first to run a contest on Indaba Music in which submissions were licensed under CC Attribution 3.0 and remixers were allowed to sell their remixes for profit with no payments back to Carmen & Camille. Carmine & Camille wanted to create an incentive to generate the very best content that would expose their song in a new light – if one of those remixes should become a hit single it would be great for Carmen & Camille and they were happy for the remixer to benefit financially.
 
Our Creative Commons Clips Library is the newest CC addition to Indaba Music. Anyone can search thousands of CC licensed audio clips generated by professional musicians for Indaba Music. Moreover, the CC Mixter audio library is syndicated within our system, making all of the wonderful CC Mixter content available to over 350,000 musicians around the world.
 
As you can probably tell by now, we are big Creative Commons fans and CC has become an integral part of our site, our business, and our ability to continue to push musical barriers. CC licensing has opened up possibilities that never before existed, and has created an environment full of openness, collaboration, and sharing…all things that those of us in the business of music can learn from!
 
Support Creative Commons and help spread the word. This shouldn’t be an innovative way of doing things – it should be the standard.   
 
Sincerely,
 
Dan Zaccagnino                                          Matthew Siegel
Co-CEO, Co-Founder                               Co-CEO, Co-Founder

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ccNewsletter #15: September-December 2009

Allison Domicone, December 4th, 2009

ccnewsletter15

Creative Commons will soon be turning 7 (Help us celebrate!), and we’re in the midst of our 5th annual fundraising campaign, our yearly effort to raise public awareness and support of our mission to promote free and legal sharing of creative works. This newsletter, from September-December 2009, is a testament to how important our work is, and includes all of the highlights from the past couple months, including stories of new jurisdiction launches, a Nobel Prize for work concerning “the Commons,” CC-licensed feature-length films, and much more. This quarterly version of the newsletter is in beautifully-designed PDF format (download), designed for your reading pleasure by the CC Philippines team!

Subscribe to receive our monthly e-news updates and quarterly PDF newsletters by email, and stay on top of the inspiring stories coming out of the Commons.

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Vital Signs Launches New Site with CC BY as default

Jane Park, December 4th, 2009

Vital Signs
Photo by Vital Signs CC BY

Yesterday, Vital Signs kicked off their new site with more than 300 supporters, including Maine’s former Governor Angus King, who spearheaded the initiative that resulted in a laptop for every 7th and 8th grader in the state. Vital Signs, a field-based science education program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, started 10 years ago just before the turn of the century. Since then it has evolved to “[leverage] Maine’s laptop program to enable students to participate in a statewide effort to find invasive species, and to document the native species and habitats most vulnerable to future invasions.” The new site “provides a digital platform, including social networking tools, to facilitate a fluid exchange of knowledge between students and experts. It changes each student’s relationship with science from distant spectator to thoughtful participant.” You might remember our Back to School feature on them, or even my Inside OER interview with Sarah Kirn, the Manager of the project, from the spring of 2008.

Back then, CC Learn and VS tossed around a lot of ideas on how to get them to move towards openness, and now more than a year a later those ideas have come to fruition. Their new site leverages the research and data of more than 50 middle school classrooms who are paired with real scientists, researchers, and conscientious citizens to explore and address the issue of invasive species.

“Stewarding 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, 6,000 lakes and ponds, 5,000 miles of coastline and 17 million acres of forest is a job for every Maine citizen, young and old,” said Andrew Fisk, director, Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Department of Environmental Protection. “Engaging seventh and eighth grade students in the issue of invasive species promises to build a heightened level of public awareness and a meaningful body of scientific knowledge. You never know who will save the next lake from a milfoil infestation. The kids are a resource of significant magnitude for us.”

Now Vital Signs work can be leveraged by other states and around the world. The new site’s default licensing policy is CC BY, which means that anyone is free to copy, distribute, adapt, or remix VS work as long as they attribute Vital Signs. The issue of invasive species is not unique to Maine, and now Vital Signs can lead in opening up the work that will enable future solutions.

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December’s ccSalon SF (12/17/09) + Help Us Celebrate CC’s 7th Birthday!

Allison Domicone, December 3rd, 2009

CC 7 years

December’s ccSalon SF will be a celebration of CC’s 7 years and the wrap-up of our 2009 annual fundraising campaign, so if you’re located in the SF Bay Area, we hope to see you there!
salon-sf
On the evening’s agenda:

  • We’ll hear from Twitter‘s General Counsel, Alex Macgillivray. Alex was previously Deputy General Counsel at Google and has been a supporter of Creative Commons from our very beginning.
  • A unique installation and presentation of the dublab/Creative Commons art and music collaboration, Into Infinity, an online project built on audio loops and circular canvases paired together in infinite combination. Salon-goers will have the chance to draw on some of these 12-inch canvases as well as participate in a live recording of an 8-second audio loop – so get creative and bring a noisemaker of some kind (kazoo, bell, travel guitar, etc.) to help us make some sweet sounds! We’ll submit the best one to Into Infinity.
  • CC’s Vice President, Mike Linksvayer, will highlight some of CC’s major accomplishments from 2009 and talk about what’s in store for CC in 2010.

This salon will be a great chance to meet and talk to members of the CC staff, connect with other free culture enthusiasts from the Bay Area, or just learn more about Creative Commons.

When: Thursday, December 17, 7-9pm
Where: PariSoMa, 1436 Howard St. (map and directions). Plenty of street parking available. (Please note, the space is located up two steep flights of stairs, and unfortunately does not currently have elevator access.)

Light refreshments will be provided, and since we rely on the generosity of our community to keep us afloat, we’ll be accepting donations for the annual campaign at the door.

Check out the event posting and let us know you’re coming on Facebook or Upcoming. We hope to see you there!


Can’t be at the San Francisco Salon? You can still help us celebrate CC’s 7 years! CC friends, fans, and supporters across the globe are invited to find creative ways of celebrating the past seven years of CC successes and growth. We want to celebrate Creative Commons using the same ideals of openness, innovation, collaboration, and freedom that are central to CC, so the possibilities are limitless: create a remix or video, bake “CC” cupcakes, host a screening of a CC-licensed film, organize an informal salon or meet-up, plan an event around Public Domain Day on January 1, the list goes on. What CC has accomplished in just seven years is phenomenal and worth celebrating in any form!

Let’s mark the week of December 14th (and beyond!) as a celebration of free culture, creativity, and knowledge! Use the tag CC@7 and add any and all photos/videos/blogs/etc. to the 7th Birthday Wiki Page so we can highlight how people are celebrating CC that week. Questions? Contact development[at]creativecommons.org.

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Into Infinity Comes to Japan

Cameron Parkins, December 2nd, 2009

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As if launching a dedicated iPhone application wasn’t celebration enough, dublab and Creative Commons Japan are teaming up on a series of amazing events across Japan in the coming two weeks to commemorate the launch of the Into Infinity project in Japan. The tour will be making stops in Tokyo, Sapporo, and Kobe and feature (depending on date and location) live Into Infinity performances, music from Daedelus and The Long Lost, DJ sets from dublab DJ Frosty, and much more.

You can see photos as they come in at dublab’s flickr page and see the full calendar of events at their website. For those in Tokyo be sure to check out Daedalus, The Long Lost, a live Into Infinity performance and sounds from dublab DJ Frosty at the Super Deluxe this Friday, December 4th.

UPDATE: iPhone/iPod Touch owners, if you haven’t had a chance yet be sure to check out the free Into Infinity app mentioned above (iTunes link).

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Ebay Supports CC – again!

Melissa Reeder, December 2nd, 2009

This time last year I had the pleasure of announcing Ebay as a new corporate supporter. Today, I’m delighted to announce that they’ve decided to continue their support of Creative Commons — investing in the future of creativity and knowledge.

Ebay makes for a natural CC supporter, since the company upholds the same values as we do — connecting people and ideas, as well as encouraging sharing, collaboration, and innovation. If you hold the same values, please consider joining Ebay and supporting CC today. We are only as strong as our community of supporters, and we need your help — donate today!

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Greenplum Doubling All Donations for the Next Week!

Allison Domicone, December 2nd, 2009

greenplum
We’re entering the final weeks of our 2009 fundraising campaign, and if you have yet to make a gift to CC (or even if you have!) now is the time to do so because any amount you give will automatically be doubled by Greenplum! Give today and Greenplum will generously match every donation dollar for dollar for the next week – up to $5,000! Donate now to help us meet their challenge!

Formed in 2003, Greenplum is led by pioneers in database systems, data warehousing, supercomputing, Internet performance acceleration and open source. With technical and business leaders from large-scale computing companies like Amazon, eBay and Yahoo, and database companies including Oracle, Informix, Teradata, Netezza, Microsoft and Tandem, Greenplum is tapping the best minds in the business to deliver the next-generation of data warehousing and analytics. Greenplum deeply understands the importance of the internet to create digital tools for the 21st century, and we’re delighted to have them as a corporate sponsor of our campaign!

Join Greenplum in investing in the future of creativity and knowledge. Give what you can today!

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U.S. Dept of Ed funds Bookshare to make open textbooks accessible

Jane Park, December 2nd, 2009

Remember the California Free Digital Textbooks Initiative and how it resulted in 16 open textbooks, 10 of which met 90% of California’s standards? Well, since these textbooks were licensed under one of the Creative Commons licenses that allows derivation (the licenses sans the ND term), they can not only be translated into various languages, but also modified and adapted into various contexts, including converting them into accessible formats, such as audio and Braille. No extra transaction costs have to be incurred by some middleman to allow these adaptations—any entity with the resources to adapt these textbooks may do so, since the rights for derivation are pre-cleared via Creative Commons.

Realizing this, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs has granted $100k to Bookshare, “the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities.” The grant is aimed at “[creating] the first accessible versions of open content digital textbooks. The initial planned conversion of open content textbooks, which are distributed freely under a license selected by the author, are math and science textbooks approved for California students.” From the press release,

“As other states begin to approve open content textbooks, Bookshare will continue to convert these materials to accessible formats for all students who read better with accessible text. The first open content textbooks approved for use in California will be available via Bookshare. The texts will be offered in the accessible DAISY format that enables multi-modal reading, combining highlighted on-screen text with high-quality computer-generated voice, and BRF, a digital Braille format for use with Braille displays or embossed Braille.”

“Traditional copyrighted books, including those contributed to Bookshare by publishers, are protected with digital rights management technology and available only to those with a documented print disability. But Bookshare’s open content books will become part of the freely distributable books in the Bookshare collection and can be used by anybody without proof of disability,” says Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman. “These accessible books will not only help disabled students throughout the U.S. and globally, but provide parents, teachers and assistive technology developers with free access to real talking textbooks.”

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