Commons News

“Free Culture” officially introduced in the Czech Republic

Jane Park, May 10th, 2010


Over the weekend, the Czech Republic celebrated Liberation Day and officially introduced the complete Czech translation of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture. The translation was the culminating work of fifty volunteers over three years, and was enabled by the CC BY-NC license of the original English publication. The Czech version is also available under the same license. Adam Hazdra, project initiator and coordinator, writes, “I hope it will contribute to the promotion of Creative Commons and free culture it aims to restore.”

Comments Off

“Open Education” ccSalon Video Now Online!

Allison Domicone, May 7th, 2010

salon-sf

In case you missed this week’s Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco, you can now view it online thanks to our media sponsor, VidSF, who filmed and broadcast the event.

We heard from four stellar individuals involved in transforming the education landscape through the power of the internet and digital tools, such as open educational resources (OER). The presenters talked about their and other innovative projects rethinking what a textbook is, what a classroom can be, and how a person should learn. Especially enriching was the panel portion of the evening, when all four presenters came together for a thought-provoking discussion about the roadblocks to implementing a more open approach to education, from a policy perspective as well as in terms of practice, including the important issue of how to get teachers, already over-burdened, more involved in helping to build this pool of shared educational knowledge.

Watch the video now!

Thanks to pariSoma as always for the use of their wonderful space, and thanks to the evening’s presenters for their insight and expertise:

Comments Off

CC Vietnam Celebrates Launch at OCWC Global Meeting

Michelle Thorne, May 7th, 2010

Today marks the celebration of the localized Creative Commons licenses in Vietnam, the fifty-third jurisdiction worldwide to adapt the Creative Commons licensing suite to national law. The Vietnam Education Foundation together with D&N International and Creative Commons have overseen the localization of the licenses in consultation with the Vietnamese public and key stakeholders in the jurisdiction.

The launch will take place at the Creative Commons workshop on May 7 at 1:00pm during the Open CourseWare Consortium’s (OCWC) fifth annual conference in Melia Hotel. The three-day OCWC event brings together educators, administrators, policy makers, and other interested participants to examine the capacity of Open CourseWare to effect large-scale educational improvement worldwide. Many Open CourseWare and Open Educational Resources (OER) use Creative Commons licenses to grant copyright permission to easily access, adapt, and discover the materials.

“At a time when Vietnam Is taking great efforts to improve education and strengthen its creative industries, I see the Creative Commons launch providing a firm foundation on which to build Vietnam’s education and creative sector in the digital age,” says Dr. Lynne McNamara, Executive Director of the Vietnam Education Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the support of the OCWC as well for making this event possible.”

“CC Vietnam led a masterful consultation with the Vietnamese public and incorporated that feedback into the licenses. The team continues to connect diverse expertise and passions for the betterment of the local community. Creative Commons looks forward to the many promising developments in this dynamic and dedicated region,” notes Diane Peters, General Counsel of Creative Commons.

The next phase of CC Vietnam will focus on building multi-stakeholder groups to promote legal sharing in a variety of fields, such as photography, education, and music. Institutions and individuals in Vietnam are welcome to contribute to developing a roadmap for the national project and to join the launch’s proceedings on May 7.

1 Comment »

Massively Multiplayer Game Ryzom Released as Free Culture and Free Software

Chris Webber, May 6th, 2010

Ryzom's Windfall
Ryzom's Windfall by Winch Gate / CC BY-SA

Today brings an exciting announcement… Winch Gate Properties Ltd. is releasing Ryzom, an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), with its code under the GNU AGPLv3 and its artistic assets under CC BY-SA.

Games are almost unique in how tightly the medium requires the interweaving of software and culture.  Amongst the many genres of video games that exist today, the MMORPG is probably the most complex and requires the most depth both on the side of the code and content.  Since Ryzom is a mature, well developed project, the scale of this release and its significance for both free culture and free software are both truly incredible.  In the words of Winch Gate’s own press release:

By freeing Ryzom code, Winch Gate is transforming the MMORPG marketplace and is setting a precedent for how gaming software should evolve–in freedom. The source code released totals over two (2) million lines of source code and over 20,000 high quality textures and thousands of 3D objects.

Some components aren’t released yet to the public (notably the music and sounds, although this is apparently in progress) and the world data for the main server isn’t being released to keep the player community from fracturing.  Notably also, the current tools for creating game data require proprietary software, but the Free Software Foundation notes that there are efforts under way to make these actions editable incorporating free software tools such as Blender.  However the components that are already available: the server code, the client code, and the many models, animations, textures and etc, already bring many great community opportunities.  The freeing of these resources opens them for study, modification, and incorporation into other works and games of compatible licenses.  And of course the existence of all these components also means that one can run a fully free-as-in-freedom virtual universe of one’s own.  If you ever dreamed of the carving of virtual worlds, here’s your great chance.

1 Comment »

Tenth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival: June 2nd, NYC

Cameron Parkins, May 3rd, 2010

Mark your calendars – Arts Engine is back with its annual Media That Matters Film Festival on June 2nd in New York City. The festival, now in its tenth year, showcases twelve social justice shorts selected by a fantastic jury of filmmakers and activists.

The premiere will take place at The Visual Arts Theater (Google Map) and will include not only the films featured but also a salon with some of the MTM presenting partners and a chance to meet the festival filmmakers. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance if you wish to attend in person.

Following the premiere, the films will be available for purchase under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives license on region-free unencrypted DVDs. This allows activists, educators, fans, and audiences to host their own non-commercial screenings of the shorts without having to negotiate complex contracts with MTM and the many different filmmakers participating in the festival. Those interested should preorder a DVD, check out MTM’s DIY Screening Guide, and add themselves to the list of existing screenings.

Visit the festival’s site for details, schedules, and downloads. Also, check out the video that Creative Commons and Arts Engine collaborated on in late 2008 that explains how CC licenses have helped filmmakers in the Media that Matters festival (more info and download available here).

1 Comment »

Tune in LIVE to tonight’s ccSalon at 7pm PDT

Allison Domicone, May 3rd, 2010

salon-sf

Can’t make it to tonight’s Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco? No problem! You’ll be able to tune in virtually thanks to the talented and generous folks at VidSF, our media sponsors for the event.

Watch the salon live at http://parisoma.com from 7-9pm PDT.

Use Identi.ca or Twitter to join the conversation with hashtag #ccsalon.

On the evening’s agenda:
Presentations from 7:15-8pm

Panel and discussion from 8:15-9pm:

When: Monday, May 3, 7-9pm
Location: 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 CC at the door.

Check out the event posting on Facebook and Upcoming.

Comments Off

Phase 2 Results of the CA Free Digital Textbook Initiative

Jane Park, May 3rd, 2010

Last Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger announced the results from Phase 2 of the California Free Digital Textbook Initiative. A total of 17 textbooks, including updated versions from Phase 1, were submitted, and 15 have so far been reviewed against California’s academic content standards. Of those fifteen, ten carry a CC license (CC BY-SA or CC BY), two carry a GNU FDL license, and one is in the public domain. All but two of the CC licensed textbooks met 100% of California’s state standards. Major contributors included a number of individuals, in addition to the CK-12 Foundation and Connexions, two OER organizations that have a default CC license (CC BY-SA and CC BY, respectively) on their educational resources.

According to the press release, “Students and teachers have the flexibility to use these resources in a number of ways. They are downloadable and can be projected on a screen or viewed on a computer or hand-held device. They can also be printed chapter by chapter and bound for use in the classroom and be taken home by students.”

This is true for the CC BY and CC BY-SA licensed textbooks, as these licenses allow not only reuse and reproduction, but adaptation, which allows one to edit, improve, remix, or translate the resource.

For the complete results of Phase 2 and the draft report, visit the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) website.

1 Comment »

Web 2.0 Expo: Creating a Culture of Sharing

Mike Linksvayer, May 2nd, 2010

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2010Thursday a panel at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco explores an important question for anyone building or participating in a website premised on collaboration among users — Creating a Culture of Sharing — maximizing collaboration and minimizing conflict and other costs.

This is an important question not only for entrepreneurs and communities, but for the commons generally — the success of which depends significantly on the vibrancy of sites where the commons is built. So I’m happy to participate on this panel with representatives of two such sites — Jack Herrick of wikiHow and Emily Richards of ArtisTech Media (which has run ccMixter since last year). The panel will be moderated by Josh Crandall of Netpop Research, which conducted a study on noncommercial use with Creative Commons last year.

Previewing the panel, the Web 2.0 Expo blog has published an excellent interview with Jack Herrick, worth reading in its entirety. Excerpt:

Kaitlin: So, out with it – how do you create a “Culture of Sharing”? Or at least, what would your 1 minute elevator pitch be?

Jack: We like to call wikiHow “built to share“. And we do it three ways:

  1. Build trust with your community. At wikiHow we do this via open content licensing and building and distributing our open source software.
  2. Build software which enables sharing and collaboration. A common example of this is to have tools to allow others to easily republish content on other sites.
  3. Walk the walk. Be accessible to your community and practice the behavior of sharing, openness that you want your community to adopt.
Comments Off

CC Salon Beirut: Recap

Cameron Parkins, April 30th, 2010

Two weeks ago the first CC Salon Beirut took place, convening a number of fantastic groups and speakers from the surrounding region. CC Arab World Media and Development Manager Donatella Della Ratta was on hand and recapped the event on her blog.

While the Salon yielded numerous exciting announcements and presentations, two were particularly inspiring. Al Akhbar, a daily newspaper published in Beirut, announced that it would begin releasing its web content under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license. Similarly, Al Jazeera used the Salon as a platform to release footage specifically on Lebanon in to its Creative Commons repository.

Be sure to read the entire recap for more information on all the projects and presenters.

Comments Off

CC Talks With: Karen Fasimpaur: Open Education and Policy

Timothy Vollmer, April 29th, 2010

Karen Fasimpaur
Karen Fasimpaur by Ali Shute / CC BY

One venue for the advancement of Open Educational Resources (OER) is through policy change at the local, state, federal, and international levels. In addition to a new Education landing page and an OER portal that explains Creative Commons’ role as the legal and technical infrastructure behind OER, CC has been conducting a series of interviews to help clarify some of the challenges and opportunities of OER in today’s education landscape. We caught up with Karen Fasimpaur, a blogger, author, creator of the Kids Open Dictionary, and co-founder of K12 Open Ed.

You run a small educational technology company. Can you briefly explain your business and how it relates to OER? Can you describe your past work and how it’s lead to what you’re doing now?

For almost 10 years, our company, K12 Handhelds, has worked with schools to integrate mobile technology into the curriculum. That work includes professional development, curriculum development, and coaching and mentoring to help facilitate differentiation of instruction, which is a key to reversing the engagement and achievement gaps that challenge our schools today. In the course of that work, I discovered open resources as a solution to several issues. The biggest was that in trying to customize curriculum resources (textbooks, etc.) for use on mobile devices and use with a variety of learners, we have always had difficulty with traditional proprietary content. In some cases, publishers wouldn’t extend rights for us to do this for schools. In other cases, when we were allowed to do this, the technical work required was expensive and time consuming due to proprietary formats. OER has been a great solution to this.

In addition, we work with teachers and students to create multimedia products, such as podcasts, web sites, multimedia book reports, etc. I always try to make sure students (and teachers) understand copyright and what is legal to use and what is not. Before open resources, it was a challenge to find resources that students could use legally, especially when they want to publish to the Internet. Now, with so much great content licensed under CC and other open licenses, the sky’s the limit. Students love using this content and learning about copyright and open resources.

Beyond that, I have come to really appreciate the philosophy of OER. The K-12 education community is naturally inclined to share, so OER really makes sense in so many ways.

You’ve written extensively on your blog about the potential for cost savings with OER. A lot of policymakers and champions of “open” rely on a cost-savings argument–not surprising, given the state of the economy over the past few years. Can OER save money and how should this be situated within the larger case for OER?

I do think that OER can help cut costs, though OER is certainly not “free” in the sense of not costing anything to develop. Particularly in K-12, where many high quality OER are developed by highly specialized content experts (much like traditional textbooks), there is a cost to do so. Where OER can save cost though is through cost sharing, electronic distribution, and better leveraging of resources. With the current state budget crises, many federal and state policymakers are looking to OER as a partial solution to funding challenges. In particular, I believe that all publicly funded materials development should require an open license – that just makes good sense in terms of use of public funds.

Perhaps, even more importantly in K-12, reform of the traditional core curriculum adoption and purchasing systems, can result in cost savings to schools. Doing things like unbundling textbook and ancillary purchases, allowing flexibility in how instructional materials funds are spent, and encouraging more collaborative participation in the development process are all important.

The most important thing about OER is not that it saves money in the short term, but that it is beneficial to learning by allowing more customization and differentiation. Ultimately, that will also save money by allowing schools to spend funds on the content and services that best serve their students and by improving student engagement and achievement.

A substantial concern around supporting open educational resources is the impression that the OER model, which releases content for free under an open license, will turn the traditional commercial publishing model on its head, especially within the textbook industry. At the same time, startups like Flat World Knowledge have demonstrated viable business models around OER, and that could benefit digital textbook adoption initiatives. How can we encourage new business models around OER, and what is the future of the publishing industry?

The traditional publishing industry has been struggling over the last few years and, like most of our world, is facing change. The industry needs to be more responsive to customer needs and to help facilitate more flexibility in how schools provide instructional materials. Open educational resources is one of they many factors that will likely help bring this about.

Having worked in both commercial textbook and software publishing myself, I understand the business challenges and believe that there are exciting new business models around OER. In particular, income can be generated around customization services, professional development, and premium add-ons. This not only gives publishers a sustainable profit model, but it allows schools to shift spending from expensive, proprietary textbooks to customized services packages in order to improve learning.

There will always be a role for the commercial publishing industry, and I hope that there will be more conversations with the OER community to find ways we can collaborate for the benefit of teachers and learners.

There is much discussion around what “open” means, and sometimes related terms are used, such as free/freely available/open source/digital/online. How do you feel about these differences in terminology, and what do you think is the best path forward for the OER movement?

The discussion of what “open” means can sound like tiresome semantics, but it is really important. To me, “open” means that materials can be used, adapted, and redistributed freely by anyone. “Open” does not mean simply free or digital. There are many educational resources that are free and digital, but proprietary, and those resources don’t have the instructional benefits of OER.

The OER movement would be well-served by getting this message out to educators. In presenting to groups of educators across the country, I find that it is an easy message for people to understand and that it is very well received by policymakers, administrators, and teachers, but unfortunately are not familiar with OER right now.

How do you see the role of Creative Commons within the OER movement? How can CC help?

Creative Commons has been a tremendous leader and mover in the OER movement. Without the simple-to-understand CC licenses and all the great open content that CC has helped make available to the world, OER wouldn’t be as strong as it is. In the future, Creative Commons can continue to help by getting the word out about open content and CC licenses to encourage more and more people to use these resources and to license their own work that way.

Wrapping up, what does a successful teaching and learning environment implementing the power of OER “look like”? Do you have any lingering thoughts — worries, hopes, predictions?

Successful teaching and learning, with or without OER, includes differentiated learning opportunities, high engagement, and active participatory environments. While OER is not necessary to these, they certainly greatly facilitate this kind of environment. I believe that OER can really drive a powerful new model of learning. My worries for the future of OER are that the powerful commercial publishing lobby will fight OER adoption and that the word will be slow to get out to teachers about the power of this tool set. My hopes are that every teacher and learner will experience the power of differentiated instruction and see how OER can help enliven their learning experience. My predictions are that OER will change traditional publishing models; that printed, static textbooks will be a thing of the past relatively soon; and that change will be the only constant.

1 Comment »


Page 73 of 392« First...1020...717273747576...8090...Last »

Subscribe to RSS

Archives

  • collapse2014
  • expand2013
  • expand2012
  • expand2011
  • expand2010
  • expand2009
  • expand2008
  • expand2007
  • expand2006
  • expand2005
  • expand2004
  • expand2003
  • expand2002