With the internet, universal access to education is possible, but its potential is hindered by increasingly restrictive copyright laws and incompatible technologies. The Open Education program at Creative Commons works to minimize these barriers, supporting the CC mission through education, advocacy and outreach on using the right licenses and open policies to maximize the benefits of open educational resources (OER) and the return on investment in publicly funded education resources. Our work cuts across all levels of education (primary – secondary – tertiary) and sectors of industry (non-profit – corporate – government).
Open Educational Resources
When educational resources are digital and openly licensed under Creative Commons licenses, they can be shared with everyone for the marginal cost of $0. Textbooks, courses, and lesson plans become free and easy to find, share, customize, and combine. Thanks to CC licenses, learners can find and incorporate free materials for reports and presentations, educators can customize textbooks and lesson plans, universities can distribute video lectures to a global audience, and publishers can adapt materials and develop services for an enhanced learning experience.
All over the world, from Argentina to New Zealand, people and projects are using CC licenses for education. Below is a snapshot of some of the major education initiatives using CC licenses, and read more about each in detail at the OER case studies page.
For tips on searching for open educational resources that fit your needs, see this Find OER page curated by the Open Professionals Education Network.
Version 4.0 for Education
Version 4.0 of the CC license suite is ready for you to use. But what does that mean? What’s new in 4.0 that wasn’t there in 3.0 or previous versions? What has stayed the same? Who has upgraded to the 4.0? This slide deck (zip file), accompanied by detailed presenter’s notes, is a resource for open education practitioners to explain Version 4.0 to their communities. You can also watch the recording of the webinar given during Open Education Week.
In addition to our ongoing advocacy, education, license adoption, and policy work in education, we have a few major projects where we are focusing our efforts. We continue to explore ways to improve access to education and invite ideas for collaboration below.
Educating about open.
To address a general lack of knowledge of the practice and benefits of open licensing, we have launched the School of Open to offer free education opportunities for anyone to learn about the meaning and impact of open licenses and resources in the digital age and their benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and more. Individuals and organizations will learn how to use free technology and tools, such as Creative Commons licenses, to share, improve, and build upon their materials. We are coordinating the project in collaboration with the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) at http://schoolofopen.org.
Ensuring open access to publicly funded resources.
To fully scale the opportunity of OER and maximize the impact of taxpayer money, we need open policies to ensure publicly funded resources are openly licensed. The Open Policy Network is a coalition of experts who work to foster the creation, adoption, and implementation of open policies and practices that advance the public good. Through this initiative, we will enable advocates, researchers, and policymakers to access resources, expertise, and model policies to advance the spread of open policy adoptions at the institutional level. We are coordinating activity to shape this project in its beginning stages at http://openpolicynetwork.org.
As part of the network, we are hosting the OER Policy Registry, a community-curated database where you can share, update, or browse current and proposed open education policies from around the world.
Supporting open policy program grantees.
The Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) provides free support and technical assistance to all grantees of the $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program from the U.S. Department of Labor. OPEN works with grantees to meet the provisions of the grant, including the CC BY open licensing requirement for all educational resources produced as a result of grant funds. OPEN services are at http://open4us.org
We invite you to join us in our current efforts, or otherwise propose an idea for collaboration:
- Collaborate on a project: Interested in one of our projects above? Visit the project’s page directly to contribute. If you’d like to propose a new project idea, send a note to email@example.com.
- License your work: Want to add a CC license to your project? Visit creativecommons.org/choose.
- Fund OER: Want to incorporate CC into your education funding policy? See Funder Policies for how to understand and implement CC licenses.
- Promote your project: Want to highlight your CC education project? Add it to our Case Studies wiki and tag it with ‘OER’. Then send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share open policies: Know of an open education policy in your jurisdiction? Add it to the OER Policy Registry — we need your help to make it a truly useful global resource.
- Stay up-to-date: Subscribe to the CC blog or simply follow the OER section of the blog.