As students around the world return to school, ccLearn blogs about the evolving education landscape, ongoing projects to improve educational resources, education technology, and the future of education. Browse the “Back to School” tag for more posts in this series.
One aspect of open courseware* is its draw for potential students who are deciding where to spend their parents’ or their own hard-earned dollars in obtaining a higher education. The fact is unsurprising, as we saw in 2007, with MIT OCW reporting that “One in four current MIT students who knew of OCW prior to choosing MIT [indicated] the site was a significant influence on their school choice.”
However, beyond free advertising for its school, certain open courseware programs have begun to evolve past the open licensing status of their courses. As the global learning commons of OCW is growing, so are the local learning contexts of open courseware, as more colleges realize the benefit of working with high schools in their areas to prepare, and perhaps to propel, their youth into higher education.
Last month, the University of Massachusetts Boston was awarded a $60,000 grant by the Boston Foundation, with the specific aim of better preparing Boston public high school students for college level courses. The grant will fund workshops for teachers, training them on how to use open courseware to educate their students at gradually accelerated levels. Similar to MIT OCW’s Highlights for High School initiative, these workshops promote high school teacher and student use of open educational resources.
However, I imagine it also going one step further. In providing training for teachers on the use of open educational resources (OER), teachers will not be simply accessing OCW resources on the web. They will learn how to use OER according to its license status, and realize that the commons of open educational resources is vast and global, open to be adapted, derived, and remixed with other OER on the Internet. The Boston grant would enable teachers to see open courseware as part of a larger world of open materials and communities, rather than as simply an institution.
We hope that many other universities and colleges offering OCW will follow this same trend, localizing their university’s offerings at the same time that they are globalizing them via CC licenses. Especially, initiatives like Academic Earth, a site that pools a number of OCW in high definition video, could really run with this idea of contextualization for teachers and students, educating them on the new communities that are opened to them via something as simple as the licensing status of a resource.
*Traditionally, open courseware are university or college courses that are freely accessible online, usually via an open license (the most commonly used license for OCW is CC BY-NC-SA), consisting of lectures and other multimedia, core content, supplemental materials, or tools to aid learning. Nowadays, open courseware sans an open license that allows derivatives, though free, are not considered open, as the ability to adapt the work to global and local contexts via translations and cultural references has become integral to the spirit of OCW.
A summary in Spanish:
De regreso al colegio: Open Courseware como una transición a la educación superior. http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/17411
En esta entrada Park indica como en este momento los Open Courseware (repositorios de cursos virtuales que se publican para acceso abierto en Internet, como el famoso MIT OCW http://ocw.mit.edu/) han provocado un interesante efecto de publicidad para las universidades americanas que hoy reconocen como cada vez más de los nuevos estudiantes consideran que conocer el material docente de la universidad en la que esperan estudiar ha influido en su toma de decisión y cómo este efecto ha hecho que las universidades americanas estén creando un puente entre la educación superior y media a través de los cursos en estos repositorios abiertos.
Park señala que los cursos se han convertido en material para los docentes de educación media que les permiten más y mejores recursos para preparar los estudiantes para su experiencia universitaria. Sin embargo, Park hace un llamado a la necesidad de llamar la atención y preparar a los docentes para ir más allá de la simple reutilización pasiva de materiales de los cursos y pasen a ser actores de la recreación de estos materiales localizándolos y ajustándolos a sus circunstancias particulares.
Park espera que donaciones como la de la Fundación Boston a la Universidad de Massachussets, que tiene como finalidad preparar a los graduados de la escuela para enfrentar los cursos de educación superior, sirvan de promotor para contextualizar a los docentes y estudiantes en las nuevas comunidades abiertas a ellos a través de herramientas tan sencillas como la licencia que se asocia con un recurso, de modo que puedan ver estos cursos como iniciativas de comunidades abiertas globales más allá de la institución que los hospeda.
La ruta que presenta Park puede servir de inspiración para nuestros países y sus iniciativas nacionales como inspiración para los actores del sector.Comments Off on Back to School: Open Courseware as a transition to college
The Free Culture Research Workshop 2009 is looking for scholars working on:
- Studies on the use and growth of open/free licensing models
- Critical analyses of the role of Creative Commons or similar models in promoting a Free Culture
- Building innovative technical, legal, organizational, or business solutions and interfaces between the sharing economy and the commercial economy
- Modeling incentives, innovation and community dynamics in open collaborative peer production and in related social networks
- Economic models for the sustainability of commons-based production
- Successes and failures of open licensing
- Analyses of policies, court rulings or industry moves that influence the future of Free Culture
- Regional studies of Free Culture with global lessons/implications
- Lessons from implementations of open/free licensing and distribution models for specific communities
- Definitions of openness and freedom for different media types, users and communities
- Broader sociopolitical, legal and cultural implications of Free Culture initiatives and peer production practices
- Free Culture, Memory Institutions and the broader Public Sector
- Open Science/ Research/ Education
- Cooperation theory and practice, dynamics of cooperation and competition
- Methodological approaches for studying the characteristics, history, impact or growth of Free Culture
It is tremendously exciting to see the commons attracting this research interest. The workshop will be held October 23 at Harvard. Submissions are due August 9.
Also see the last year’s post on the First Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Free Culture.Comments Off on Free Culture Research Workshop 2009 CFP
This coming weekend (March 21-22) in Cambridge, Massachusetts the Free Software Foundation is holding its annual meeting, dubbed the Libre Planet Conference. Many of CC’s best friends and supporters will be there, as will CC staff Asheesh Laroia and I. If you aren’t familiar with the significance of the free software movement to free culture, start by checking out the links on our post celebrating the former’s 25th birthday, or better yet come to Libre Planet. The conference will feature the hottest issues in software freedom, some of which include a free culture component.
Another important conference is coming to the eastern part of North America — the Libre Graphics Meeting, May 6-9 in Montreal. Developers of the most important free software graphics applications will be represented. These applications are heavily used by contributors to free culture sites such as Wikimedia Commons and many of the developers engage in cutting edge free cultural productions themselves, e.g., Blender. CC staff have attended in years past and Jon Phillips is helping put together this one.Comments Off on Libre Planet and Libre Graphics
Comments Off on CC Technology Summit Video Available
In December we held our second CC Technology Summit at MIT in Cambridge, MA. I think the day provided a great perspective on what we’re doing at CC and how others are building a real community around it. If you weren’t able to attend, we now have audio and video available. And if you missed the first one, the video for that is available as well.
We’re currently thinking about plans for the next event; if you have feedback or suggestions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re holding the second Creative Commons Technology Summit tomorrow in Cambridge, MA. The program is online and I’m quite excited about the lineup. We still have some space available so if you’re in the area and would like to attend, drop by the Stata Center at MIT tomorrow morning and register on site. The cost is $75 ($50 for CC Network members) or $40 for students ($20 for CC Network members).Comments Off on CC Technology Summit Tomorrow
Just a quick reminder that registration is still open for the December Technology Summit taking place in Cambridge, MA. The program looks like a great set of presentations about technology that touches CC: RDFa, digital copyright registries, embedded metadata and more.
Registration is available online and we’ve added student rates at about half the normal rate: $40 or $25 for students who are also CC Network members (plus the option to buy both at the same time). Hope to see you there!Comments Off on Reminder: December Technology Summit Registration – Now with Student Rates
On Dec. 12th, 2008, CC will be pairing up with two of the most influential and innovative institutions in the “open” movement: MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
For those of you interested in the tech side of Creative Commons, MIT’s CSAIL is hosting CC’s second Tech Summit from 9-4:30. The first Tech Summit, held at Google this past summer, was a complete success; those archived presentations are here.
And for those of you interested in CC generally, CC and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society have joined forces to bring you the panel discussion: “The Commons: Celebrating accomplishments, discerning futures.” Panelists include James Boyle, The Public Domain; Lawrence Lessig, Remix; Joi Ito, Free Souls; and Molly S. Van Houweling, Creative Commons’ first Executive Director. Jonathan Zittrain, of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, will moderate. A reception will follow at 7:30 pm. Details are here.
We hope you will join us in celebrating Creative Commons’ sixth successful year and the culmination of our 2008 Annual Fundraising Campaign, “Build the Commons.” This event is open to the public, but because we’re closing in on the end of our campaign, we encourage you to bring your check books (or cash rather) and help sustain CC by donating at the door!
Space is limited. Please RSVP by December 1st to Melissa Reeder, Development Manager, at email@example.com.Comments Off on CC + MIT + Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Two months ago we announced the second CC Technology Summit, taking place December 12, 2008 in Cambridge, MA at MIT. The response to the call for presentations was good, and the initial program is now available. I’m excited about the mix of topics we have on the program. The day will include reports from our community, including a presentation on copyright registry interoperability by Safe Creative and Registered Commons and a report from the Queensland Treasury on their use of licensing and metadata. We’ll also have presentations from within CC — a report on open source knowledge management from Science Commons and an update on what’s next for RDFa.
Registration is also now open for the event. While the first Technology Summit was free thanks to Google’s generous support, we do have costs associated with the December Technology Summit. To offset those costs, there is a registration fee: $50 for CC Network members or $75 for non-members. If you’d like to sign up for CC Network membership at the same time as you register, we’ve enabled that as well (no discount, though; $100 total).
It’s been a busy year at CC and I’m looking forward to the Technology Summit as an opportunity to review what we’ve done and look ahead to 2009.Comments Off on CC Technology Summit Program and Registration available
Following the success of our first technology summit in June we knew we would do another one soon. Today we’re announcing the next, which will be held in Cambridge, MA on December 12. We’re also changing the format slightly, trying to add more talks and reduce the number of panels. To support that we’re also announcing a Call for Presentations.
The Technology Summits are about connecting the larger developer and technical community that’s sprung up around Creative Commons licenses and technology, so we want to provide a venue where people doing interesting work can share it. We’ve identified some areas we think are interesting and ripe for exploration but those are mostly just a guideline. The summit will once again be a single-day event, so we have about five 45-minute slots available. Proposals/abstracts are due October 24, so get to it! Full details are available in the wiki.Comments Off on December Technology Summit, Call for Presentations