documents

Announcing ccLearn Productions—Recommendations, Explanations, and Step by Step Guides

Jane Park, April 7th, 2009

ccLearn is constantly getting requests from people—teachers, heads of organizations, and people just curious about how it all works in general. (Open licensing in education? What purpose does that serve? How do I attach licenses to my resources anyway?) These requests are more for brief overviews and instructions than for long, detailed reports about the philosophy behind licensing or OER, which, though necessary, are not particularly useful when you need to distill a concept to a roomful of open education newbies in half an hour or less.

We haven’t been turning a deaf ear; on the contrary, we have been in production mode all the while. ccLearn Productions consists of a variety of documents and media, including three new document series, ccLearn Recommendations, ccLearn Explanations, and ccLearn Step by Step Guides.

The ccLearn Recommendations series provides best practices, advice, recommendations, and guiding principles for OER, CC, and related issues. The ccLearn Explanations series distills key concepts or explores interesting issues for outreach and awareness building for OER and ccLearn. The ccLearn Step by Step Guides provides detailed and recipe-like guidance to specific actions of interest to the OpenEd community.

The aim of the three series is to spark initial interest in OER, while still relaying accurate and meaningful information that can be put to good and immediate use. However, like most, if not all, educational resources, these documents are by no means final or summative. They are meant to serve as starting points, licensed openly for future iteration and improvement.

Three productions, one from each series, have recently come to fruition:

ccLearn Recommendations:
Publishing Your Open Educational Resources on the Internet
These are best practices for properly specifying terms of use (TOU) and copyright licenses for any site hosting Open Educational Resources (OER).

ccLearn Explanations:
Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons Licensing
If you are a teacher or creator of educational resources, this primer gives you an introduction to the concepts of open education, Creative Commons licensing, and other issues pertinent to putting your educational materials on the Internet.

ccLearn Step by Step Guides:
Applying Creative Commons licenses to your educational resources
This is a very basic step-by-step guide for people who want to apply Creative Commons (CC) licenses to their educational resources, thus making them open educational resources (OER).

All three productions (and future ones) are licensed CC BY, free for you to reproduce, adapt, translate, remix, or redistribute accordingly. We have made them available in both PDF and Open Document Format (for OpenOffice). If you make a particularly compelling or contextually rich adaptation, please feel free to let us know, as we would love to link to derivatives. Additional documents in these series are being planned or already underway.

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Twidox launches private beta

Jane Park, November 17th, 2008

Twidox, “a free, user generated online library of ‘quality’ documents,” launched their private beta today. The “private” beta can be accessed with a beta-code, which virtually anyone can obtain by registering. For readers of this blog, you can simply type in the beta-code “creativecommons” to check out Twidox.

Twidox is a content repository where anyone can upload and publish their work under a Creative Commons license, donate it to the public domain, or retain “all rights reserved” copyright. They have built in CC licensing, so you can easily tag your resources under the license of your choosing. Twidox’s focus is on:

  • academic papers and articles
  • research material
  • professional and industry specific documents
  • coursework and dissertations
  • data and statistics
Like Scribd, IssueLab, and a host of other platforms that have built in CC licensing, ccLearn encourages the open publication of educational materials on the internet. We will follow the progress and evolution of Twidox, who “[does] not see similar sites as competitors.” They state that “Rather than trying to compete with organisations such as the ‘Max-Planck Institute’ and ‘Frauenhofer Institute’, for example, we see them as potential co-operation partners and welcome partnerships.” They also differ from other content repositories in that they are working to cull content on a wider scale by collaborating with various European organizations, versus simply hosting individually contributed materials. So far, Twidox is working with the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking and also their Office on Drugs and Crime.

Twidox was founded by Nicholas and Daniel MacGowan von Holstein and Jan Deppe. The idea for Twidox began in a university when they began “discussing the difficulty of searching for relevant quality documents for research purposes (access to knowledge). The greatest obstacle lay in the relevance of search results returned from search engines, getting access to subscription-paying sites that did have relevant information and the vast number of websites from different organisations that held documents on the same subject.”

We look forward to seeing collaborations occurring between Twidox and organizations with similar aims.
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