Cathy Casserly by Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching / CC BY
The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC), a community of over 250 member institutions worldwide committed to sharing their courses online, has voted to present Creative Commons CEO Cathy Casserly with the President’s Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence, a special recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the open courseware community. Prior to Cathy’s role as the CEO of Creative Commons and Senior Partner and Vice President of Innovation and Open Networks at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Cathy,
“served as director of the Open Educational Resources Initiative at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and guided more than $100 million in support to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge sharing worldwide. Casserly’s work helped raise global awareness of resources, participants and their projects.”
We are thrilled for Cathy to receive this honor and for her continuing work supporting open educational resources (OER) at Creative Commons. Cathy, along with other distinguished recipients, will be presented the award at the upcoming OCWC meeting in May, celebrating 10 years of open courseware.
The Open CourseWare movement has taken off around the world, powered by CC licenses. Materials from 2,000 MIT courses are available for reuse, translation, and remix under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license (CC BY-NC-SA) and nearly 800 MIT OCW courses have been translated into other languages. The Open Courseware Consortium contains over 250 global member institutions and affiliates, including the African Virtual University, Japan OCW Consortium, Open University Netherlands, and China Open Resources for Education.2 Comments »
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 »
In As Colleges Make Courses Available Free Online, Others Cash In the New York Times writes about how universities are funding OpenCourseWare programs as well as how businesses have sprung up around CC licensed Open Educational Resources (OER) from such programs. Regarding the latter, our CEO is quoted:
On a philosophical level, the idea of making money from something available free might seem questionable. But Joi Ito, chief executive of Creative Commons, which issues the licenses defining user rights to most OpenCourseWare materials, supports the mixing of free and for-profit: “I think there’s a great deal of commercial infrastructure that needs to be created in order for this to be successful,” Mr. Ito said: “It can’t all just be free.”
As readers steeped in knowledge of free culture/open content (and before it free and open source software) will recognize, this means three things.
First, sharing does not preclude making money. To the contrary, artists have long been making CC licensing part of their business strategies, and recently some OER creators and companies are following suit. Examples include WikiPremed, Flat World Knowledge, and Bloomsbury Academic. See Eric Frank explain how Flat World Knowledge gives away CC licensed open textbooks and profits from print materials and services rendered around the content in a video just uploaded from CC Salon NYC.
Second, there needs to be an ecosystem built around open materials, and businesses are an important part of that ecosystem. In the OER space the article mentions Academic Earth. Consider the many businesses providing services around CC licensed materials more broadly (e.g., Flickr, and Fotopedia, which leverages CC licensed works from both Flickr and Wikipedia) and the legion of businesses build around free software (e.g., Red Hat). Consider how huge education is. The opportunity and need for businesses that provide distribution, curation, and a plethora of other services around OER are huge.
Third, free can refer to price and freedom. Businesses, universities, and others can charge a price for access or services around OER. The ecosystem works due to the freedoms that have been granted to use and build upon OER.
The article also mentions the values of OER, one of which is to “[create] an incentive for universities to improve themselves.” It quotes Cathy Casserly, who recently joined the Creative Commons board of directors:
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“I think that by putting some of the spectacular professors, and putting their approaches and pedagogical instructional strategies that they use with their students in front of the world, it sets a new benchmark for all of us to learn from,” she said. “And I think that’s actually one of the incredible powers of this open educational resource.”
For those of you interested in knowing how Copyright Exceptions and Limitations (known as Fair Use in the US) might affect open educational resources, there will be a working session on CEL at OCWC Global 2009 in Monterrey, Mexico next month. OCWC Global 2009 is the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s first international conference of its kind. The session on International Copyright Exceptions and Limitations may include current US work exploring issues of Fair Use in OER, but is, naturally, a much larger conversation encompassing many different legal jurisdictions. From the CEL wiki,
“The realm of copyright exceptions and limitations is vast and complex. Every legal jurisdiction has its own formulation of what behaviors are exempt from copyright restrictions, and we have only begun to explore the question of how open licensing affects those formulations.”
Since we have yet to sort out which aspects of the CEL landscape ccLearn can reasonably investigate, and which partners are interested in being collaborators, we hope this working session will result in some great initial inquires into this international issue. To join a discussion of some of these topics, contribute to the wiki! You can also find out more at the OCW Blog.No Comments »