2008 April

Videos: Education is Changing?

Jane Park, April 3rd, 2008

Hey, remember when, as a kid, you read or heard about Rip Van Winkle? Yeah, he was the dude who went into the mountains, got intoxicated by gnomes or elves or whatever and fell asleep for a hundred years. Then he woke up and everything was crazy and different.

Well, check out “Mr. Winkle” by Mathew Needleman, primary author of Creating Lifelong Learners, a blog dedicated “to offer[ing] practical tips for elementary teachers in teaching language arts, valuing students and their cultures, appealing to different learning modalities, and integrating technology in the curriculum.”

“Mr. Winkle” is short and silly, but it makes a crucial point—that the world is changing fast around us, and some of us have done a good job of keeping up. But it’s also been changing without regard to those who haven’t kept up—in short, around our educators, educational institutions, and yes, even our students. The question is not: can education keep up? The question is: what must we do to get education up to speed?

More and more educators are realizing the power of technology—that the internet and the Open Educational Resources offered are what is integral to learning today. ccLearn hopes this realization will continue to spread and reach those not yet involved. We encourage you to check out these other videos, if you haven’t already:

  • Did You Know 2.0” is a fantastic video with an equally fantastic soundtrack—commenting on the rapidly changing state of information. Last updated in June of last year, the statistics are mind-boggling. Did you know, for instance, that if MySpace were a country, it would be the 8th largest country in the world? “Shift Happens”—that’s their gimmick, and it works. Check out their page at http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com.
  • A Vision of Students Today” effectively captures just that—have you ever wondered how college students lug all those books around and read them? Well, the truth is, most of them don’t.

Both of these videos (and Mr. Winkle) are licensed CC BY-NC-SA.

Finally, in one more video—Ken Robinson affirms that “intelligence is dynamic” and hence, creative. Instead of “educating people out of their creative capacities,” he makes a case for nurturing the creativity we are born with. Check out “Do Schools Today Kill Creativity?” on TEDTalks. All TEDTalks are distributed under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND.

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Nominations for the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration

Mike Linksvayer, April 3rd, 2008

Many institutions that use CC licenses also build free and open source software to support content creation and publishing. The Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration is an excellent opportunity for such organizations to gain recognition and funding for these software activities.

The deadline for nominations for the 2008 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC Awards) is April 14, 2008. The MATC Awards consist of up to ten $50,000 or $100,000 prizes, which a receiving institution can use in a variety of ways to continue its technology leadership. The awards honor not-for-profit institutions that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the development of open source software for one or more of the constituencies served by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: the arts and humanities in higher education; research libraries, museums; performing arts organizations; and conservation biology.

You can nominate an institution and project starting here. The FAQ tells all. There are already some great projects nominated this year, including one CC uses extensively.

Via Tim Berners-Lee, who sits on the Award’s illustrious committee.

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CFP: First Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Free Culture

Mike Linksvayer, April 3rd, 2008

Submissions are due April 26. This track should make iSummit 2008 the most exciting so far. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 or business solutions and interfaces between the sharing economy and the commercial economy;
  • Modelling 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;
  • 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.

The iSummit overall will be the most diverse yet. Submissions for other tracks are due April 18, more info here.

Previously: commons-research list announced.

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Code for a Cause at USC

Asheesh Laroia, April 2nd, 2008

Two weeks ago, I met David Hodge, a freshman at the University of Southern California. He has been working with USC Free Culture (part of Students for Free Culture) and the USC Association for Computing Machinery chapter to run a week-long programming competition to build software for OLPC’s XO laptop. That project is “Code for a Cause.”

He had asked me if he could borrow one of the development XO laptops Creative Commons has. I agreed, and before that day was over he snapped this photo behind his house (by him; available under by-sa 3.0):


Code for a Cause explains more on its website:

The OLPC is the famed “$100 laptop” that is being sent to the world’s poorest children to give them a chance for education. In the OLPC Hackathon, teams of USC students will design open-source software that can be used on the OLPC laptops being distributed worldwide.

So if you’re in the LA area, check out their information session on April 9, and get started at their orientation on April 12!

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CC Salon LA, April 16 7:30PM

Cameron Parkins, April 2nd, 2008

Heads up to all LA based CC-heads – two weeks from today, April 16 at 7:30 PM, we are back at FOUND LA (Google Map) for another CC Salon. We’ve revamped our approach, focusing more on content creators and the issues they face and to say we are excited about the lineup would be an understatement.

Rex Bruce, director of the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, will be screening a video he directed that uses public domain imagery from the US Military (also playing at the Centre Pompidou). Holly Willis, Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy, will be presenting on art in Second Life, focusing on creators who are cognizant of the formal and ideological implications of virtual worlds.

Jack Lerner, Acting Director at the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic, will give a talk on research he has been conducting in relation to music sampling that looks at defects in the market and proposes changes. Finally, we will be joined by multimedia designers Chris Weisbart and Michael Wilson who will explain how they are using open source technology in museums and will give a live demonstration of a holographic projection system they’ve recently built into an interactive exhibit.

Phew! All the presenters of course will touch upon the interaction their various topics play with CC licensing. So come out and join us for what is bound to be an eye opening night, and yes, there will be free (as in beer) drinks.

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Over at the Science Commons blog…

Kaitlin Thaney, April 2nd, 2008

Over at the Science Commons blog, an introduction and a call for suggestions / comments …

“Over the past few months, you may have noticed that some of the posts here have been attributed to a mysterious “dwentworth.” That’s me — Donna Wentworth — and I’m here to start bringing more of your voices to the Science Commons blog. […]

Here’s where you come in. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re passionate about the future of science. You may even be a part of the vast, incredibly diverse community of people that actually make science happen: scientists, publishers, research company representatives, research foundation officers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs, librarians and more. Some of you may be bloggers yourselves, who track developments in your area of science and ended up at Science Commons once or twice.

My hope is that you’ll join me in turning up the volume on the conversation surrounding open science. As part of this effort, I’m going to start profiling individuals and organizations working to open new frontiers for innovation and discovery in science. I am also building a community blog roll — or a public aggregator, if that works better — for open science. The goal isn’t to endorse particular viewpoints or blogs, but instead to showcase the work that’s already being done to midwife a new way of sharing and building scientific knowledge, as well as to start identifying ways we can all work together. […]”

Read more after the jump

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CC Wiki puts on a new face

Timothy Vollmer, April 2nd, 2008

Visit the Creative Commons wiki at http://wiki.creativecommons.org to explore our updated wiki portal page. There’s easy ways to get involved, and lots to do. Jump right in and license your creative work or check out a developer challenge. Spread the word about CC with the great multimedia resources on our Documentation page. Congregate online by adding us as a friend on places like Facebook, Flickr, and Scribd. Meet up offline at a CC Salon or other event. Also check out the Creative Commons International wiki.

To get started, sign up for a wiki account, join us in the IRC chatroom, or subscribe to the CC-Community email list.


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Mozilla is 10 years old

Mike Linksvayer, April 1st, 2008

We’re a day late toasting Mozilla’s 10th anniversary. Their efforts to ensure and enhance openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web are deeply congruent with CC’s mission.

Thanks to Mozilla and all contributors to Mozilla for their support of CC in various forms. And yeah, thanks for the awesome browser that I’m typing this into right now.

Mozilla CEO John Lilly may have been the first blogger to congratulate CC on our new leadership, right after we announced it, not a day late, and for pronouncing our changes “Great for the Web!” :)

Our news also appeared immediately on TechCrunch, where early feedback in comments is extremely positive.

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Creative Commons Announces New Leadership, New Funding

Eric Steuer, April 1st, 2008

Today, Creative Commons is excited to make two important announcements.

First, we’re thrilled about a major new grant of $4 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, consisting of $2.5 million to provide general support to Creative Commons over five years, as well as $1.5 million to support ccLearn.

We’re also pleased to announce some changes to CC’s leadership that reflect. Lawrence Lessig is stepping down as CEO of Creative Commons, to focus on his newly-launched project, Change Congress. He will be replaced by entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and free culture advocate Joi Ito. Lessig will remain on the Creative Commons board.

From Larry:

“Both pieces of news we are announcing today reflect Creative Commons’ maturation from a startup into crucial infrastructure for creativity, education, and research in the digital age.”

Founding board member and Duke law professor James Boyle will become chair of the board, replacing Ito, who will remain on the board.

Read more about this news on the press release we issued today.


Google Acquires ccMixter.org

Mike Linksvayer, April 1st, 2008

Announced on ccMixterblog:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (March 31, 2008) – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has completed its acquisition of ccMixter.org , a company that offers online music management and technology which acquires personal information for advertisers, web publishers and ad agencies.

Read the whole releaseApril Fools’ Day joke.

In case you were wondering about the actual next step for ccMixter, we’re working on it!

In the meantime, check out the Berklee/OLPC Sample Pool available for remixes by ccMixter users, based on 8.5 GB of CC-licensed samples for the OLPC released last week.

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