Archive for the ‘Open Content’ Category

Eve Gray had a great post this week about the launch of the Capetown Declaration this week where she calls for “opening the gates of education”. She makes some great points that are worth repeating. Open education initiatives, like MIT’s Open CourseWare Initiative, aren’t just about people having access to course materials. It’s about participation. It’s allowing people to use, adapt and build on these resources. How you license matters. The format of the resources matters.

One more point, unfortunately Canada is a bit behind in the open education movement. Capilano College in British Columbia is the only Canadian member of the Open CourseWare Consortium. All of us who work in educational institutions here in Canada need to think about how we can contribute. We talk about connecting to communities and service learning, yet the enormous opportunity of open education seems to be passing us by. Let’s step up.


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Sharing your message

john edwards in new hampshireI’ve been sidetracked by American primary politics over the past few days. I was looking at the Flickr feeds of the Democratic frontrunners (trying to measure the turnouts in New Hampshire based on the pictures) and I couldn’t help but notice how the photographs are licensed.

Hillary’s are all rights reserved, so supporters can’t share her photos. What’s up with that? Hillary’s not sharing her message at all. She’s saying “Mine! All mine!”

Obama’s are attribution-noncommercial-share alike. You can post his photos on your site or share them with others, but you have to say where you got them, you can’t sell them & if you share, you have to share them under the same conditions. So if you’re looking to sell a t-shirt of Obama taken from one of the photos, forget it.

Edwards’ are attribution-share alike, the same license that Wikipedia has decided to use, and how the Capetown Declaration on open educational resources was shared. (Yes, you can remix the Capetown Declaration.) Edwards’ license is the loosest and most flexible of the three.

I know these things are set up by a bevy of advisors but what do you think that says about how well the campaigns view the web and the information they put out there? What does the license you choose say about you?

Photo, John Edwards at Town Hall in Portsmouth, NH, by John Edwards 2008)

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This week, MIT launched a project called Highlights for High Schools, an extension of their Open CourseWare Initiative, a project that opens access to all its course resources online. (Imagine if your college or university put all its course outlines, handouts, tests, etc. online for free for anyone to use. That’s what MIT does.)

This week MIT extended those resources to high school students & teachers — over 2,600 video and audio clips, animations, lecture notes and assignments taken from MIT courses. There’s some neat stuff here, especially in the “Hands on Learning” section. In fact, I’m considering how some of these resources might be adapted to improve our online courses. Check it out.

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This month, Creative Commons is celebrating its fifth birthday. Creative Commons is a flexible way for creators to decide for themselves what level of copyright protection they choose for their work. Creative Commons has had a profound impact in the world of education. For example, MIT provides open access to its course materials through Creative Commons licensing and allows educators around the world to use and adapt those materials locally. Sharing learning? That’s a profound idea.

However, in Canada, we currently face copyright legislation that will have significant impact on educators & learners. If you’re Canadian, don’t stay silent.

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“Learning Objects”, what are those? It seems like we have just briefly been swept back in time to the early 2000s. I’m not ready to recite that “Paul is Dead”, but I did listen to a learning object backward recently …” ~ Alan Levine in a comment on Stephen’s Web 🙂

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Lawrence Lessig’s classic powerpoint on Free Culture and copyright is now up with sound on Slideshare.

Say it with me …

Creativity and innovation always build on the past.

The past always tries to control the creativity that builds on it.

Free societies enable the future by limiting the past.

Ours is less and less a free society.

If you haven’t seen this before, it’s a must.

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Like many students, USC film students don’t own the copyright to works they make as student filmmakers. The school does. As a result, they can’t share their videos online because they don’t control their own work. The students have launched a petition (which, unfortunately, looks like it’s been hacked) and are fighting back. It’ll be interesting to see if the school listens.

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