New US bill wants to boost a knowledge commons for (English) college textbooks

November 15, 2013 in Freedom to learn

800px-Global_Open_Educational_Resources_Logo.svgLike it: Two US senators today introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, which directs the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials to be made available under open licenses.

I can only fully agree with the assessment by Creative Commons U.S.A. Director Michael Carrol: “This bill seizes the opportunity to make high quality textbooks affordable and reusable by paying once for their production and permitting free copying, updating, and adaptation with the requirement of an open license.” I think that this could mark an important step towards a knowledge commons for (English) textbooks. What do you think? Cheers, Balthas
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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

‘Open content licensing for educators’ – online course now open for registration, online from 4 to 18 September 2013

June 16, 2013 in Freedom to learn

Dear all, please find below the invitation to a free course on “Open Content Licensing for Educators”, which might be of interest to some of you – please also share with other interested people. For more info, please contact the persons named on the website.

“The next Open Content Licensing for Educators course will be facilitated by the *UNESCO OER Chair Network* in collaboration with the *OER Foundation* and the* Commonwealth of Learning*.

*Open content licensing for educators<http://wikieducator.org/Open_content_licensing_for_educators/Home> (OCL4Ed) is a free micro Open Online Course (mOOC) designed for educators and students who want to learn more about open education resources, copyright, and Creative Commons licenses. *

This workshop will:

  • Reflect on the practice of sharing knowledge in education and the permissions educators consider fair and reasonable;
  • Define what constitutes an open education resource (OER);
  • Explain how international copyright functions in a digital world;
  • Introduce the Creative Commons suite of licenses and explain how they support open education approaches;
  • Connect with educators around the world to share thoughts and experiences in relation to copyright, OER and Creative Commons.

*Registration*:

Open<http://wikieducator.org/Open_content_licensing_for_educators/Home>

*When*: 4 – 18 September 2013. / *Where*: Online / *Cost*: Free

Reserve your seat today by registering from the course homepage <http://wikieducator.org/Open_content_licensing_for_educators/Home>.

Share the gift of knowledge and invite your friends and colleagues to join you.

The School of open just opened: Learn open practices, discuss Open Educational Resources, Open Access and more

March 18, 2013 in Freedom to learn

News on an open course on openness by our friends from p2pu. Reproduced below:

Why “open”? Universal access to and participation in research, education, and culture is made possible by openness, but not enough people know what it means or how to take advantage of it. We hear about Open Source Software, Open Educational Resources, and Open Access… But what are these movements, who are their communities, and how do they work? Most importantly—how can they help me? A collaboration with the public. Courses are powered by mentors and learners like you. Whether you are an individual volunteer or organizational representative, we invite you to create or improve a course! The School of Open is coordinated by P2PU and Creative Commons, a globally focused nonprofit dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. Learning about “open”. The School of Open offers courses on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and beyond. We offer two types of courses: •Stand-alone courses that can be worked through at your own pace at any time, with or without others •Facilitated courses that run for a set period of weeks with an organizer that provides feedback and facilitates discussion Get involved. •Sign up for announcements. We just launched our first set of courses. Sign up to be notified of future launches. •Join the discussion. Help us build the School! Conceive, create, and test courses with your peers. •Learn more. Give feedback on core documents, attend an upcoming workshop, participate in our monthly working calls, and more.

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Facilitated courses Sign up for these facilitated courses through Sunday, March 17. These courses will start the week of March 18. To sign up, simply click the “Start Course” button under the course’s menu navigation on the left. 1.Copyright 4 Educators (US) 2.Copyright 4 Educators (AUS) 3.Creative Commons for K-12 Educators 4.Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond

Link to news on p2pu.org

Creative Commons is turning 10 – Celebrate!

December 7, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

cc_celebrationCreative Commons is turning 10 this year. The chapters of CC will be hosting parties around the world and sharing party favors online for a ten-day delebration, December 7 to 16. Spread the word at 10.creativecommons.org.

Africa’s First 3.0 Licenses! – Creative Commons

December 3, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

Cool news from the friends from Creative Commons and from the CC Uganda team, which I am happy to relate here (of course duly under the required Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ):

Aurelia J. Schultz from CC reports on November 30th, 2012: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Creative Commons 3.0 Uganda licenses. Since joining the Creative Commons family in March of 2011, the Ugandan team has been incredibly busy: hosting the African Regional Meeting, pulling together petitions for the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization, and spreading the news about CC licenses. While doing all these great activities, they’ve also completed one of the last 3.0 ports.

The licenses are available through the license chooser, and like all of our licenses, are intended for use anywhere in the world. The Uganda 3.0 licenses are important as the first 3.0 licenses in Africa and one of the last 3.0 ports before the launch of the new 4.0 licenses.

Creative Commons would like to extend a huge thanks to the whole CC Uganda team; The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU); the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD); and especially to Primah Kwagala for leading the porting team.”

Link: creativecommons.org

Tackling global problems by pooling knowledge – highlights of the first international conference on the knowledge commons

September 14, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

Source: A. Diez Herrero | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 siehe http://www.flickr.com/photos/21572939@N03/2090542246/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Source: A. Diez Herrero | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 siehe http://www.flickr.com/photos/21572939@N03/2090542246/sizes/m/in/photostream/

What do the problems of climate change, global access to affordable medicine and software, food security, and crop availability for poor farmers have in common?

In all of these fields, more and more people are looking at how a collective building and owning of key knowledge can help solve protracted global problems. A global core of these people just met in a tiny Belgium university town at the at the „First International Thematic Conference on the Knowledge commons“. (for more on the term, see wikipedias Knowlegde commons entry”).

It is quite tough for me to sum up such an endeavor. I will still try and do so by picking some issues related to my own main interests, mainly „global knowledge cooperation“ and „harnessing the knowledge commons for open innovation“. I will complement that with a totally non-exhaustive and personal „list of quick links“ on how to save the climate, solve the food crisis, fight pandemics and increase food security with commons approaches.

Read the rest of this entry →

World Bank announces … Open Access Policy (ok, and a new president as well :-)

April 17, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source IT business

Copyright World Bank, source: http://crinfo.worldbank.org/wbcrinfo/sites/wbcrinfo/files/OKR_300px.png

Copyright World Bank, source: http://crinfo.worldbank.org/wbcrinfo/sites/wbcrinfo/files/OKR_300px.png

In the coming days, everyone will talk about the new president of the world bank. I think that the recently announced move of the world bank to an “Open Access Policy for Research and Knowledge” and its launch of an “Open Knowledge Repository” will be more significant over time.

According to a press release, the bank will implement a new Open Access policy for its research outputs and knowledge products, effective July 1, 2012. “The new policy builds on recent efforts to increase access to information at the World Bank and to make its research as widely available as possible. As the first phase of this policy, the Bank launched today a new Open Knowledge Repository and adopted a set of Creative Commons copyright licenses.”

Good move.

BTW: I am quite encouraged to see, that the WB is using the same licence, which we have been implemented in all of our it@inwent capacity building programmes (Update: Link now goes to the site archived by the Internet Archive – last version of 2012)., for instance for the guide “Free your IT Business in Africa“.

BTW 2: For all German readers, there is a good post on the new world bank policy on open heise.

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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.