Open Educational Resources
We work with the global Open Educational Resources movement, providing the legal framework for Open Educational Resources (OER) — learning materials that are freely available to use, remix, and redistribute. With CC licenses, teachers and learners can use and remix textbooks and lesson plans, and universities can redistribute lectures. The OER movement has the potential to yield much wider access to and participation in global education, but only if a critical mass of educational institutions and communities embrace openness. Our licenses, especially our Attribution license, are free and simple ways to implement the philosophy of OER using a commonly accepted standard for “open”.
All over the world, from Argentina to Finland, people and projects are using CC licenses for education.
MIT OpenCourseWare has been releasing its materials under a CC BY-NC-SA license since 2004. Today, MIT OCW has 2000 courses available freely and openly online for anyone, anywhere to adapt, translate, and redistribute. MIT OCW have been translated into at least 10 languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, French, German, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian. See Two MIT OCW Courses Reach Million Visit Milestone.” The OpenCourseWare concept has now spread to hundreds of universities worldwide.
Connexions is a repository and collaborative platform of educational materials that breaks down larger collections, such as textbooks and courses, into basic building blocks known as modules. Each module has a corresponding web page, so educators can mix and match pages to create custom collections. All modules and collections are licensed CC BY so they can be continually edited, translated, and adapted. Collaborative Statistics is one open textbook model whose evolution is enabled by CC BY.
The CK-12 Foundation addresses the growing costs of textbooks and the closed, outdated medium in which they are available. Focusing specifically on textbooks for K-12 schools, the nonprofit works with states and institutions to build web-based, collaborative “flexbooks” that are free to use and adapt via CC BY-NC-SA. The CK-12 Foundation is a major contributor to the California Free Digital Textbooks Initiative, a CA initiative that aligns open textbooks to state standards.
Bloomsbury Academic is an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, publisher of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury Academic publishes “world-class research-based books across the humanities and social sciences, with a strong commitment to the traditional virtues of scholarly publishing, including rigorous peer-review.” Bloomsbury Academic works with its authors to use CC licenses, and has several publications available via CC BY-NC, including Lawrence Lessig’s Remix.
Flat World Knowledge
Flat World Knowledge is a commercial textbook publisher that incorporates CC licenses into its business model. Co-founded by the Director of Marketing for Prentice Hall Business Publishing, FWK makes higher education textbooks freely available via CC BY-NC-SA, allowing professors and students to adapt them to individual courses, while offering print and supplementary materials at low costs.
Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU)
P2PU is a grassroots education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. Leveraging the internet and educational resources freely available online, P2PU provides the social environment for high-quality, low-cost education opportunities. P2PU is “Learning for everyone, by everyone about almost anything,” and it is run and governed by volunteers. It builds on educational resources that are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under Creative Commons licenses. All of its peer produced content is available under CC BY-SA.
Curriki is known as the “next generation wiki” for K-12 education; it is an online community and wiki platform for teachers, learners, and education experts to share, reuse, and remix quality curricula. Teachers can find and develop resources, share lesson plans, and collaborate on courses with others in their school or around the world. All content is available under CC BY.
The Khan Academy offers over 1800 instructional videos covering everything from basic algebra to advanced chemistry, biology, and even the current day banking crisis. While working at an investment fund, Salman Khan started tutoring his younger cousins in his spare time by creating and posting videos to YouTube. As the videos grew in popularity, the Khan Academy was born. 200,000+ students use the site each month, and all videos are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, with some already translated into Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, and more.
CC licenses provide the legal framework that allows OER to be shared, but there is also an important technical component to sharing successfully. Each CC license is embedded with software code that makes the license terms machine-readable. Visit search.creativecommons.org to see how a search engine can find CC licensed OER. In addition to creating licenses that can be indexed by Google and Yahoo!, CC is also exploring ways to provide scalable search and discovery specifically for educational resources via its search prototype, DiscoverEd.
OER Case Studies
Open education is a global movement. CC licenses and tools have been developed in consultation with legal experts and CC affiliate institutions in over 70 jurisdictions. Over 365 million CC-licensed works have been published by their authors on the Internet, a few of which are represented in our OER Case Studies. You can add your project here.