BCopenEd, Creative Commons, presentation, Student as Producer

The Media & The Message (Slides)

“What we are teaching and the tools we are teaching it with are in dialogue; how we teach can be an example of what we teach.” – Jon Festinger

I recently had the opportunity to give a talk for the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer‘s Communications and Media Articulation Committee (CAMAC). When I was invited, I was given the rather non-specific topic of online education, copyright, and technology – which, to be honest, delighted me as these three areas are often the holy trifecta of open education. The general thread of my presentation was that:

  • The future of education is not about information transmission but about scaffolding learning and knowledge building around information
  • Open licenses (such as Creative Commons) provide a simple solution in contrast to the complexity involved in aspects of copyright
  • Open education resource (OER) adoption and creation provide for the ability to build and improve the scaffolding of learning
  • Open approaches are highly effective methods for enabling this learning
  • The alignment of the student as owner of their learning and as collaborators in knowledge creation (e.g. the Student as Producer Model) is dependent on open approaches and open licenses
  • Open technologies and an alignment with the open internet are necessary to enable effective use of both OER and open pedagogies

Most of this I’ve talked about before but enjoyed compiling some independent aspects into a single talk. Here are the slides from the presentation:

Creative Commons, Open UBC

The Library & Open Education: Updates on Good Stuff at UBC

One of the trends at UBC that I’m excited about is the increasing support of the UBC Library for open education. I wanted to call attention to a couple of updates on the open front that are coming from the Library. First, the UBC Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office has posted new copyright guidelines for open courses and OER.  As the introduction to the guidelines state:

To create and preserve knowledge in a way that opens and facilitates the dissemination of knowledge to the world, UBC instructors are encouraged to utilize Creative Commons licenses, digital repositories and other open access channels to distribute their teaching materials broadly. These guidelines are intended to help instructors and course support teams make responsible use of third-party copyrighted materials in courses or in educational resources that will be shared openly on the Internet.

I think this is an important resource (disclosure: I was part of a group that helped review/draft the guidelines) as instructors are often worried that by embracing open pedagogies and open courses, they will run afoul of copyright laws. In my experience, the opposite is true, those instructors who are embracing open are often much more knowledgable and compliant about their copyright footprint than those behind firewalls. However, being able to point to a clear resource on how copyright works on the open Internet is a great first step to pre-empting copyright concerns for open education. Even better, the resource clearly states the Copyright Office’s commitment for providing direct support for navigating the various shades of copyright grey in teaching in the open.  Related, the Copyright Office has also published a general guide on Creative Commons.

Another update is from UBC’s institutional repository, cIRcle. In cIRcle, users already have the ability to select and attach a Creative Commons License to their work thus stipulating how others can share, remix, or reuse their work. However, the folks over at cIRcle recently released version 2.0 of their standard license that users grant to the repository for the purpose of archiving their content. For the first time, the license (pdf):

will provide re-use rights. The Re-use rights spell out the conditions under which people who find your work in cIRcle are allowed to re-use that work. This Creative Commons license is known as the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, or CC BY-NC-ND license.”

By baking in reuse rights directly into the new license, the folks at cIRcle are clearly highlighting the value of UBC’s intellectual output and underscoring how the institutional repository is also an OER repository.

Too often the conversation about open education is “why open?”, not “why not open?” The Library, though, is working to shift that outlook.
Library Icon by Pieter J. Smits from the Noun Project; CC-BY-3.0

BCopenEd, Creative Commons

Creating a Global Education Commons

Paul Stacey recently spoke at UBC on the topic of the impact of Creative Commons on education as part of the part of the Teaching, Learning, & Technology lecture series and the Open Education Community of Practice:

Teaching and learning involve knowledge creation and dissemination, which requires faculty, librarians, students and staff to work within legal requirements of copyright and intellectual property. For many this has been highly contentious, pitting end users against major publishers or resulting in widespread abuse of the law. Creative Commons licenses give rights owners and users a set of tools that enable a differently balanced copyright system…

Be sure to check out the full audio recording and slides of Paul’s talk, which are available via the UBC Wiki.