Open Content ioe12

Again, these are my notes from the course topic video http://vimeo.com/1796014


 

All this content is attributed to David Wiley.

David starts with the 10 year anniversary of Open Content.

It all started with Free Software (which was covered in the previous topic). It started out with Richard Stallman and the GPL that allowed free (liberty, freedom) reuse of software. Freedom was very important to Richard. In winter 1998 Eric Raymond became involved. He said that ‘free’ was confusing to business, and so developed the concept of Open Source. This focused on why openness and peer review was good.

At the same time David was working and thinking that digital content was really magic because it’s non-rivalrous, because it can be used simultaneously by multiple people without detriment to any. This, he thought, had implications for education. Library books are rivalrous (only one person can use a particular copy at one time), electronic versions of text are not. Digital content could drive down costs and improve access to education. So David went on to work on this concept of making educational content in a way that it could be shared and accessed with others who needed to use and change it for their requirements. That’s when David made the connection between Open Source and doing the same for content. There should be a comparable licence for materials doing the same as the GPL does for software.

David emailed Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond and they asked questions of him about what it would be called (‘free’ or ‘open’) and what it would cover (education, culture, content, stuff ?). So in June 1998 David decided on Open Content. It would cover a whole bunch of stuff. The preliminary licence was called The OpenContent Principles / License (OP/L). There was some success in the uptake of the licence, but very little uptake in education. This required talking to publishers. David was talking to Eric, who was talking to the publisher Tim O’Reilly and the question was asked, “Will you publish something that is openly licensed?”, which lead to a discussion about what publishers might want. Publishers would have to have protection from undercutting, due to costs and work involved. What did authors want? ‘Open Content isn’t really like Open Software.’ Some authors wanted recognition and some wanted to protect the integrity of their work; they were willing to share as long as no changes were made to it.

So in summer 1999, the Open Publication License was published; allowing download, sharing and redistribution. It required attribution to be given to the original author. It came with two options:

Option A) To prevent distribution of substantively modified versions without the explicit permission of the author(s)

[Effectively a derivative works clause]

Option B) To prohibit any publication of this work or derivative works in whole or in part in standard (book) form for commercial purposes unless prior permission is obtained from the copyright holder.

[Effectively the undercutting (no commercial) clause]

This saw much more uptake of this licence.

There were a number of problem. Both licences were abbreviated to OPL. They were both referred to as ‘that open content licence’, so again there was confusion. Also the naming of the Options A) & B) didn’t tell you anything about the content of the option. Additionally a link at the bottom of a page of content that took you off to the Open Content License page didn’t tell you if either of the Options had been implemented for the work or not.

This was a “good idea, but poorly executed”.

Then along came Larry Lessig (and the group that he worked with) and in December 2002 Creative Commons License 1.0 was born. The options were specifically names, e.g. non commercial, no derivatives, etc. and there wasn’t just one licence but each combination of options created a separate licence, with descriptive names, e.g. CC By, CC By-NC-ND.

There was still a button problem, because it didn’t make clear which licence it was. This was fixed later in time.

In the CC 2.0 version, attribution (By) became mandatory.

At the end of the video, David asks “So where are we now, 10 years on?”, and goes on to give a run down of examples from major sites and online services where there are hundreds of thousands of individual content elements made available under Open Content Licences.

In Education, UNESCO convenes a meeting and discusses Open Educational Resources. There’s the Open Courseware Consortium. There are hundreds of university level textbooks openly available. And the Cape Town Open Education Declaration.

And looking forward, “Where are we going?”

There are still problems. Licence compatibility; ‘which material from one licence can be mixed with material from which other licences’. Without the Public Domain there is 28% compatibility of CC Licences. (Refer to the card game from the Open Licensing course topic). David states that whichever Copy Left licence you pick, you can’t mix it with the majority of other available Copy Left licences.

Also there is some confusion/concern over the noncommercial clause. At the time 76% of Flickr content licenced as CC contained a noncommercial (NC) clause.

CC+ and CC0 will become more important.

David then goes on to outline a couple of areas of personal involvement for him.

  • Flatworld Knowledge textbooks is a new publishing models.
  • Open High School of Utah, which is a new free online schooling model. Interestingly the model allows for an iterative cyclic correction of the curriculum.

Drawing on the other course topic reading(s):

“Open content” … is content that is licensed in a manner that provides users with the right to make more kinds of uses than those normally permitted under the law – at no cost to the user.

The primary permissions or usage rights open content is concerned with are expressed in the “4Rs Framework:”

  1. Reuse – the right to reuse the content in its unaltered / verbatim form (e.g., make a backup copy of the content)
  2. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  3. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  4. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
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Open Licensing #ioe12 Post1

Until I watched the Larry Lessig TEDxNYED video (outlined in this post) I didn’t really understand the reason for copyright too well. I thought it was primarily about income revenue, which wasn’t the driving motivation for my work.

I’ve gone down the Creative Commons route for licensing my own works, be it this blog, images on Flickr, videos, whatever. My own personal approach is that if someone wants to use my work, please go ahead;

  • re-use, re-mix,
  • make it better,
  • make it more relevant,
    • more understandable.

For me that’s what creation and culture is all about.

But copyright is about this level of control, how others want their own work to be licensed and used. The argument for the combined system is that there is then a place for commercial success as well as for this ‘other’ culture. To enable this to happen there needs to be a respect for the creators of both aspects, with an option of fair use or fair dealing in the Commonwealth.

I have found this MIT World video captured debate, ‘Copyright, Fair Use, and the Cultural Commons’ a useful one to expand my own understanding and others might also find it of interest at this point.

#change11 Openness Community

As promised in my previous post, here is the text to initiate the institutional Openness Community. It was originally intended as an email, hence the request to email me in response – but interested people can add comments, tweet me, or email me.

Openness Community

I am currently creating a community to work collectively on the concept of openness in education. The intention is to develop an Open Educational Practice (OEP) within the community that can then be shared more widely. However, this is not a theoretical exercise, I’m interested in putting this into practice to create new and use existing resources, working openly.

To achieve this vision we will need to examine areas including

  • the production of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Courseware (OCW),
  • how to produce material to open standards for re-use by others,
  • how we would want to license such material under a Creative Commons Licence,
  • examine what software and services to use for production and hosting,
  • how to re-use existing OER appropriately,
  • where and how to access open resources including open textbooks,
  • the sharing of useful generic and subject specific resources including the creation of resource directories,
  • defining appropriate quality controls for production and prior to consumption.

The community can start from the foundations of the work of

  • UNESCO Open Educational Resources,
  • The Cape Town Open Education Declaration,
  • The Open Courseware Consortium, and
  • Open Educational Quality Initiative (OPAL).

There are a number of toolkits, frameworks and publicity materials available that we can use to inform and develop our practice. In addition, there are some significant ongoing research projects including those funded by the JISC and HEA that we can draw upon, as well as various experts and advocates in the subject.

The intention is that this is a grassroots community, pulling together like-minded individuals to create something larger than its constituent parts and furthering the mutual interest of openness across the campus and, hopefully, beyond.

Some areas where I personally would like to see experimentation might include

  • development and delivery of a course that uses only Open Content and OER as an example of potential,
  • providing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) within 12 months,
  • development of a peer reviewed Open Journal,
  • development and running of an Open Conference within 12 months,
  • producing an open textbook.

If you have a passion for, interest in, or useful practical knowledge of openness in education and would like to be involved in shaping the direction of this community, please drop me an email in the first instance. I will draw up a list of participants and convene an initial meeting and we will take things from there.

Kind regards
Mark Morley

David Wiley #change11 mooc week 5 – post 2

This week’s topic has inspired and energized me into revisiting notions I’ve had for a few years. Unfortunately, I’ve found that whenever I try to take them forward there is such inertia from within the institution that they never get off the ground or they falter shortly afterwards. One area that I have found particularly frustrating has been trying to get institutional buy-in to the development, production and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs). There just doesn’t seem to be the interest or passion at the top level. However, the efforts David has made and continues to make are inspiring.

David Wiley: iSummit ’08 Keynote Address from isummit 08 on Vimeo.

David wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, as he outlined in the video. I should also learn from my own past ‘failures’ (for example the disappointments expressed in my previous post) and use them as a springboard to try again and achieve more.

To this end I’ve decided to develop a grassroots community approach to openness within my institution. To achieve this I’ll need to put together a convincing argument that senior management will allow me to take forward. I wonder if members of MOOC Change11 will help me to develop this argument throughout this week (week 5)? Here are some potential questions I need answers to.

  • What points do you think would be useful to make? Are the following useful for a community to discuss?
    • What technologies would be appropriate for the community members to use to produce & host OERs?
    • How can we promote the use of Open Journals for publishing research?
    • How can the reuse of OERs be encouraged within the institution?
    • Can we aggregate appropriate subject specific open content as a community for within the institution and beyond?
    • How can we promote the sole use of open content and open textbooks within a course?
  • How can I convince management that a grassroots approach would be appropriate?
  • Would it be sustainable as a venture?
  • Would it have any direct benefits for the institution?

I look forward to any input or advice you can give. Many thanks.

Next Generation Textbooks – Flexbooks

Sometimes you encounter something that changes your own mindset, the way you work, the way you want to do things. You want to get involved, to make this better. I’ve just come across one such idea.

The work of the CK-12 Foundations is mindblowingly excellent. Their mission is to create access to cheap textbooks both for the US and Worldwide. How will they achieve this? Well, they’re pioneering the ‘Flexbook‘, which is an open-content, web-based collaboration model where it’s possible to take Creative Commons Licensed content from one of the available standard text on the site and repurpose it for the learning experience required. This is achieved using the online software to extract chapters or sections from the text, mix it with your own content from a Word file for example, and package it together into a ‘book’ that can be exported to a pdf file for printing out and use with learners.

For cK-12’s much better explanation:

Screenshot of Flexbook site

This needs to be made to work in a much wider contexted. This template could be used throughout education. It’s brilliant. It works for both formal learning setting and individual, informal learning.