Picture this! 4 steps to understanding copyright issues

Schools are using digital content more than ever before. They are relying on digital resources, open educational resources, and teacher-created content to support curricular goals. As more of our content is pushed out to students through online platforms, our responsibility to consider copyright as part of our planning process, no matter what the process looks like, grows.

When we are in the trenches of testing windows, grading, school safety, and all of our other daily responsibilities, copyright might not feel like the number-one priority. But it has to become a priority.

It is important that we as educators invest time and effort into becoming comfortable applying copyright—not only to keep ourselves free of the consequences of not doing so, but also so that we can pass on these skills to our students. This is a responsibility that we all share, no matter the grade level or content area.…Read More

5 ways to get started with OER

It has been almost three years since the launch of the United States Department of Education’s #GoOpen movement. If you are late to the #GoOpen party, it is the commitment to expand and accelerate the use of openly licensed educational resources in schools across the country.

The commitment, in a nutshell, is to replace at least one textbook with open educational resources (OER) within one year, share in a community of practice with other school districts, and share the resources created with a Creative Commons license. While this sounds like a novel concept in writing, this movement engages every stakeholder in the P-12 educational ecosystem. And, beyond the chatter and hype of #GoOpen’s launch, there is still lots of work to be done. The work begins with implementation and how schools plan to strategically scale OER.

In the words of Simon Sinek, if you “start with the why” when thinking about #GoOpen, the answer is easy:…Read More

Ultimaker unveils Pioneer Program, promoting 3D printing in education

Ultimaker, a 3D printer manufacturer, announced the official launch of the Ultimaker Pioneer Program. The scheme introduces 3D printing and design to North American students – both K-12 and higher education.

As part of the Pioneer Program, educators (‘Pioneers’) can access 3D printing content on the Ultimaker Education website, which can be shared with students. The site welcomes contributions, and users maintain content ownership through Creative Commons Attribution, Share-Alike and Non-Commercial licensing. Through the Ultimaker Education site, educators throughout North America have access to resources and knowledge that are not commonly available.

“Teaching 3D modeling and printing in our schools is a new educational endeavor,” says Burton Isenstein, Adjunct Assistant Professor at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. “Faculty are on the front lines, figuring out the best methods of teaching as we continue to learn about the topic ourselves.”…Read More

Finding copyright-friendly photos for the Google Images generation

Searching and citing usable images is easy once students learn the basics

images-ccssTeaching students to respect the intellectual property of others is important in this digital “cut and paste” world we live in. One great project to share with students that can better help them understand how and when they may use images created by others is the Creative Commons project.

Creative Commons is designed to span the gap between full copyright and the public domain. The Creative Commons project provides content creators the opportunity to state ahead of time how their images may (or may not) be used.

When an image creator posts an image online and applies a Creative Commons license to it, there are four conditions/restrictions they can apply to the image:…Read More

New spec could improve educational web searches

An initiative that will make it easier for teachers to find educational content online is nearing reality.

A major effort to help publishers tag educational content using a new specification could help teachers quickly find age-appropriate resources online.

The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), which is co-led by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons, is an effort to tag educational content to make it easier to find in internet searches.

The first version of the LRMI specification was released in June, and publishers have been working on a proof-of-concept pilot project that involves tagging resources for middle school math. Now, phase two of the project—which expands the focus to include English and language arts—is beginning now.…Read More

New project could improve results from school web searches

The Learning Resource Metadata initiative aims to help students by returning more relevant internet search results.

A new partnership between the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons aims to improve internet search results for teachers and students by creating a metadata framework designed specifically for learning resources.

The organizations announced the partnership at the 2011 Content in Context conference in early June.

“Educators and students miss out on education resources available online because it is takes too long or is too hard to find appropriate content,” said Catherine Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons. “A common metadata schema will make this search more efficient and effective so educators can quickly discover the educational resources they want, including those they can reuse under Creative Commons licenses.”…Read More