Friday, January 27, 2012

Open Content Licensing for Educators 2012

Hand in Compost from The Greenest Dollar

I came a little late to a fantastic week-long online workshop on Open Content Licensing for Educators (OCL4ED) about Open Educational Resources (OER) and Creative Commons (CC) but found plenty of ideas to reflect on.  In an introductory video called Learning4Content ,Wayne McIntosh, the founder of WikiEducator presents some of the key concepts of the course.

Although I have tried to "catch up" with some of the exceptionally well presented material in the course, I feel that I am unsure about two issues:
1.) The freedom I have as a university lecturer to share my materials.
2). How content creators can make a living.
Personally, I am unsure of the "ownership" of curricula that I create for my online courses taught through a university. Since what I create is the result of what I have learned from others through books such as Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms , A New Culture of Learning; dozens of free webinars; and free online courses such as those offered through the Electronic Village Online (EVO), I feel that I would like to freely share what I have learned.   However, I'm not sure to what extent I can legally to do that. Although some institutions such as MIT have made certain courses freely available on the web, the impression I get is that universities and school districts are in a state of flux regarding these issues.

The second issue that does not seem to be dealt with directly in the course is how people who produce content can successfully earn a living if they share it all freely. In the case of teachers and professors, perhaps nothing would really change if they made their curricula or projects freely available on the web with CC licenses. However, in the case of musicians, photographers or videographers, for example, I'm not sure how they would be compensated for their creations. Their creations are their source of income.  Even if they put an All Rights Reserved CC license on their creations, isn't it still quite easy to "pirate" their material?

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