Now to copy someone else. This past weekend the first 42 Open Course Library courses made their way to Haiti on a DVD — a little over 1GB of course content. Here’s the presentation given by Brandon Muramatsu. It’s worth watching. So maybe you don’t get to travel as much as I want to these days, but at least your openly shared content can.
Three months ago I blogged about concerns I have over McGraw-Hill’s MH Campus portal. If you are not familiar with the tool, MH Campus allows faculty to easily insert content from McGraw-Hill and its partners into their course. This includes some content that is available at no charge to faculty; but make no mistake, using this content comes with a price.
I submitted a question about open sharing at a MH Campus webinar a few weeks ago. My question was not addressed live, but everyone who submitted questions was promised an eventual response. My answer came today, and McGraw-Hill made it clear: “MH Content is not for sharing.”
My question: Many of our faculty are interested in sharing their course materials on the open web. Does the MH Campus allow for this its free content to be shared on the open web. If so, why not share the free MH Campus materials as Open Educational Resources with an open license?
The answer to your question is No. Faculty can share any of their own material with others but MH Content is not for sharing. The terms of service for MH Campus can be found at mhcampus.com under the legal tab.
It’s a shame, really, because with the same basic MH Campus tool plus an open license McGraw-Hill could have done something really innovative.
Most faculty understand that the teaching IS sharing. They are content experts after all — the same group publishers draw from when developing their own expensive content with the old model. But faculty who mix MH Campus and similar materials with their own course content will find their ability to share the result is severely limited.
There is an important lesson here: weaving the proprietary in with the open renders the result unsharable. So if you want to keep control, keep it open!
Ok, I know I’m 2 days late on blogging this announcement. The Learning Resources Metadata Initiative was announced Tuesday. I’m looking forward to reading through the metadata specs when they are done. (Metadata specs are a wonderful, natural sleep aid.)
Today Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) announce the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, a project aimed at improving education search and discovery via a common framework for tagging and organizing learning resources on the web. The learning resources framework will be designed to work with schema.org, the web metadata framework recently launched by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, as well as to work with other metadata technologies and to enable other rich applications.
If you’ve already tried searching Google for recipes (try crepes), you know that along with the search results you get a nice list of ingredients with check boxes on the left of your search. That’s all due to a schema that allows for common criteria that Google or any other search engine can read. When web sites follow these standards for recipes, users can filter results in various ways. In my crepe recipe example below, I have the option of limiting search results to recipes under 100 calories (although you won’t find any crepe recipes with whip cream and nutella in that list.)
But schemas are good for more than finding specific recipes. It will change educational search, learning, and OERmagine you could do the same fine-grain sorting and filtering with educational resources. Check one box for pre-college and another box for open, modifiable resources only. This is why metadata (the tags and other hidden stuff that describes the content) is important in educational materials, especially OER. Those who use the proper metadata schemas will be included in the search results. Teachers and learners will be able to drill down and find *exactly* the materials they want at the proper grade level. This is a BIG deal for education and OER stands to gain a LOT more attention as a result. Keep your eyes on http://schema.org/.
Google’s YouTube started supporting for the CC-BY Creative Commons open license yesterday. Awesome news, and just in time for our Open Course Library phase 1 videos, which we will be captioning and moving to YouTube very soon. Here’s the announcement from the Creative Commons blog:
YouTube has added the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) as a licensing option for users! Now when users upload video, they can choose to license it under CC BY or to remain with the default “Standard YouTube License.” Users may also change the license on existing videos by editing each video individually.
In conjunction with the implementation, YouTube has launched a Creative Commons video library containing 10,000 videos under CC BY from organizations such as C-SPAN, PublicResource.org, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera. The library will serve as a base catalog of videos for users to access, edit, and incorporate into their own video projects. The YouTube Video Editor now contains a CC tab that allows users to search the Creative Commons video library and select videos to edit and remix. Users may remix videos directly on the editor platform, and any video that is created using CC BY-licensed content will automatically display the linked source videos’ titles underneath the video player. Since CC BY is enabled as a licensing option, the library will grow as more users choose to license their work under CC BY.