Share What Ya’ Got

On June 14 the MELO3D participants were treated to a presentation by the delightful Emily Rodgers of the open.michigan initiative.  Open.michigan exists to encourage the Michigan community to share the knowledge we create with the wider global community.  From their info sheet:

‘By raising awareness of participatory
education on a global scale, Open.Michigan is
part of an emerging paradigm where a wide array
of contributors add to and build upon the open
knowledge commons.’

As users, collectors, creators, and evaluators of learning objects Emily’s presentation was highly relevant to us.  While the LO’s of our name are generally open access they may or not be true open educational resources.   The latter differ from the former in being available not only to use but also to remix and redistribute

Imagine for a moment that you’ve found this great new learning object. (Go you!) What can you do with it? Can you repackage it? Change it? Host it on a local server?  Murky waters indeed.  If there were but a way to know what the object’s author would, er, object to. Lo! Behold the creative comments.

In all seriousness, creative commons licenses are a way for authors to maximize the impact of their LOs by encouraging others to not just use but, yes, also improve upon the resource.  Through ‘proactive permission giving’ (to borrow a phrase from Emily) authors can easily relinquish some aspects of their default copyright while retaining those they choose without worrying about dotting that i or crossing that t.  In turn, the rest of us are empowered to nurture the LO into a truly remarkable resource for not just our students but the world at large.

Much of the presentation was centered around understanding existing CC licenses and choosing the appropriate CC license for own work.   Emily also took some time to dScribe the process of converting existing educational resources into open educational resources.   There are even folks willing to help with this process!

Rather than go on, I’ll end by thanking Emily for the informative presentation — if anyone has an audio file of snapping fingers you should post it in the comments.

P.S. It wasn’t quite all business on Tuesday.  We also took a stroll through the Museum of Modern Copyright — remember, most works are best viewed at an angle.


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