Leicester City Council is the first local government authority in the United Kingdom (UK) to provide 84 community schools with blanket permission to openly license their educational resources. The council is recommending that school staff use the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to share materials created in the course of their work. The Council has also released guidance and practical information for school staff on using and creating open educational resources (OER).
As part of Josie Fraser’s (ICT Strategy Lead, Leicester City Council) work with the council, she leads on a citywide project to raise school staff skills and confidence in using technology to support teaching, learning, and school community development. The project has surveyed staff across the city to identify strengths and gaps in their use of technologies and digital resources. While the results on the whole have been very positive, the survey identified that school staff knowledge about OER and open licensing is very limited.
In response to this, Josie worked with Björn Haßler and Helen Neo (from the University of Cambridge) to create accessible OER schools guidance and practical resources for schools on finding, attributing, remixing, creating, and sharing CC licensed resources. School staff were invited to participate in the development of the resources, by review and discussion, and by taking part in pilot workshops for school staff and leaders.
“The response to the guidance has been very positive, with schools keen to raise the profile of excellent work being produced through the use of Creative Commons licenses. Schools want to raise staff knowledge in relation to copyright and open licensing, and see the classroom modelling of good practice in using and accrediting resources as important for their learners.”
– Josie Fraser
Schools routinely make use of web-based resources to support their learners, but don’t routinely benefit from the range of openly shared resources available if they aren’t aware of open licensing. The permission and guidance are designed to work together in raising awareness about CC licenses and OER, and support schools in promoting the work they are doing by sharing – enabling them to create, and to connect and collaborate with other educators. At a time when so many resources used in schools are digital, and accessed and shared online, understanding copyright and the role that open licenses play is essential for education professionals.
“Leicester City Council is the first local authority in the UK to provide its school employees with permission to openly license their resources. This is a highly commendable and visionary step. We very much hope that this will inspire other councils and schools to look at how they can also support staff in sharing their work.”
– Dr. Björn Haßler, University of Cambridge
Resource packs, which including model policies, guidance and resources for schools, are available at: http://schools.leicester.gov.uk/openeducation. The resources themselves build on existing openly licensed materials, and all new materials are all released under CC BY 4.0 and are available in editable versions for adaptation.
“Open licensing is an important step in making cultural change happen – for educators and learners to benefit from public work, and for schools across the city to move towards open practice. Change will not happen overnight, but the permission and guidance provides a great way for schools to think about how they share and collaborate, and how they would like to take their communities forward.”
- OER Guidance for Schools was commissioned by Leicester City Council, as part of the Council’s award winning digital literacy school staff development project, DigiLit Leicester.
- The OER Guidance resources were produced by Björn Haßler, Helen Neo, and Josie Fraser, and are available under CC BY 4.0.
- For further information please contact Josie Fraser (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Björn Haßler (email@example.com).
Sketchfab – an awesome website for sharing 3D models – just unveiled an option to make files downloadable. All of the files marked for download are available under Creative Commons licenses, including those from some big players like HTC, Microsoft, the British Museum and celebrated designer Francis Bitonti.
This makes Sketchfab not only the best and easiest way to publish and embed a 3D file, but also a great place to find and use 3D content – for example for 3D printing, to build video games or VR experiments – or just to share and collaborate privately on 3D designs. Any user can now chose to publish 3D content for display only, or for display and download under Creative Commons licenses.
This launch comes with another important milestone: more than 200,000 3D files have been uploaded on the platform so far, making Sketchfab one of the largest repositories of 3D content, and the leading platform to publish and embed interactive 3D models. We want to thank all of our users for that, we are proud to be home for your work. This milestone, combined with our new download option, is strengthening our position as The place to be for 3D files.
Sketchfab co-founder Alban Denoyel told us that his team knew from the start that they wanted to use CC licenses rather than create a new license for model use. “As soon as we started looking into adding a download option on Sketchfab, we wanted to find a legal framework to cover the way people could use the files, and CC was top of mind as the perfect solution to do that.”
And did the high-profile users like Microsoft and HTC have any qualms about CC? Not really, says Alban. “We had a pretty straightforward approach, exposing our plans of enabling download under CC, and asking if they were in or not. No special concerns were raised, they quickly jumped in!”
We are in New Delhi and Mumbai for a number of presentations, workshops and meetings. Please come say hello if you are at these events or in the area.SciDataCon2014 in New Delhi
The International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability (SciDataCon) is motivated by the conviction that the most research challenges cannot be addressed without attending to issues relating to research data essential to all scientific endeavors. However, several cultural and technological challenges are still preventing the research community from realizing the full benefits of progress in open access and sharing. CODATA and WDS, interdisciplinary committees of the International Council for Science (ICSU) are co-sponsoring and organizing a high profile international biennial conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.Nov 2: A day long Text and data mining (TDM) workshop offered in collaboration with ContentMine
TDM is an important scientific technique for analyzing large corpora of articles used to uncover both existing and new insights in unstructured data sets that typically are obtained programmatically from many different sources. While the science and technology TDM is complex enough, its legal complications are equally dizzying. Not only is its legal status unclear at best, it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction making cross-national collaboration difficult. Besides the license status of the original material, contractual agreements between research institutions and publishers, who are often the gatekeepers of the corpora, can create significant hurdles. The workshop offers an introduction to TDM, presenting the legal considerations through hands-on exercises.Nov 3: How well is the data chain working?
Effective and efficient application of scientific data for the benefit of humanity entails agreed goals, clear and reproducible methods, and transparent communication throughout the data chain from producer to user via data organizer and research publisher. How well is that working? A Panel Discussion at the close of each day will summarise that day’s conclusions, and respond to the question of how well the data chain may be working from a trio of perspectives: Conference Organizer, data-management expert, and data producer.Nov 5: Citing Data to Facilitate Multidisciplinary Research
Synthesis Data Citation Principles and Their Implications for TDM: Importance, Credit and Attribution, Evidence, Unique Identification, Access, Persistence, Specificity and Verifiability, and Interoperability and Flexibility: these eight important phrases describe the data citation principles agreed upon by the community and published under a joint declaration and endorsed by 185 individuals and 83 organizations. But, what are the implications of these principles beyond just citation, particularly with respect to automated analysis of large corpus of articles? This presentation will briefly present the principles, and then explore some of the issues that we have to come to grips with in order to make text and data mining (TDM) easy for scientists.Nov 5: Challenges and Benefits of Open Science Data and International Data Sharing
Maximizing Legal Interoperability Through Open Licenses: Many scientists do think about interoperability as they have to work with colleagues from other domains. However, common interoperability efforts are focused on technical, and if we are lucky, semantic interoperability. Rarely do scientists think of legal interoperability in the design of their science experiments. Can my work be legally mixed with someone else’s work without violating any intellectual property (or worse, privacy and security) laws? Is my work portable across not just scientific domains but also across judicial boundaries? We attempt to shed light on some of these questions in this presentation.Nov 5: Talk on CC/OKF open science activities to be given at the computer science dept., Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi
Jenny Molloy, OKFN Open Science and I will be introducing the young computer science students at IIT-Delhi on the various open science and data activities around the world. This talk is organized by Prof. Aaditeshwar Seth, Computer Science, IIT-Delhi.Nov 6-8: Meetings on citizen science and sensors at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai
HBCSE at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai is a National Center with the broad goals to promote equity and excellence in science and mathematics education from primary school to undergraduate college level, and encourage the growth of scientific literacy in the country. We will be discussing with HBCSE’s metaStudio potential areas of collaboration in citizen science and the use of sensors in projects to accelerate the growth of scientific awareness in the country through direct public participation in science.