LearnHub & Creative Commons

Last week Creative Commons announced that LearnHub, the online social network for educators, is integrating CC Licensing into their platform. This is a win-win for both educators and students.

This a huge step in the right direction and I hope that other education 2.0 sites will also integrate Creative Commons into their products as well.

Congrats to John Green at LearnHub and the Creative Commons team on this new partnership.

Related Resources

PBS & WIRED Science Student Video Contest

WIRED Science and PBS are sponsoring a "WIRED Science Student Video Contest" that is open to all students in grades 9-12 (contest is also open to home school students).

This is an opportunity for students to work with their teachers to create a video explaining a science concept, ideas on the future of science, or--well, anything else you think will help you snag the prize. Yes, there are prizes.

You can learn more about the contest, find the application form, along with all the details over on the WIRED Science Education page.

Don't forget that Jumpcut has free, easy-to-use video editing tools. And if you need a refresher on copyright, be sure to check out CreativeCommons or the Microsoft MyBytes for more information.

But hurry. Application and videos are due by April 1st, 2008. So hurry--get those creative juices flowing!

Related Resources

Open Publishing: Penguin, Oprah & Suze

In a move that could be a boon to the OER movement, Penguin Books (a division of the UK based publishing behemoth Pearson) announced this week that it was preparing to "offer audiobooks that are free of digital copyright protection technology, which will allow buyers to play them on any digital device [link]."

While all the details (such as pricing, DRM or no DRM?) have yet to be disclosed, this is definitely a step in the right direction. It's good to see a Media 1.0 company such as Pearson leading the way and testing uncharted waters.

In a similar move, the US-based publisher Random House recently partnered with Oprah Winfrey to offer a free download of financial guru Suze Orman's bestselling book Women and Money.

In all, over 1.1 million people downloaded a copy of the free book from Oprah Winfrey's website. One unexpected outcome was that, despite the free download, the print version of the book shot up to the number 6 spot on Amazon.com's best seller list.

Times, they are a changing. And it's good to see the ideas behind the Web 2.0 movement making inroads into other industries.

Related Resources

Encyclopedia of Life

Released last week to much fanfare, the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a "comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing...ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world."

While anyone will be able to contribute and share their knowledge with the EOL community, each species has it's own "curator" (knowledge expert or authenticator) who will validate the information contained on that species page. Most of the content in the EOL is available for re-use under a Creative Commons license.

The EOL is an incredible resource for students, teachers and educators. You can join the EOL project by volunteering to be a species curator, contributing species-related content (photos, drawings, text, video, etc.), or supporting the EOL as a financial contributor.

Related Resources

Survey: Microsoft Education & Digital Copyright

Microsoft has released the results of a study it conducted regarding teens, illegal downloads and copyright. Among the findings:

  • American teenagers between 7th and 10th grades are less likely to illegally download content from the Internet when they know the laws for downloading and sharing content online;
  • 49% of respondents said they are not familiar with the rules and guidelines for downloading images, literature, music, movies and software from the Internet;

  • 11% said they understood the rules of copyright and illegal downloading of content "very well";

  • 76% of boys and 68% of girls said that they would not continue after being told the rules to download or share content over the Internet without paying for it.

In conjunction with the findings of the survey, Microsoft Education has developed model curriculum and resources for educators to help them educate students on the issues around copyright, digital literacy and illegal downloading of content.

In addition they have created, MyBytes, a site where t/weens can learn more about copyright and "develop their own intellectual property and assign usage rights by mixing music online to create a custom riff that they can download as a ring tone."

I think it would also be interesting to survey teachers and see how well they understand "educational fair use" and other issues around copyright. My guess is that they are as confused about what digital content they are allowed to use as the rest of us.

Thankfully, organizations like Creative Commons are taking the lead on the copyright issue, providing a set of alternative licenses to traditional copyright while the lawyers and publishing/recording/movie industry figure it out for themselves.

Related Resources

Pop! Tech: Create Positive Change

Thanks to edublogger Ken Pruitt, I discovered the PopCast series from the PopTech Conference. This is a fantastic resource for high school and college civics/economics/ classes.

Here's the scoop on PopCast:

"Pop!Casts are available free of charge. And they’re published under a Creative Commons license—meaning you can distribute, translate and edit them as you wish for noncommercial use.

Sharing Pop!Casts with peers is one of the ways you can inspire collective thinking and action around the topics you’re most interested in.

New segments will be posted every few weeks courtesy of Yahoo!, so check back often or subscribe to our RSS feed. Download. Discover. Do your part to create positive change in the world!"

And be sure to listen to the vodcast featuring Tom "The Flat World" Friedman. His message? Think Green.

Thanks Ken!

Download History: BBC Open News Video Archive

via BBC News: "For the first time in its history BBC News is opening its archives to the UK public for a trial period.

You can download nearly 80 news reports covering iconic events of the past 50 years including the fall of the Berlin Wall, crowds ejecting soldiers from Beijing's Tiananmen Square and behind-the-scenes footage of the England team prior to their victory over West Germany in 1966.

You are welcome to download the clips, watch them, and use them to create something unique. This is a pilot and we want to understand your creative needs. We'd like to see your productions and showcase some of the most interesting ones we receive.

Before you start downloading, there are certain terms and conditions you must read and agree to, about how the clips can be used. Find out more about the rules in brief and all you need to know about this trial."

Web Resources

Easy Peasy: Yahoo! Search Hacks

CNET Insider Secrets+Yahoo! Hacks: "Using Yahoo Web Search is deceptively simple. You can type in any word or phrase and find matches in documents across the Web. The trade-off for this simplicity is having to look through hundreds, thousands, or millions of results to find those that are actually useful to you.

By understanding how Yahoo expects queries to be phrased, you can limit the results to include only those documents most relevant to you--saving you the time of looking through extraneous results."

Paul Bausch, co-creator of the weblog software Blogger, has put together an excellent tutorial (including video) on how to get the most out of Yahoo! Search.