“Thing 4″ for the MSc module Theory and evaluation of eLearning:
Creative Commons People
Who are the Creative Commons people?
Summarised from the Creative Commons (cc) web-site: http://creativecommons.org/about
Whenever a literary, artistic, academic or educational item is created a person or group will own the rights to who can use that item, how it is used, and in what context it is used. These rights are known as the copyright and the person or group who owns these rights may be the creator, their employer, or another person or group who has acquired these rights from the original owner. Creative Commons is a way to release these intrinsic rights in a controlled manner. By assigning a Creative Commons licence to an item the copyright owner(s) give controlled permission for other parties to use the material within limits determined by the owner(s).
Creative Commons is an effective way to allow distribution and use of material for the benefit of individuals and communities without the need to seek permission. As attribution of the material is required this also builds the reputation of the owner. Types of use and the geographic areas in which the material may be used can be restricted in the licence, as can the use by third parties for commercial gain.
Why use Creative Commons?
As an educator, provided that you rather than your institution own the copyright for your material, assigning the appropriate Creative Commons licence could allow colleagues and learners to legally reuse your materials, re-purpose them, or even use them as the basis of their own creativity without obtaining specific consent. While some may consider this as giving away intellectual property, others consider that “this fits well with the general ethical and philosophical stance of the academic community” (JISC 2009 p3-4).
Can Tagging help build a community?
Tagging is an informal way of cataloguing posts on blogs, entries in forums. Assigning key words in a “tags field” provides a way for readers to search for items of interest.
My initial assumption was that tags should be a very flexible and useful attribute to search on, however as Smith (2008 p24) notes, tags “can be messy and may not conform to any standard”. This seemed to be confirmed when searching for items tagged with “Creative Commons” as research for this blog entry. This tag had been used by people to signify their entry, or something to which their entry referred, had a Creative Commons licence. If I had been searching for information about Creative Commons licensing as a subject I would have been disappointed as only 2 of the first 19 search results provided this. Searching for “Copyright” produced similar results finding many examples of copyright material but only a few entries about copyright itself.
The above search examples have used tags with a very broad scope for application. Smith (2008 p27) considers how tags might be used to facilitate collaborating and sharing: In summary; the use of tags to foster and build a community is most effective when there is an accepted and consistently used system of tagging. McKean (2010 para 9-10) suggests how this could be applied to support learning using Twitter through a range of agreed tags that allow accurate location of items on particular subject areas. Tags with limited “general” applications can also be generated by using language specific to a “specialist” field. As an example of this, searching for the tag “eLearning” produces a list of items virtually exclusively related directly to this particular field.
Creative Commons (cc) About http://creativecommons.org/about [Accessed 01-Feb-11]
JISC (2009) Briefing Paper: Creative Commons Licence http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/bpcreativecommonsv1.pdf [Accessed 01-Feb-11]
McKean, P. (2010) Moodlemckean’s Blog: The world of twitter http://moodlemckean.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/the-world-of-twitter/ [Accessed 01-Feb-11]
Smith, G. (2008) Tagging: people-powered metadata for the social web ISBN 0321529170 http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QKBlAcdkMwsC&printsec=frontcover [Accessed 01-Feb-11]