What a breath of fresh air that entered the White House last year. Besides some other sweeping changes, we witnessed a real focus on ‘openness’ and utilizing open standards and open source. For instance, the White House website went to a Drupal site. We knew then, that open standards and open source would be kept close. Now we see more of this move to alternatives to the ‘norms.’
Unless you teach on the moon, you noticed the discussion on National Standards in all academic areas. The 15 finalists for the Race to the Top grant, for instance, will all look to integrate these standards. For technology, they continue to work on a National Education Technology Plan. When you take a look at the current document (.pdf) here: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/netp.pdf, you see references to Creative Commons and open standards referenced. For instance,
Equally important to the OER movement was the emergence of the Creative Commons, an organization that developed a set of easy-to-use licenses whereby individuals or institutions could maintain ownership of their creative products while giving others selected rights. These rights range from allowing use of a work in its existing form for noncommercial purposes to the right to repurpose, remix, and redistribute for any purpose.
In reading the entire document, I can’t help think they are thinking of things such as California’s Open Textbook Project and MIT’s Open CourseWare. I also see them thinking of the need to move away from the expensive and confusing licensing for things such as yearbooks (images) and band concerts (sheet music). While I am sure folks such as the MPAA and RIAA are heavily lobbying their Congressmen, I think Lawrence Lessig, schools, and all in favor of Copyleft licensing are quite happy.
Creative Commons logo attribution: