[cc-education] Quick draft

David Wiley dw2 at opencontent.org
Mon Feb 9 18:02:10 EST 2004

email at greglondon.com wrote:

>On Mon,  9 Feb 2004 11:20:47 -0500, Zachary Chandler wrote:
>>Which then seems more attractive: a larger pool
>>comprised, in part, of more restricted content, 
>>or a smaller pool of open content?
>Ack!!! no wonder the push for an education-only license
>continues. You begin with the questionable assumption 
>that more educators will contribute to an education-only 
There is actually rather sound logic behind this idea. Most people want 
to give up few rights. Few people want to give up most rights. There is 
a fairly smooth continnum in between the two zealous ends. This is 
explained in more detail here - 

>And you bifurcate the issue into only two simple 
>open-license-gives-small-pool or 
No, Zack didn't do this. I wrote in the draft. I believe empowering the 
users to choose between attachment to educational institution (which the 
CC lawyers tell me has a very clearly defined meaning, in the US legal 
system anyway) was the best compromise we could arrive at based on all 
the opinions expressed during the last several months' discussion.

>A third alternative would be educating the teachers. Even IF the assumption is correct that more teachers
>would contribute to a education-only license, that 
>could be changed with an enrollment campaign of getting
>the word out to teachers that something like CC-BY-SA
>would tap into a much bigger commons than CC-BY-TeachersOnly.
I'm not sure what your background is, but I'm not sure you're aware of 
the massive undertaking you're describing if you're talking about 
getting teachers to change the way they do anything. "Let's just educate 
teachers" has been the battle cry of everyone from politicians to 
educational researchers. Generally speaking we can't even get teachers 
to read journals or magazines about how to teach better, let alone 
actually teach better. This isn't because they're bad or necssarily 
hard-headed. They're just inordinately busy, pulling off superhuman 
feats to simply teach lessons and provide feedback to students. Systemic 
change in education is an entire field of study in and of itself, and my 
field (instructional technology) has a long history of trying to "just 
educate the teachers" to use the latest technology and failing 
spectacularly. I don't mean to be abrasive, but (speaking as a student 
and sometime producer of educational and school-related research)  I 
don't believe the third alternative is realistic in the short term. We 
need stepping stones to get us to our real target.

Perhaps I should state again what my own personal target is: educational 
works licensed for use only on condition of attribution. Attribution is 
the academic way for good reason. This is where I would eventuaally love 
to see many educational materials. However, people won't get from where 
they are to here in one step. I believe the proposed license to be a 
leap many will be able to make.

>Richard Stallman created teh first GNU-GPL license in 1984.
>The first program to use the license was a text editor.
>Linus Torvalds wrote the first linux kernel in 1991.
>RedHat went IPO selling Linux installations in 1999.
>SIXTEEN YEARS to get from zero to MILLIONS of Linux installations.
>I promise you that you will NEVER see this level of growth,
>adoption, and expansion, on a work that is licensed
>education only.  
You have a "play within a play" problem here, though. Geeks (in the 
positive sense, including myself) who like to play with hardware and 
install OSs no one has ever heard of really dig this stuff. Teachers and 
educators just don't. There are stacks and stacks of school change 
research and cases documenting the rapid rate at which teachers are not 
adopting technological innovations. And I should say that, because my 
interest is primarily in facilitating informal learning, the school 
arguments are only a small part of what we need to consider.

>If you push an educational only license, you may
>increase the number of initial contributions, but
>you will be much harder pressed to move the project
>beyond the initial, Richard Stallman phase of
>little more than a working text editor and C compiler.
Because this is conjecture there's no arguing with it. Whether an 
educational use license can facilitate a long-term movement is an 
empirical question which only time can answer. And whether or not the 
current draft will be the same cc.edu five or even two years from now 
depends completely on the way users respond. The cc.edu license effort 
is not a 9 months one-off which generates a license that never updates 
or changes. The process of monitoring use and adapting to community 
wants and needs will be very dynamic. None of us are expecting to get 
this perfect the first time.


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