Polish Government Funding 'Full Set Of Educational Materials' Available Under CC-BY

from the setting-a-good-example dept

One of the fields that is ripe for disruption by open digital technologies and business models based on abundance is education. That's already starting to happening with growing successes in the areas of open access and free textbooks. Now here's a major win for open educational resources in Poland (via Slashdot):

Polish Prime Minister Office yesterday accepted "Digital School program" with "Digital Textbooks" component included. With 45 million PLN (approx. 15 million USD) funding it has been the biggest governmental Open Educational Resources initiative in Poland so far. The government has decided to fund creating full set of educational materials for grades 4-6 (9-11 year olds). All those resources will be available under CC BY license, which is fully free license according to the Definition of Free Cultural Works.
It sounds like the use of that cc-by license was a close thing:
This draft [of the Digital School program] was accepted by Ministry of Education, but at a later stage of preparations the free licensing requirement was left out. Both Open Education Coalition and Modern Poland Foundation took part in the public consultation process; their comments in support of free licensing were taken on board in the very last minute.
Without that free license, this would have been just another scheme to produce government-funded educational materials. But with the license, those resources can take on a life of their own through re-use, improvement and wide-ranging adaptations. And once teachers, parents and students begin to see what can be done with freely-licensed educational materials that is hard or impossible to match with traditional licensing, the demand for them is likely to grow.

This makes the last-minute acceptance by the Polish government that the materials would be released under the cc-by license, after some apparent reluctance, doubly welcome, since it may well help to trigger the production of further open educational resources both within and beyond Poland.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:40am

    now this is one of the best 'think of the children' posts i have ever seen! to think it could so easily have not happened is appalling! the money could have gone to 'certain areas', as before and as happens in other countries, restricting the amount of learning available. well done to Poland, i say!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:19am

    This is another great reason to stop racist jokes.
    Might I suggest:
    "An IP maximalist walks into a bar and says..."

    Well done Poland!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:26am

    I know education can't be completely free as in beer (you have to pay teachers, etc.), but it should damn well be free as in speech.

    Nice one!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Igor Ostrowski, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:45am

    Polish OERs

    Claims that the quoted Polish NGOs 'saved' the open educational resources (OERs) component in our pilot project is simply untrue. The Polish government never 'backed out' of OER's so there was never any need to fight for its return. After internal discussions between several gov agencies in Poland it was decided that OERs is the best way to move forward.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  

    If I only knew Polish...

    If I only knew how to speak Polish, the first thing I'd do would be to translate the books and host them in Wikimedia Commons, then adapt them to my country, then print some and convince some teachers to use it. All thanks to the CC-BY license.

     

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  6.  
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    TheStupidOne, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: If I only knew Polish...

    Someone will if they are any good, guaranteed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    While I'm generally against big government, I wouldn't mind so much if our government did something like this. Education is one arena that I don't mind government support if done right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    anoymous person, May 16th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

    i have a report due on this!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    anoymous person, May 16th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    i have a report due on this!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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