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.