Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2008

Joint Commission on Technology and Science

August 12, 2008

Creative Commons Licensing

Staff provided a brief review of Creative Commons licensing as an option for authors of educational content. A quick reference guide was distributed to members of the subcommittee and is available, as well as all other materials from the meeting, on the JCOTS website at http://jcots.state.va.us.


Aneesh Chopra, Secretary of Technology
Secretary Chopra reviewed several ongoing initiatives in the Commonwealth that compliment the efforts of the subcommittee to promote expanded access to free and low cost teaching materials to citizens of the Commonwealth. Secretary Chopra also briefed the committee on his work to establish a partnership with CK-12 to encourage teachers to share educational content using an online platform. CK-12 is a nonprofit organization located in Palo Alto, CA working on creating flexbooks or customized content for high school students using open source and content. Secretary Chopra also informed the subcommittee that six Governor's Academies would be starting this fall thanks to funding provided through the National Governor's Association. The academies are joint efforts of school districts and businesses and are approved based on specific curriculum requirements. One additional academy is currently applying for designation despite not receiving an NGA grant.

Stewart Smith, Education Specialist, Community Idea Stations
Stewart Smith presented the e-Klips program initiated by Community Idea Stations. The e-Klips program is an online resource that teachers and members of the public can use to access audio and video media for use in the classroom. The subcommittee expressed interest in learning more about the types of copyrights placed on the media. Mr. Smith said the company is currently working on what type of copyrights they would like to place on the materials. He also distributed a handout with future funding needs if Community Idea Stations were to provide access to all of its materials though

Dr. Richard Baraniuk, Founder, Connexions
Dr. Baraniuk presented on the Connexions program for organizing open education content using a web-based platform. Connexions is an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web. One of the topics that interested the subcommittee was the partnership Connexions formed with a print-on-demand company that holds a reverse auction when a user requests a printed copy of materials on the Connexions website.

Kirk Schroder, Pearson Education
Kirk Schroder introduced two executives from Pearson who provided an overview of Pearson's efforts to customize content for each of the 50 states. One thing that makes customization difficult is the specific education requirements of each state, which requires very close attention to detail. Another difficulty in customization is that once a textbook is adopted and purchased by a locality, Pearson is unable to update obsolete content (e.g. Pluto no longer being a planet) because there is currently no process that allows for the adoption of specific content, only textbooks in their entirety. Despite these challenges, Pearson has developed several computer-based learning tools with innovative content delivery. Additionally, Pearson discussed its plans to break educational content into over 1,100 modules, which would allow teachers to pick and chose the chapters they would like in a text book. One member of the subcommittee asked if local school boards would be able to mix these modules with other modules, perhaps from open sources or another publisher, and the response was "no."

Next Meeting

The next meeting date will be posted on the Commission's website and General Assembly calendar as soon as the information is available.

The Hon. Joe May

For information, contact:
Patrick Cushing, DLS Staff

Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2008

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