Saturday, January 5, 2008

Creative Commons Resources

Sally Loughlin helps me to understand the context for change in schools. We started with face-to-face meetings but use several modes now that I spend more time working at UNE in Biddeford. During nearly every update we exchange our latest reciprocal recommendations for readings. On the phone last week, she recommended the most recent issue (Dec 2007/Jan 2008) of the ASCD journal Educational Leadership. The theme for the issue is Informative Assessment. She observed that many of the articles connnect with pre-service candidates that will take the Technology for Teaching and Learning course that starts later this month.

As usual, Sally's recommendations are right on target. The issue contains several useful articles. Mark Overmeyer shares his insights from leading improvement of student writing in What Student Writing Can Teach Us. He recommends using a modified form of rubrics to focus on informative assessment. I like his suggestions and want to use some of them in TTL but saw that his article is protected by copyright. So, I set off on a search for Creative Commons versions of rubrics for student writing.

I found Sharon Fagan's rubric and a writing checklist at the Maricopa Learning Exchange. The MLX encourages users to add sharebacks (a variant of trackbacks) to acknowledge use of resources. I have tried to do so in the links above but am not surprised to see that few sharebacks are listed. They have tried to explain it but it takes a lot of effort.

Denise Young at the University of North Carolina provides a lesson that uses "thirty copies of the rubric for student writing". LearnNC takes a different approach to acknowledging use:

We want you to use our resources for teaching and learning! That's why we publish them. To make it easy for you, we now license most of our content under a Creative Commons BY/NC/SA license, version 2.5. When you see this icon:

Creative Commons Icon: Some Rights Reserved

you know that you are absolutely free to use the resources on that page in your classroom. In fact, you can use the resource for any non-commercial purpose whatsoever, so long as you attribute it to its creator.
They even provide a snippet of code that makes it easy to acknowledge their contributions to shared resources: Learning wants to be free

Let's find ways to build this into our work, too.

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