Berritzegune Nagusia

Web Search Matters (II): Open Educational Resources

Sunshine Connelly

HBI–Hezkuntza Baliabide Irekien gaineko hausnarketa oinarritzat harturik, postak interneta tajuz erabilteko bitartekoak batzen ditu: besteak beste, argazki, podcast eta bideo errepositorioak. Baliabideak atontzeko Pearltree bat erakusten du.

El post se basa en una reflexión sobre REA–Recursos Educativos Abiertos y reúne medios para utilizar la red adecuadamente: entre otros, repositorios de fotos, podcasts y vídeos. Propone un Pearltree para ir ordenando todos los recursos.

Whereas we strongly believe in OER (Open Educational Resources) and as Eben Moglen states in the following video are aware that

the word theft” is being applied “to what previously had been known as learning [1]

and that the intellectual Property System has been perverted, we also defend the importance of protecting the hard work others do and think our students have to learn which sources they can use freely and which ones cannot be used according to the current copyright laws.

Indeed, not everything can be taken from the Internet and be reproduced or used, specially if no reference to its author is made. We teach in a foreign language which means that very frequently we look for resources in countries ruled by a different copyright law other than the local one. Then, which copyright law are we bound by?

Let’s set an example, I wanted to include this picture (I hyperlink it here because I understand that by doing so I respect the author’s copyright) in my next post in order to illustrate “plagiarism”. Although according to my humble understanding of the current Spanish Intellectual Property Law I could have done so, there would be different ways to interpret it (read Pompilo’s thought provoking Derechos de autor en las aulas virtuales and Uso de materiales con derechos de autor en educación). Be it as it may in the Spanish State, the holder of the copyright (USA citizen) argues I couldn’t use it because educational purposes don’t fall under fair use. Should I accept that and have a look at the Educator’s Guide to Copyright and Fair Use which is based on the Copyright law of the United States of North America? The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) states in its first basic principle that

Works originating in one of the contracting States (that is, works the author of which is a national of such a State or works which were first published in such a State) must be given the same protection in each of the other contracting States as the latter grants to the works of its own nationals (principle of “national treatment”) [2]

As both the USA and Spain signed the Convention, I understand that I should follow the Spanish one and COULD finally use Parisi’s cartoon. Hmmmm… I could but bearing in mind that the author doesn’t want me to do so, I shouldn’t.

Our students are at school now but will leave it soon. Then, no educational exceptions will apply when they need to borrow others’ creations. So, how can we help them reuse and remix respectfully and efficiently? Where can students find all the documents they need for their assignments or presentations now and once they’ve finished studying (although you never do, do you)? Besides, where can we look for ready-to-use resources to prepare our lessons, design our webquests and treasure hunts or build our internet site?

And what about licensing the resources we all create? Can we contribute to creating Free Cultural Works by choosing an Attribution or an Attribution-Share Alike license by means of Creative Commons?

A previous post, Seaching the Net gathered several hints on how to narrow queries and assess the reliability of web sites. Now, find hanging from the Pearltree below several open repositories of books, images, clipart, videos, courses and software as well as information about the Public Domain, Free Cultural Works and the Commons which can help students gain an insight in their learning to learn skills and their digital literacy.

[1] Moglen, Eben. “The System of Ownership of Ideas.” clo­sure con­fer­ence of the Mas­ter on In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­er­ty. International Training Centre. ILO Turin Conference Centre, Turin. 17 Dec. 2004. Lecture.
[2] “Summary of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886).” WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. <>

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