What is open education?

Open Education Week defines open education in this way:

Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide. Open Education combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st century technology to create a vast pool of openly shared educational resources, while harnessing today’s collaborative spirit to develop educational approaches that are more responsive to learner’s needs.

What is an open educational resource (OER)

This broad definition of OERs from OER Commons seems to be generally accepted by most educators working on this topic:

‘Open educational resources are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.’

What “open educational resources” projects may be relevant to historic preservation?

  • What are the criteria we are using for this review?
  • How is this review organized?
  • What are the open education resources that are relevant to this project?

What existing materials are available for adaptaion into open educational resources (OERs)?

We have started gathering these resources into a series of Google Spreadsheets. The links will be added shortly along with suggestions for how you can add to our resource directory.

  • National Park Service Publications
  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Publications
  • General Services Administration Publications
  • Creative Commons licensed materials from preservation professionals

Additional Background

Guide to Open Licensing – Open Definition

  • What is an open license? A license is a document that specifies what can and cannot be done with a work (whether sound, text, image or multimedia). It grants permissions and states restrictions. Broadly speaking, an open license is one which grants permission to access, re-use and redistribute a work with few or no restrictions.
  • Why use an open license? Works that are published without an explicit license are usually subject to the copyright laws of the jurisdiction they are published in by default. Open licenses enable creators to allow more freedom in what others can do with their works.
  • How can I apply an open license? Applying an open license to a work can be very straightforward. The procedure may slightly vary depending on which license is selected.

See also: Guide to Open Data Licensing

Documentation – Open GLAM

  • Research: In this section you will find reports and research papers published by a variety of people and organisations on various aspects of open data and open content in cultural heritage including its impact and value.
  • Guides: In this section you will find guides to help you understand basic legal and technical concepts relating to open cultural data and content.
  • Tools and other resources: In this section you will find tools and resources, including webpages that give you more information on the copyright term for specific jurisdictions and Wiki pages with other links.
  • Exemplary Open Licensing Policies: A number of organisations and institutions have put together exemplary open licensing policies for their content and/or data. We know that these can serve as useful examples for people exploring the possibility of introducing similar policies within their institutions.


Models for Open Education

Preservation and Open Licensing

Historic Columbus uses a conventional “All rights reserved” license for most content but does use a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives for two publications:

  • The Architectural Styles of Our Town: Columbus, GA
  • A Historic Tour of Our Town, Columbus, GA Coloring Book

Friends of Classic Las Vegas use a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5) on all of the content on their website.

Strong Towns make their website available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Preservapedia is a free-content encyclopedia and knowledge base focused specifically on technical material related to cultural resource management and its allied fields that uses a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Additional Reading/Resources