LIFE OpenContentLuxembourg International Foundation for Education
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“From theory to practice:
Making open content work in education”

Open content, coined by analogy to open source, describes any kind of creative work (for example, articles, pictures, audio, video, etc.) that is published under a non-restrictive copyright license and format that explicitly allows the copying of the information. (An example is the GNU Free Documentation License, which is used by Wikipedia and Nupedia.) “Open content" is also sometimes used to describe content that can be modified by anyone. Of course, this is not without prior review by other participating parties -- but there is no closed group like a commercial encyclopedia publisher which is responsible for all the editing. (Definition taken from a Wikipedia-article; it is licensed under the GNU FDL, which means that you can copy and modify it as long as the entire work remains under this license)

LIFE OpenContent is a project launched by LIFE Research & Consult. It is an initiative by practitioners interested in open content and education which explores the potential, impact and pitfalls of applying the open content paradigm to education in school, vocational training and university settings. This is neither a debating club, nor an academic exercise, but rather about solving the nitty, gritty, “uncool” problems that hinder the real-world success of open content in education. We want to see open content rolled out into schools and universities.
The implementation of our aims grounds on the premise that open
access is a central prerequisite for allowing a great number of people to profit of a broad panoply of education and training materials. Further, to support the possibility to adapt these works to (increasingly) varying realities, the modifiability of the content is an important aspect, too, within the definition of open content that fits the interests of LIFE OpenContent.

This website is meant to provide a general introduction to the open content paradigm, and to present some of the challenges it encounters in real-life settings, all by focusing on education. To this end, we have collected articles and ressources that will introduce open content to any reader unfamiliar with it. Furthermore, we have identified a number of key issues that need to be solved in a reality-compatible way before open content can become the big success story in education which we believe it ought to be.

Our key issues so far are:

Content Formats -- Licenses -- Quality Control -- Business Models

As LIFE OpenContent is intended as a touchstone for bringing together people out of different scopes of experience, we encourage and welcome any kind of contribution to the project. The TWiki platform is being used as the area of practical implementation of the open content concept; therein, we want to boost and encourage sharing of educational content. The TWiki platform meanwhile also serves as the platform of exchange about critical open content issues, and is being evaluated as to its open content quality control mechanisms.back to top

Content formats
Quality Control
Business Models
Org Change

Luxembourg International Foundation for Education 

Copyright © 2003 LIFE Research & Consult GmbH
Last update:Monday, November 17, 2003