One of the great features of the Learning Renaissance has been the drive by government and museums to place their online resources in the public domain for free use by students and teachers.
The previous barrier to this had been the thorny issue of copyright. In a digital age copyright, as record and video producers have found, has failed to keep up with the potential of new learning technologies, resulting in copyright infringements which have cast the viability of the industry in its current form in some doubt. Fortunately, wiser counsel has prevailed in learning and a new category of copyright, entitled the CREATIVE COMMONS can be used for educational establishments and museums to retain copyright of materials while granting the right for educational establishments and learners to use and repurpose materials through learning technologies like the interactive whiteboard and the internet. The caveat is that they must not use the re-purposed assets for commercial gain.
Effectively, this means that education receives free access to premier resources, without resorting to the practice of yesteryear… the furtive making of 30 photocopies from a single textbook (Shame on us all!) Increasingly, even commercial collections are being added to the creative commons fold.
The entire Pathe News archive of scenes from Britain from about 1896 until 1984 has been made available: British Pathe
This post celebrates the addition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Collection Online