Archive: School of Open

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Website (beta):

Follow #schoolofopen hashtag on social media

This page also available as a handout (pdf)


The School of Open will provide online educational resources and professional development courses on the meaning and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and beyond. Individuals and organizations will learn how to use free technology and tools, such as Creative Commons licenses, to achieve their goals. Participants will also learn how to overcome barriers they run into everyday due to legal or technical restrictions.


Universal access to and participation in research, education, and culture is made possible by openness, but not enough people know what it means or how to take advantage of it. We hear about Open Source Software, Open Educational Resources, and Open Access… But what are these movements, who are their communities, and how do they work? Most importantly—how can they help me?

Learning about “open.”

The School of Open will offer courses on the meaning and application of “open” on the web and in offline environments. Courses will be powered by mentors and learners like you, and will be organized into study groups that leverage free and open resources and tools for collaboration. Artists, educators, learners, scientists, archivists, and other creators already improve their fields via the use of open tools and materials. So can you. A long-term objective for the School of Open is to offer certification on the skills learned, so that you can help others take full advantage of what the digital age has to offer. Current courses include Teach someone something with open content and Get CC Savvy.

Who is involved?

The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, an active peer learning platform and community for developing and running free online courses. Volunteers, individual creators and organizational representatives, can design courses for peer learning in study groups or for facilitation by a subject expert.

Get Involved

There are many ways you can get started. Here are a few:

Running the School of Open openly

In the spirit of all it encompasses, the School of Open is being run as an open community project—which means that everything is being documented openly, decisions are made transparently, and the community has input in making those decisions. Here a few of the things we are doing to ensure maximum openness:

  • Holding an open community call once a month for those working on courses or who want to shape the future of the project
  • Public discussion at (join here)
  • Enabling collaborative editing and feedback on core documents using etherpads, including:
  • Documenting all progress at the P2PU blog
  • Tracking all tasks and projects on a public Trello board
  • Adding all events to a public Google calendar

Questions or comments?

Join the discussion list and send a note to It’s Open!

If you have a private question, email the Project Manager at janepark at creativecommons dot org.


September 2011

  • CC Global Summit: Concept for a School of Open gains support from CC Affiliates and Summit participants as part of the CC Education Strategy Workshop.

November 2011

June 2012

  • Initial Call for Participation: Announced on the CC blog, the CC affiliates mailing list, P2PU and CC community mailing lists, other open/free culture mailing lists, and broadcast via CC and P2PU social media channels.
  • CC Africa Regional Meeting: Discussion on School of Open held at CC's first regional meeting in Africa. Initial interest in the project, but no immediate capacity for involvement yet.

July 2012

  • School of Open working meeting: Part P2PU's month-long pop-up office in Berlin. Project Manager and P2PU community members start mapping and developing some key components of the School over two weeks. Events: Virtual sprint (24 July), School of Open challenges workshop (26 July), Open Web Challenges Hackjam w/Mozilla (28 July).
    • 4 participants committed to develop 7 courses in Open Licensing and Education from this meeting.

August 2012

  • Development of School and course structures

September 2012

  • Three courses ready for testing: (1) Teach someone something with open content; (2) Teach someone something with open content, part 2; (3) Get CC Savvy
  • School of Open breakout at CC Staff In-Town-Week: Intro to School of Open and P2PU course structure, with a large group brainstorm around the most common misconceptions staff run into when talking to people about CC. In small groups, staff found resources to address six common misconceptions shared those resources. The resulting resources and list of misconceptions will inform CC related courses at School of Open going forward.
  • Open Knowledge Festival and CC Europe Regional Meeting: OKFestival’s Open Research and Education track includes an “Open Peer Learning: School of Open and School of Data” workshop to engage the OKFN, CC, and European open communities. It will take place right before the CC Europe regional meeting to allow CC affiliates to participate. (Blog post)
  • Course development in collaboration with various stakeholders and community

October 2012

  • Convening on the Open Policy Institute and School of Open: School of Open and Open Policy Institute convening to get key community representatives from the various “open” sectors on board and involved. CC is organizing and hosting all logistics and content of this meeting. (Blog post)
    • 9 participants committed to develop courses in open education, open policies, and open GLAM/culture from this meeting.
  • Open Ed Conference: Creative Commons will present School of Open during a closing plenary session and pitchfest to recruit interested initiatives and individuals interested in creating and running courses on "open".
    • __ participants committed to develop __ courses in Open _____ from this conference.
  • Course development in collaboration with various stakeholders and community

November 2012

  • 2012 Mozilla Festival: Making, Freedom, and the Web: Thanks to the success of the School of Open workshops in Berlin, Mozilla has invited us to lead a similar workshop at their annual festival in London. This will be an optimal time to debut progress from Berlin through the October meeting.
    • __ participants committed to develop __ courses in Open _____ from the festival.
  • CC Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting: Discussion and/or workshop on School of Open at this meeting (led by CC’s Global Network Manager) to catalyze affiliate involvement.
  • CC Latin America Regional Meeting: Workshop on School of Open at this meeting to catalyze affiliate involvement.
  • Course development in collaboration with various stakeholders and community
  • Summit on Open Strategies: CC Germany's lead will lead a session on School of Open at the summit in Berlin. Wikimedian in Residence in Open Science will help facilitate.

December 2012

  • Creative Commons celebrates the 10th anniversary of its license suite!
  • Course development in collaboration with various stakeholders and community

January and February 2013

  • Mapping skills and corresponding badges
  • Design of badges and related School branding

March 2013

11 March launch date

  • Launch of 5 courses facilitated by 5 launch partners