What we know

Why Open Content and Media Archives? Digitised collections, resources and media archives with open licences, offer teachers tremendous opportunities for bringing unique material to the classroom, not only for the purposes of illustration, but also as a resource to be used in a many different and creative ways. Some exciting projects and initiatives already exist around the world to make this type of material available to teachers, these will be featured in this toolkit, and new resources will be highlighted along with best practice in media archive use and re-use.
From NDSAM: Flickr Commons, No Known Copyright Restrictions

BackgroundThere has been a significant increase in the quantity and quality of open resources hosted in online media archives. We can attribute this to the increase in digitisation of cultural artefacts, Creative Commons and a growing global trend towards to openness using Creative Commons licences. This new digital landscape is providing innovative opportunities for learning and research

Some recent examples of this include the British Library making over one million images available in the Public Domain on Flickr Commons. By recognising the popularity of ‘archive’ social media platforms such as Historypin or Retronaut we can infer that there is a growing interest amongst the public for both historical and contemporary media content. This wiki will contend that open media archives have the potential to make a significant impact in education by providing quality content that students and teachers can employ safely and creatively.
This momentum in both availability of content and openness has been fostered by a growing awareness of, acceptance and implementation of Creative Commons and also the OpenGLAM (Open Libraries Galleries and Museums) movement. At the same time Social Media networks and blogs are beginning to pick up on this, raising awareness amongst a growing number of interested parties including educators working at all levels of education.
Computers, mobile image and audio capture devices allow open resources to be manipulated edited and transformed using software applications and most importantly, a growing number of online (Cloud) hosted tools running modern browsers. Such resources can be published and shared widely online through social media and online publishing tools and platforms.
Why Use Open Content?
  • Access and use original primary sources
  • Save money on resources, build rather than buy
  • Create your own resources including course materials and textbooks
  • Remix media without fear of copyright restrictions
  • Easily share and publish knowledge

Issues and considerations
Curriculum Because of the way our school system is structured, with a designated curriculum, the discovery of digital resources is unlikely to be a priority for schools in their curriculum planning. Teachers are busy with little ‘downtime’ for the playful exploration and research that the collections encourage. However if we can prove that British Library collections are relevant to educators at school level, and can enrich all areas of the curriculum, then that default position may change.
Photography Whilst many museums prohibit photography on copyright grounds, or in the interests of other museum visitors, there are a growing number of museums, (The National Gallery being the latest), that now allow, flashless), photography. This has potential for 'instant on-site' digitisation. The cultural landscape is changing as mobile image and audio capture devices available to most students and teachers change how they engage with museums, it provides great opportunities for original resources such as shots of objects from unusual angles, or detailed close ups of paintings and drawings.
Copyright and QualityThere are still many issues including Copyright and, sometimes, the media quality of some of the resources are not suitable for meaningful educational use. Some institutions are also concerned that their resources may be used inappropriately.
Using the Open Content Toolkit.The toolkit is not a 'completed' work, far from it, ...... but a starting point for exploring the educational possibilities of open content. Indeed some sections may not yet be as complete as others, but they are continually being revised. However I feel that there is enough here to encourage you join the community, contribute and share, which will be the real beginning. Get started here.
Theo Kuechel Oct 2014