School of Open

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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 P2PU and Creative Commons, a globally focused nonprofit dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. 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:
      A draft philosophy for the School
      Draft guidelines for determining what is and is not a School of Open course
      Evolving course review process for getting it featured
  • Documenting all progress at the P2PU blog
  • Adding all events to a public Roadmap and 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 schoolofopen [at]

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