A fundamental goal of the Academies of Nashville is to instill a life-long interest in learning and education in the Nashville community. The Internet has opened up many new channels by which people can access information and improve their understanding of the world. March 5–10, 2012 is the first Open Education Week, a celebration of freely accessible educational resources available on the Web. The event has been put together by Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that provides the legal infrastructure for intellectual property to be shared, used, and altered for educational purposes.
Open Education Resources are a great tool that teachers and students in the Academies of Nashville can use to enhance real-world learning. Below is a list of some of the major resources available on the Web on a wide variety of subjects. You can find information about other education resources at the Creative Commons Education Project.
The Khan Academy site allows students to view videos on many subjects, complete practice exercises, and take assessments to learn more about their mastery of the subject.
The Khan Academy offers over 1800 instructional videos covering everything from basic algebra to advanced chemistry, biology, and even the current day banking crisis. While working at an investment fund, Salman Khan started tutoring his younger cousins in his spare time by creating and posting videos to YouTube. As the videos grew in popularity, the Khan Academy was born. 200,000+ students use the site each month, and all videos are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, with some already translated into Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, and more.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes course content from over 200 of its courses available through the Open Courseware project. This idea has spread to hundreds of universities and institutions of higher learning worldwide. The Open Courseware Consortium organizes information about these resources in a single location.
Textbooks and other learning materials can be very costly. The CK-12 Foundation makes available subject-area content that aligns with curriculum standards for grades K through 12.
The CK-12 Foundation addresses the growing costs of textbooks and the closed, outdated medium in which they are available. Focusing specifically on textbooks for K-12 schools, the nonprofit works with states and institutions to build web-based, collaborative “flexbooks” that are free to use and adapt via CC BY-NC-SA. The CK-12 Foundation is a major contributor to the California Free Digital Textbooks Initiative, a CA initiative that aligns open textbooks to state standards.
The books on this site are known as Flexbooks because they can be rearranged and altered to fit the specific needs of a school, class, or teacher.