Made with Creative Commons by Paul Stacey and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson is a book about those who make possible the impossible: developing invaluable, world-class content — and sharing it for free. Released on May 5, this publication features TeachAids for creating free but valuable content for the world.
The free distribution of TeachAids materials is made possible by Creative Commons, an organization that helps individuals and organizations legally share their creations with the public. TeachAids owns an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license through Creative Commons, so anyone can distribute unchanged copies of the materials for noncommercial purposes, no questions asked.
Of course, delivering free TeachAids education worldwide would be impossible without monetary donations from corporate sponsors. But the magic of TeachAids really takes root within the staggering amounts of time, energy and commitment from our hundreds of volunteers from all corners of the globe.
Varied in background as well as expertise, dozens of leading interdisciplinary experts from institutions like Stanford University, programmers and design experts from tech giants, McKinsey consultants, dozens of celebrities, recording studios and animators have selflessly donated their time to TeachAids since it was founded in late-2009. More than 100 carefully selected Stanford students have served as TeachAids volunteers, some of whom were fully funded by their university to do so. TeachAids office space is even nestled within some of the most sought-after real estate in the country; its previous office location is located on the most expensive US street for office space in 2015, according to CNBC.
The diverse talents and resources that elevate TeachAids are only unified by their high esteem in their respective fields, and their dedication to providing free, quality education to those who need it most. Without this outpouring of generosity, TeachAids never could have generated materials for the countries that need them the most, the ones without the resources to sponsor us. And without a Creative Commons license, TeachAids materials never could have reached them as easily. Thus, both Creative Commons and our volunteers allow us to embrace the paradox that we are: a purveyor of high-quality education that asks nothing from its students.
Highlighted alongside TeachAids in Made with Creative Commons, the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is another oxymoronic example of high quality service at no cost to those served. Also harnessing the synergy between volunteer contributions and Creative Commons licensing, the Wikimedia Foundation has entrenched itself within the forefront of open access innovation with Wikipedia. Upheld by 75,000 volunteers improving articles monthly, Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that can be modified, expanded and accessed by all internet users. Neither TeachAids nor Wikipedia could create content without the selfless dedication of its supporters, and neither could scale to the audiences they reach without Creative Commons.
The open-access online academic journal Public Library of Science (PLOS) demonstrates yet another way to make the most of a Creative Commons license. Instead of charging readers a subscription fee as other journals do, PLOS charges the content funders and institutes of origin to publish their work on a forum accessible to all, multiplying their own opportunities for citations. Every month, 2 million scholars, scientists and clinicians can be found on PLOS. PLOS ONE, their trailblazing open-access peer-reviewed mega journal, is the biggest journal in the world.
While each has a unique method and a singular vision, these organizations all empower those they serve by holding their creations to the highest standards. They redefine not only how we learn, but how we understand what we’re worth.
Thank you, Creative Commons, for making these impossible dreams into irreplaceable realities.Other books that feature TeachAids include Insight Out by Tina Seelig, The Startup Star by Matt Cook and Jon Zhang, and Health Communication in the New Media Landscape.