Microsoft have recently released an add-in to their Office suite that allows for easy integration of Creative Commons licensing.

This add-in enables you to embed a Creative Commons license into a document that you create using the popular applications: Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, or Microsoft Office Excel. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others.

Although this is an unsupported preview it does mark a significant development.

This may flag an interesting shift in the positioning of work creacted by students and teachers.  Several eChalkers already embrace the Creative Commons philosophy of sharing work – by including this as a feature of MSOffice there is the increased likelihood that PUBLISHING may be a more significant aspect of teaching/learning practices than it is today where the emphasis still seems to be on production.

The awareness of Creative Commons in the light of increased interest in podcasting and similar technologies may well generate increased insight into copyright and intellectual property issues.  I tend to find these areas are still largely ignored in classroom environments.

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