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Ahrash Bissell

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Ahrash N Bissell, Ph.D. Executive Director, ccLearn Creative Commons 171 Second St, Suite 300 San Francisco CA 94105 ahrash at

I came to Creative Commons from Duke University (Durham, NC) where I was a Research Associate in Biology and the Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center. I received my BS in Biology in 1994 from UC San Diego, followed by a Ph.D. in Biology in 2001 from the University of Oregon, where I pursued research on animal behavior and evolutionary genetics. While I have continued an active research and teaching program in biology, the bulk of my time in recent years has been focused on educational research and technology, pedagogical and curriculum development, assessment (with a focus on critical-thinking skills and metacognition), and facilitating interdisciplinary research, especially via open dissemination, data sharing, and web-based â€œcommunities of expertise.â€

When Creative Commons launched their education division, called ccLearn, I leaped at the chance to really get into the trenches in terms of reducing the legal, technical, and cultural barriers to the opening up of educational resources and practices. Within the framework of open education, I am actively negotiating the interface of technology and the law, especially internationally, with special emphasis on methods of simplifying the process of engaging people in this movement.

A few updates:

Areas of specific interest in terms of tracks: - Online activism (and education) - IP - Net neutrality

I think there may need to be a separate track with a focus on education, outreach, and the ramifications of bottom-up movements to open up access to "social-contract" goods, such as formal educational materials. The expansion of the open education movement, in particular, brings a number of significant issues related to fair-use, copyright, minority rights and privacy, differences among international jurisdictions, and the role of the State in regulating educational access and attainment (i.e., degrees and other forms of formal recognition of educational background).