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Scootle: Over 1600 Creative Commons licences resources freely available for all

Scootle, the national portal for digital teaching and learning resources, now has over 1600 resources that are licenced under Creative Commons (CC), with further resources being added over time. These resources are freely available from Scootle’s home page for all users: www.scootle.edu.au.


CC Licenced Materials

CC licences allow the creator of a work to select how they want others to use their work.  All CC licences allow works to be used for educational purposes.  As a result, teachers and students can freely copy, share and sometimes modify and remix a CC work without having to pay or seek the permission of the creator. 

Most CC resources on Scootle are licenced under a CC BY-SA licence.  This licence allows users to distribute, remix and build upon the work, and create derivative works – even for commercial purposes – as long as they:

  • attribute the original creators (and any other nominated parties); and
  • licence any new creations based on the work under the same terms (ie CC BY-SA).

Under Australian copyright laws, there are:

  • Copying limits:teachers are normally only able to use 10% of copyright material with very little ability to develop or alter the material (if at all).This means that you are usually only able to copy 10% from any literary work - ie a book or a website – and you must use the material as-is.This limitation also applies when uploading material to your school’s LMS – ie, if another teacher has 10% of a resource on your school’s LMS then you are not allowed to put up another 10% until the first 10% is taken down.Further complicating these limits are the different rules for different subject matter – ie different rules apply to how much you can copy from a book and how much of an image you may copy.
  • Access limits:access to copyright material must be restricted to centralised, password-protected ‘web portals’ maintained by the jurisdictions.This means that copyright material may not be put on wikis, the school’s website, or shared with parents or the community.
  • Distribution limits:copyright material must only be distributed (in hardcopy or electronically) to students and staff.This means copyright material cannot be shared with the world at large – ie a student’s work that incorporates copyright material cannot be put on YouTube, on the internet, onto iTunesU, etc.It must be kept behind a password-protected portal that’s only accessible by students and school staff.

With CC licenced resources, all of the above limitations are removed:

  • Teachers and schools can copy (print, scan, download, etc) and communicate (email, upload onto a LMS, display on an interactive whiteboard, etc) as much as they like, ie the entire resource, whenever they need.And not only can they copy, but they can also develop, change or remix the resource in any manner.
  • Material does not have to be kept behind a centralised, password-protected portal.It can be shared through any medium that teachers, students, parents, colleagues, and the world at large so chooses.
  • CC licenced material can be distributed to the world at large.It can be shared through social media, on a school’s website, YouTube, and in any other medium/to whomever the school, student, parent, etc. so desires.

CC licenced resources give significantly more freedom to do what you want with resources and it more accurately reflects what teachers are doing in the digital world today – distributing resources to the world at large; sharing resources and student work online; collaborating, remixing, and changing resources to reflect the needs of students and the school. 

Not only do CC licences allow teachers and students to do much more with resources, they also alleviate copyright compliance concerns and costs.  In 2011, Australian schools paid over $80 million in licensing fees to copyright collecting societies for the use of copyright materials in schools, under statutory and voluntary copyright licences.  As stated above, CC licenced resources allow teachers to freely copy and communicate copyright material for educational purposes without any restrictions, removing copyright compliance and cost concerns.

For additional information on CC licences see our website here:


CC Resources on Scootle

Many of the CC resources on Scootle are interactive.  For the resources licenced under CC this means teachers can put them up on an interactive whiteboard, upload them to their school’s learning management system and share them in any manner they chose with students, teachers and the world at large.  And they can do this all for absolutely no fees.

There is a direct link to the freely available CC resources on the front page of Scootle.

Scootle 1

 A close-up screenshot of the “Useful links” section:

Scootle 2

 Resource records in Scootle are indexed using the subject headings of the Schools Online Thesaurus and aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Below is a screenshot of just a few of the CC resources on Scootle:

Scootle 3
Scootle 4

Accessing Scootle

A large selection of CC licenced resources is able to be viewed without logging into Scootle, but logging in gives access to additional resources and tools.  All teachers in Australian schools and pre-service teachers at Australian universities are able to self-register and login directly on the Scootle website with their.edu.au email address. 

Some jurisdictions (Catholic Network Australia, NSW DEC, ACT Education and Training, and Tasmania Department of Education) have single sign-on through their Department of Education (DoE) portal, which allows them to log in to Scootle with their DoE username and password or, alternatively, select their jurisdiction’s logo within the login page.

If you have trouble accessing Scootle, check the FAQs or see the Contact Us page for assistance.

For additional information on Scootle visit http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home, or email help@scootle.edu.au.


For more information on Creative Commons licences and open education resources contact the National Copyright Unit on (02) 9561 1204 or at email