Much of the intellectual property of Becta, whose website was closed in the Coalition Government’s public sector cutbacks, has found its way onto the recently redeveloped E-learning Centre website (www.e-learningcentre.co.uk) – as ‘the Becta Collection (http://www.e-learningcentre.co.uk/Resources/Becta_Collection).
Of course, this is not the only place where Becta material is now to be found. The Becta website is in the National Archives (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/webarchive/atoz.htm#b) and the Department of Education is hosting Becta’s official legacy repository (http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/procurement/ict/a0073825/becta). There is also the Becta research legacy at http://www.ioe.ac.uk/services/49060.html
Of course, the Becta research archive has been released under the new open government licence and, as such, is freely available for anyone to reuse, repurpose and share as long as they meet the terms of the licence including displaying details of the licence terms with the materials. The licence details can be found at:
David Patterson, the operations director of Learning Light, the Sheffield-based organisation which promotes the use of e-learning and learning technologies and owns the E-learning Centre website, which regularly attracts up to 100,000 ‘hits’ a month, commented: “Over the years, Becta has amassed a great deal of valuable research and opinion articles in the field of education and learning technologies. We feel that this information is a valuable resource for all those involved in the learning sector, both in the corporate world and academia. So, we now host all of this information on the E-learning Centre website and it is, of course, free to use.”
Comment: So, Becta’s legacy has been multiplied – some fourfold at least – within weeks of its demise. This gives everyone – not least the British taxpayer who funded Becta’s operations – much easier access to the results of all that expenditure. That has to be a really good thing. Doesn’t it?