Creative Commons has announced the launch of DiscoverEd, a search engine of “open” educational resources. Open as in as having a CC or other license that makes them more available for use. DiscoverEd is available in beta at http://discovered.creativecommons.org.
The materials in the search engine were not gathered from an open Web crawl; rather they were assembled from third-party repositories like the Open Courseware Consortium and the National Science Digital Library. This means that you won’t get as many results from a general search (and that it’s generally okay to do a more general search) and that the results have somewhat better details.
I did a search for physics. Information about the search results was in German (huh?) but the results themselves were in English. Results include the title of the result, a brief summary, education level (which I wish had been more helpful; I didn’t see any levels that were grade- or age- specific) and sometimes information about usage license. Some of the data fields have magnifying glasses next to them; click on the magnifying glass next to an entries field and you’ll get a refined list of results whose information that field matches the one you clicked. For example, I could click on the magnifying glass next to a CC-BY license and get only those results that had a listed CC-BY license (an attribution license.)
Actually considering where this material was gathered from I’m very surprised there were not listings with licenses included. I think this just might be an issue of metadata not being complete or properly indexed. When I did a more specific search (for momentum) there were more results with CC licenses on the front page, and when I did a level-based search (kindergarten) I also got a pretty good number of results with CC licenses.
There is some gunk in the search results (moved pages, indexes, etc.) but not much. There’s an RSS feed icon at the bottom of the search results but when I tried to use it I got an error. The summaries and resource titles are good, and I found all my searches got plenty of results. A nice education resource search, though of course I’d love more metadata.