Friday, September 30, 2011

I am copyrighting every single word in this post. Please see me for permission to say any one of these words in the future.

Another great day getting pushed to the limit… I’ve been working on my copyright presentation – any of the rest of you in the same boat? Seriously, I don’t know who made the time chart on the full course syllabus, but I think they should re-examine that… 120 minutes of research? Really? The first link had an hour webinar embedded into it. There’s the first hour of research right there… the webinar had multiple videos embedded into it that were not part of that hour. It was great stuff, but 120 minutes was quite the conservative estimate.

Also, there was some conflicting information in the webinar too. The guy (Wes Fryer) was really pushing Creative Commons – which I’ve been pushing as well. But when talking about copyright, he mentioned how the law changed in the 80s so that created works are automatically copyrighted, even if you don’t take it and make it official. So, essentially you need permission for anything – which is why on Flickr he suggest you use the attribution license when choosing pictures to use in presentations, etc… But someone at the end of the session asked if teachers could print out pictures they found on the web, or if they would have to be a 1:1 school and let all the students look at them online. He said they’d be on safe legal ground to print them out and distribute them. Sound conflicting to you? It did to me. If anybody wants to comment on thoughts about that, I’d love to hear what you think. I’M TALKING TO YOU CLIX! I just hope I get an A on the assignment.  (He muses aloud, aware that his prof may or may not be reading this...)

Thanks for letting me rant. Mwahahahahahah… you (collective) have so little control over what I say. (But, I’m going to address the prompt right... now…)

Am I prepared for 21st century learning? Sheesh… maybe the question should be “Is the 21st century prepared for 21st century learning?” I’m as prepared as the next guy without being Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or some TED presenter. I use various tech media when presenting material to students. I’m excited about the prospect of becoming a 1:1 school. (Probably not this year, or the next… but I’m sure it will happen while I’m a teacher here.) I’m continually learning and exploring ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. I’m prepared, but definitely not over-prepared.

Do my students leave my classroom equipped for success using 21st century skills? My students leave my classroom as 7th graders, so probably not. Although, I believe they’re leaving with more skills than when they came in. We use problem identification/solving skills, and critical thinking skills every day. We are constantly creating and evaluating. Are they prepared? Probably not. Like so manyof the videos we watched for this course said: we’re training them for jobs that don’t even exist yet. Are they more prepared than when they entered? Indubitably.

My strengths are exploring and getting students to look at issues critically from varied perspectives. I’m good at using the technology I’m comfortable with, and exploring new technologies. My weakness lies in incorporating technology I’m uncomfortable with into the classroom. With limited time, it’s easy to rely on what has worked as long as it’s still working. We all know the old maxim: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yet, just because something’s not broken doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.


  1. Phil -

    You need to look at the difference between COPYRIGHT and FAIR USE. Basically, if it's something the student could access on his/her own (without paying for it), you're fine to copy it and pass it out and have them keep the copy. That's fair use, even when the material is copyrighted (like a political cartoon).

    However, fair use doesn't cover distribution of an entire major work - you can't make a classroom set of the full run of Calvin and Hobbes, for example.

    Rule of thumb? Don't be a jerk. ;)

    Also, I'm going to PM you a couple of links. I want you to see what my students are doing. Check your goodreads! :D

  2. See, it's still kind of ambiguous. Students could access the full run of Calvin and Hobbes for free... you can find them all on the internet... (at least you used to be able to... there's that one cartoon site that sends out a toon a day, and they have them all cateloged...) but Fair Use doesn't cover that. Also, they had the guidelines for Fair Use that I read about when I was an undergrad (which, judging from your avatar is since you have...) and now they're saying those guidelines are inaccurate. (What is 10% of a work? Is a work an album? Song?...) The key thing I learned from my research though, was "don't live in fear..." and "no U.S. teacher has ever been sued for copyright violation and claimed Fair Use."

    I'll check out those links when I get home, assuming my wife and kids have abandoned me for abandoning them for so long...

  3. Inaccurate? Or do you mean "not current"? And you can't publish the whole run of C&H cuz that covers books that've been published. Songs count as works, BUT if you remix the song or create a mashup it gives you a bit more play.

  4. Uggg... I'm so annoyed. I can't access the goodreads inbox from school, and I can't access my blog from home. It freezes up my entire computer so that nothing (including Ctrl Alt Delete) works.

    I think that "not current" and "inaccurate" might be the same thing in this case. If it's no longer current, I'd say it's no longer accurate.

    When are you bringing the carnival back? I'm excited about the prospect of being a contributor rather than just an observer.

  5. BTW - here's what I said over on GR

    It wasn't that tough, but I'd tried it out last year with my English classes so I had an idea of what I wanted to do and how to set it up. Beyond some troubleshooting - some computers like Firefox, others prefer Safari, as you can see by the highlighted text on the journalism main page - things have been pretty smooth.

    The most challenging part is making sure that my directions are clear enough for teenagers to follow without breaking the site. ;D

    I don't think we're breaking FERPA - I was VERY careful to tell the students not to use last names or other identifying details. You'll notice that the logins are first-name, last-initial.

    I didn't get any permissions; if you go to one of the pages and look at the upper right-hand corner, you should see a link that says 'Create a workspace' or something like that. ***MAKE SURE YOU CLICK THAT IT'S AN EDUCATION ONE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY.*** Decide on what name you want for it (I'm somewhat regretting the name of the JRL site, because it names the HS) and then just go from there. The process is pretty straightforward.

    One of the things I love about it is that I can create a set of student accounts without having to have an email address for everyone. Once you've got the site, go to the Users tab, click the 'Add users' or 'Add more users' button on the upper left, and then click 'create accounts for your students' (it's highlighted). It then automates everything and gives you a list of everyone's username and password. When it asks you to print, I find it helps to save that document as a PDF (I have too many papers to keep track of as it is). But you can always reset someone's password if you need to.

    Lemme know if you have other Qs.