Sunday, December 18, 2011

Copyright & Fair Use

As students are creating more and more digital media, the question of using other people's material often comes up. There seems to be great confusion or disagreement on this topic. I'm of the belief that the explanation most often given to students is incorrect; that if you took someone else's music, video or images from Internet or YouTube then that's violating copyright law. I think the Fair Use doctrine applies to most student work and should be something they understand and consider.
"You can use copyrighted materials to create something that’s new—something that’s transformed into an entirely different work. transformativeness” is when a work has been changed (using fair use) and value has been added to the original. For example, a parody transforms the original. Be sure to follow fair use and Creative Commons."
Use the criteria listed below to decide if the copying is a fair use. All must be met...
  • Purpose and character of the use (nonprofit, educational, etc.)
  •  Nature of the copyrighted work (factual, creative, published,etc.)
  •  Amount to be copied in relation to the whole
  •  Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the work
Here is a nice InfoGraphic on Copyright and Fair Use

Blog Envy

I often come across educational blogs that makes me wonder why I have a blog at all because what they have to say and share is beyond what I could ever come up with. Stump the Teacher is one that I found this morning by Josh Stumpenhorst a language arts teacher from Chicago.
His recent posting is a tutorial on a Chrome Extension and TweetDeck something I will be giving a try this week.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Google Tips

Yesterday's  U-32 Google Apps miniWorkshops were quite successful; Intro to Google Apps, Google Mail/Contacts and Google Forms were all offered as options. We plan on continuing with these after the holiday break, stay tuned for more information. 

Google is continually adding and improving on their many applications, here are a few which you may find useful in your classroom or for your own personal productivity. 
  • You can now save all of your Chrome Browser settings, favorite bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, etc... and access them from any computer. Google Chrome Blog: Get your personal Chrome experience on all your devices:
  • Multiple Google Accounts using Chrome (beta)...
    • With today’s Stable channel release, you can now add new users to Chrome. Adding new users lets you each have your own personal Chrome experience, and lets you each sign in to Chrome to sync your stuff. To add a new user to Chrome, go to Options (Preferences on a Mac), click “Personal Stuff,” and click “Add new user.” Check out our latest Beta blog post for a few quick tips. (from Google Chrome Blog)
  • Google Stock Photos  Google has added an option for  "Stock Photos" and made it available for Google Docs, Presentations (the new version) and Google Spreadsheets. A handy way to quickly get clip art type images. As a person who generally dislikes most clip art, the images here are not bad. I find the choice to select images from Picasa a better option as it allows classrooms/schools to create and share their own "stock photos." Why not have students draw, scan, photograph their own artwork as stock photos and upload them to a Picasa Album and share with the school or district? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Living in Two Worlds

I've been living in two words for the past few years as we have both Exchange/Microsoft products and Google Apps for Education. While I'm very happy just living in the clouds with Google schools in our district aren't ready to go there. I have been constantly trying to keep two calendars going but often find that I either double book with teachers or just lose them in the space between the cloud and the school's server room. Now I found a nice fix which will sync my two worlds.

GoogleAppsCentral's Blog

New York’s Comic Con`11: Graphic Arts Meets Popular Culture

New York’s Comic Con`11: Graphic Arts Meets Popular Culture

An impressive report from Sasha one of our 9th grade U-32 students who took the initiative and used her 21st century skills to become a published journalist.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome to Teaching Channel! - YouTube

Welcome to Teaching Channel! - YouTube:

YouTube's new Teaching Channel provided rich educational content, you can subscribe to this channel and receive notification whenever they upload new videos. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Digital Learning Framework

One of my favorite EdTech Sites is The Committed Sardine which finds and redistributes well written and relevant Blog articles on educational technology. This article on Digital Learning by Andrew Churches is a nice framework.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

JAM Program Overview Video

How can we shift to teaching to the 21st Century Literacies?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

mccarthyu32 Tweet Cloud 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

GAE Deployment

Apps User Group:

This site is an amazing resource for schools that have or are thinking about deploying Google Apps for Education.

Embedding a Google Group into a Google Site

Google Tech Tip: Embedding a Google Group into a Google Site
Do you have a Google Group and a Google Site and find it messy to have students going back and forth. Here is a way to keep your online discussion inside your classroom website. (Note: always use Chrome as your Browser when using Google Apps)
  1. Create a new page on your class website.
  2. With the editor open,
    1. select Insert, 
    2. more Gadgets,
    3. search for and select Google Groups Discussion Forum by Google, Inc.Gadget for embedding a single Google Group within a site.
    4. select it
    5. paste the url of your Google Group into the url box
    6. click "OK"
  3. Your Google Group will work directly from your Google Classroom website

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm always astonished that when we address 21st century skills we are most always looking at "students" and tend to ignore our own skills and understanding of being a successful learners in the 21st century. Once again, The Committed Sardine has provided us with a fine article addressing...

Five Characteristics of an Effective 21st-Century Educator by Meris Stansbury.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

PhotoPeach Slideshow

If you want to create a simple photo slideshow PhotoPeach offers a free or pro version to easily add images and audio tracks with built in copyright free sound tracks or upload your own and options to upload images from your computer or pull them from your Facebook or Picasa accounts. One feature I really like is the ability to add a "Quiz" box to an image, this allows you to add a simple multiple choice question to an image.

DNA on PhotoPeach

My Backyard on PhotoPeach

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The 21st Century Fluency Project

A well written and designed website that looks like a useful resource for 21st century learning.  I've been a follower of The Committed Sardine blog for sometime and this site expands upon that philosophy and richness of information.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Data Visualization Tools by Jeff Clark

Scrolling through my daily Diigo feed this morning, I came across the link to Jeff Clark's Portfolio which is an amazing list of java applications he has created and shared "Most of them are interactive and allow you to explore some data or create an interesting image." 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Google Docs App on Android

Now I truly have a complete computer in my pocket after installing the Google Docs App to my Android Phone.  Works well and the added benefit is that I can use Google Speak to enter text so I don't have to type on the tiny key board. Great potential for Special Ed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Avatar Editor

I am often in need of an avatar for a profile in one account or another. I also suggest that younger students use an avatar as an alternative to their own image. Many of the avatar creator sites are full of commercial advertising and not something I'd want to use with students. My Avatar Editor seems pretty straight forward and you don't need to create an account, just start creating and download the final image to your computer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Google Apps for ePortfolios

I've been doing a lot of research and thinking about using our Google Apps as a platform for student ePortfolios. Dr. Helen Barrett has been an expert on Portfolios for a long time, and is a proponent of using Google Apps for ePortfolios, her E-Portfolios for Learning Blog is a valuable resource. Her reference to work being done in New Zealand is particularly interesting. The  Manaiakalani  school's vision and initiative to "engages all students (not just a select few) throughout the literacy cycle" and provide technology to support that work through a 1:1 project is inspiring. Their model for a 1:1 initiative has sound pedagogy, as well as a thorough implementation plan. They are using Google Apps as their main learning platform to communicate and collaborate. 

WCSU teachers, if you are interested in helping plan an ePortfolio system using Google Apps, please contact me. I hope this is something we can develop together.