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.