Friday, October 8, 2010

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright is a resource for kids produced by the Library of Congress. Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright is intended to help elementary school students understand the purposes and functions of copyright.

There are four sections to Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright. The first section, Copyright Exposed, features a short cartoon that explains how copyright protects artists. Files on Record, the second section, chronicles important historical developments in copyright law. The third section, Reading the Fine Print, answers common questions and addresses common myths about copyright laws. The last section, Steps to Copyright, instructs students on registering their own works for copyright protection.

Applications for Education
Copyright can be a difficult subject for some students to understand. That said, in a world filled with digital media, it is very important for students to learn how copyright affects them. Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright could be a great resource for introducing elementary school students to the regulations and rights associated with copyright.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Comprehensive Lesson Plans for Teaching Copyright
Creative Thinking - Lessons About Copyright
Copyright for Educators

Collaborative Whiteboard Scribblar Adds Flickr

Scribblar, a collaborative whiteboard tool, has recently made two significant enhancements to its service. First, Scribblar now has an equation editor built into the toolbar. Second, Scribblar has added the option to add images from Flickr to your whiteboard screen. To add images simply click the "fr" button under "assets" to search for Creative Commons licensed images and add them to your whiteboard.

Here's a quick overview of Scribblar that I wrote last winter:
Using Scribblar, users can collaborate on the creation and editing of images and drawings. If you have an image you can upload it to your whiteboard where you and others can edit it or comment on it. The commenting can take place directly on the whiteboard or in one of two side bar chat options. Users can chat in text or in voice.

Applications for Education
Scribblar's new equation editor could enable users to give short mathematics tutorials online in real-time. The new Flickr search option could be useful for editing images and creating interesting slides for multimedia presentations.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Scriblink - Your Online Collaborative Whiteboard
Scribblar - Simple, Effective, Creative Collaboration
Postica - Collaborative Sticky Notes

Coronation of the Last Czar

I know that I've mentioned it before, but it's worth repeating that Open Culture is one of the most interesting blogs I subscribe to. Today, Open Culture posted video footage of the coronation of Russia's last czar Nicholas II. Watch the video below.

There was a time when I was doing a lot of reading on Russian history and the history of the Soviet Union. Two the most interesting books I found on the topics and still have in my bookshelves are The Soviet Experiment and Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia.

AP Timeline Reader - News Timelines

The AP Timeline Reader is a new experimental tool developed by the Associated Press. The Timeline Reader is intended to give readers a way to create custom timeline displays of the type of news stories that matter to them. AP gives you ten news categories to pick to display on your timeline. You can select all ten categories, just one category, or a number in between. Once you've made your selections, news stories will be displayed on your timeline. Place your cursor over a story to enlarge it and read it. You can also place it in a que to read later.

Applications for Education
The AP Timeline Reader could be a nice visual way for students to browse for news stories that appeal to them.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Week in Rap - Fun News Summaries
Ten by Ten - Visual Links to World News

Review the News With the CNN Challenge

Book TV - Authors Talking About Their Works

Book TV is a production of C-Span 2. Book TV features non-fiction authors talking about their works and the subjects of their works. For example, you could watch Philippa Strum talking about her book Mendez v. Westminster: School Desegregation and Mexican-American Rights or watch an interview with Ken Follett talking about his book Fall of Giants. You can watch the talks on the Book TV site or browse C-Span's Book TV YouTube channel.

Applications for Education
As professional educators part of our responsibilities is to continue learning and gathering information in our content areas. Browsing Book TV and hearing the authors of the books we read provides us with a way to go beyond the written word and get a bit more depth. So even though from a student's perspective Book TV probably doesn't host the most exciting or engaging videos, there is value in Book TV for educators.