Thursday, January 3, 2019

Copyright and Plagiarism in Blogging - What Can Be Done?

My plan for today didn't include writing about or making a video about copyright and plagiarism. However, this morning I found five blatant examples of websites republishing my entire blog posts without permission. The most annoying offender of all was the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University! So in a moment of frustration, I made this short video.

So what can I or anyone who finds his or her work republished without permission do about it? I outlined my process for doing that in the following videos that I made last year.

If you cannot see the videos, click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

I addressed a lot of FAQs about copyright and blogging in the following video.

A webinar about copyright.
Beth Holland and I hosted a free webinar in which we talked about copyright concerns that frequently appear in schools. As you can see the video of the webinar (embedded below) it was a casual conversation during which we shared some stories, fielded some questions, and shed some light on common misconceptions about copyright.

A Good Place to Find Movies in the Public Domain

As I wrote in my guide to using media in classroom projects, using public domain media is your best bet when you can't use media that you created yourself. In that guide I included a list of places to find public domain media. This morning, I discovered another good resource. That resource is

On you will find hundreds of movies that you can watch and download for free. The site has films divided into five categories. Those categories are cartoons, science fiction & horror, drama & romance, comedy, and feature films. Unfortunately, the site lacks a search function so you'll have to browse through the categories manually to find something that you like.

Applications for Education could be a good resource for those who teach classes that include elements of the development of movie production or the cultural significance of a particular movie. Charlie Chaplin's The Good for Nothing comes to mind as an example. could also be useful to students who want a clip of a famous film to use in a production of their own. For example, students could download this Charlie Chaplin movie to then extract a portion to use in a video project of their own.

H/T to MakeUseOf.

How to Find, Download, and Borrow Books from the Internet Archive

On Tuesday hundreds of thousands of works entered the public domain. That includes early movies, pictures, early audio recordings, and many pieces of literature. Many of those works are available through the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive offers millions of texts that can be borrowed and or downloaded for free. In the following video I demonstrate how you can borrow ebooks and download ebooks through the Internet Archive.

Applications for Education
There are a couple of things that teachers should note about the Internet Archive before sending students there to look for free books. First, the Internet Archive does contain some works that you definitely wouldn't want elementary school students to see or listen to. Second, borrowing through the Internet Archive requires registration with a valid email address. Therefore, the best way for teachers to use the Internet Archive is to find what they want students to access then download it and place it into a Google Drive folder or OneNote folder for students to access without having to actually go to the Internet Archive.

Shaking Stories - Shake Your iPad to Create a Story

Shaking Stories is a free iPad app that is filled with randomly generated writing prompts. New prompts appear on your screen when you shake your iPad. The prompts are divided into for categories. Those categories are Characters, Places, Problems, and Time. When you shake your iPad a prompt will appear in each of those categories. Tap on the category to read the full prompt.

Viewing the prompts in Shaking Stories is available to anyone with or without an account in the app. If you create an account in the app, you can write a short story and publish it on the app. The app stalled out when I tried to do that this morning. But judging by the gallery of stories, other people have been successful in publishing their Shaking Stories stories. Speaking of the public gallery of stories, anyone can access it. Stories do appear to be moderated for language. As you can see in the screenshot below, there was an admin note on one story that had an inappropriate word that was removed by an administrator.

Applications for Education
Shaking Stories could be a possible solution to the age old problem of "I don't know what to write about" that every language arts teacher has faced at one time or another. Simply shake your iPad or have students shake their iPads to generate a list of creative writing prompts.

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