Monday, July 4, 2022

Summer Reading, Notebooks, and Thinking

If you've joined one of my webinars about search strategies or taken my Teaching History With Technology course, you probably know that I advocate for two very non-techy activities. Those things are reading physical books and writing in a physical notebook. 

I have always found that when I read physical books, regardless of whether they're fiction or nonfiction, there at least three things that happen. I get new ideas to dabble with in my head. I have ideas that I want to remember. I have to stop and write my ideas down. All of those things are similar and all of those contribute to making me a bit of a slow reader if your only gauge for reading speed is how many pages you turn in a given timeframe. 

A physical notebook is almost always within my reach throughout the day. I start my day writing in a notebook (goals for the day, to-do list, reminders). During the day when I need to puzzle through an idea I write in my notebook. And when I'm stuck and can't think of anything to blog about or make videos about, I turn back through the pages of my notebooks (in my office I have notebooks going back at least ten years). 

This summer I'm reading The Last King of America and re-reading Twenty Things to Do With a Computer. Both books are quickly filling with notes. Both have given me ideas that I wouldn't have found through scrolling social media accounts or through Google search. I wouldn't have those notes and ideas through a Google search because I wouldn't have known what I didn't know until I read the books. Those notes then prompt and form my later Google searches. In other words, the books start me down the rabbit hole of investigating more ideas.

Is there a point to this post? Yes, it's to remind you to pick up a good book this summer and take notes. And in the fall, do the same for your students. 

What I Do When a Website Steals My Work

I've been writing this blog for fifteen years this year. For most of those years I have been battling with people about copyright. Some people think that because it says "Free Technology for Teachers" that they can take anything they want and republish it wherever they want. Other people have a misunderstanding of what fair use means. And some people simply don't care about copyright at all. That's often the case with super scuzzy and slimy websites that use automated scripts to take all of my blog posts and republish them. 

Unfortunately, over the last fifteen years I've become rather adept at finding out where websites that steal my work are hosted and how to file copyright infringement notices with those web hosting providers. I spent a good deal of time doing that last week (it puts me in foul mood) so I decided to try to make something useful with my time and recorded this video about how to file a DMCA takedown request with a web host. In this case the web host was Name Cheap. The process is largely the same regardless of the web hosting provider. 

Hopefully, you never have to go through the annoyance and frustration of dealing with people stealing your work. But if you do, I hope my video is helpful to you. 

p.s. I can't wait to see this blog post get stolen by one of the aforementioned spammy, slimy, scuzzy websites like Daily Dose, Trident of CNC, World New 5, and Star Kids Learn.