Showing posts with label Wesley Fryer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wesley Fryer. Show all posts

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Copyright Lessons for Students and Teachers

As many of you know, I spent much of my week dealing with a copyright infringement issue. As a result of that I have been doing more reading about DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) than ever before. One piece that I read was this article from attorney Sarah F. Hawkins. The article didn't have much that was new to me, but I am bringing it up because one of the comments posted under the article points to the larger problem of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of copyright as it pertains to the Internet.

Here's the beginning of the comment:
I run my own travel consulting page on a large social media platform, I recently used a google image of a hotel. This morning I received an invoice for $3500 because I used this image, I did not know about copyright infringements as it was just an image on google.

That comment reflects the way that a lot of people misinterpret Google Image search. Unless you use the advanced search filter to find only Creative Commons licensed images, most of what you find through Google Images is copyrighted. Google doesn't host the images or license the images. Google Images is simply a search engine. Giving an image credit to Google Images is not citing the source and even if Google was the source, unless it is labeled as Creative Commons or Public Domain, you can't use the image without permission. The exception being in the case of fair use. But even then just because you're using it for an educational setting doesn't mean it automatically qualifies your use as fair use. I explained this scenario in more detail in this post in 2014.

On a similar note to the Google Images scenario, citing Facebook as the source of an image does not mean that you can use the image without permission. I explained this in more detail in this post.


Resources for teaching Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use.

The following two videos from Common Craft provide excellent overviews of these topics.




For a more in-depth look at copyright for educators, watch Dr. Wesley Fryer's Slideshare on the topic. Eight years after he released it, it's still one of the best resources on the topic.




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.

Disclosure: I have an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Two Books to Read Before School Starts

Occasionally I stray from my mission of sharing free tools here on Free Technology for Teachers. This afternoon I was reminded of a couple of very affordable books that I've read in the last year that I think teachers can really benefit from reading. On that note, I'm going to stray from sharing free resources in this post and recommend two books. Of course, you could try to find them through your local library if you don't want to buy them and then they will be free for you. 

Wesley Fryer's Playing with Media is a great ebook that is packed with ideas and tips for creating multimedia projects with your students. Wes does a particularly great job in explaining the sometimes tricky issues associated with Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use.


For a non-tech book about education, I recommend Listen To Your Kids written by my friend and former colleague Tom Harvey. Tom's book is filled with touching stories drawn from his career of more than thirty years in public school classrooms. I've personally bought and given away two copies of the book because I think it has a message that needs to reach more people. Listen To Your Kids will remind you why you got into teaching in the first place.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Widbook - Collaborative Creation of Multimedia Books

Widbook is a new service that is part multimedia book authoring tool and part social network. On Widbook you can create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. Widbook is collaborative because you can invite others to make contributions to your books. To use Widbook you have to create a profile on the service. The books that you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. Likewise, you can search for others' books and make contributions to their books.


Widbook allows you to create a virtual bookshelf of books that you create and or find on Widbook.

One drawback to Widbook in its beta current version is that your books can only be viewed on Widbook right now. Hopefully, in the future they will allow embeds on other sites.
The beginning of my first Widbook

Applications for Education
Widbook has the potential to be a good web-based platform for students to use to construct multimedia research papers. Widbook could also be a good platform for teachers to use to create their own multimedia textbooks to use in their classrooms.

Thanks to Wes Fryer for sharing Widbook on Twitter yesterday. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Great Interview Questions List Generator

Last night I had the pleasure of interview Wesley Fryer about his new ebook Playing With Media (full disclosure he gave me free access for review). The interview will be published next week after I have some time to edit it. One of the things that I told Wesley during the interview is that even though I look at hundreds of tech tools every month, I still found some new-to-me things in his ebook. One of those great new-to-me things that I found in his ebook is Story Corps's Great Questions Lists and Great Questions Generator.

The Great Questions Lists and Great Questions Generator provide you with excellent questions that you can use when interviewing people about their lives or about the lives' of others. The Great Questions Lists is just a list of questions that you can select on your own. The Great Questions Generator will help you select the best questions for the person or people you're planning to interview.

Applications for Education
I remember a couple of times that one of my English and or Social Studies teachers had my class interview a parent, grandparent, or community member. I'm sure there are plenty of teachers who still do that. The Story Corps Great Questions List could provide students with a framework for questions for those interviews.

On a related note, here is the latest animated story from Story Corps. It's a about a fearsome Sunday School teacher. I think you'll enjoy it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

10 Common Challenges We'll Face This Fall - Challenge #1: Access

One of my most popular presentations, the one that I'm most frequently asked to give, is 10 Common Challenges Facing Educators. When giving this presentation I outline challenges that classroom teachers often face and present some resources and strategies for addressing those challenges. In preparation for the new school year I've created a series of blog posts based on my presentation. Today's blog post addresses the challenge of not having access to the websites that you want your students to use.

I have the good fortune to work in a school that has a progressive policy toward Internet filtering. In my school there is rarely a site that I want my students to use that is blocked. And in the few cases when I do encounter a block, I can have it quickly unblocked by emailing one of the network administrators (generally a response time of less than five minutes). But it wasn't always this way at my school.

A few years ago I returned to school after the summer break to find that all of the sites (VoiceThread, Wikispaces, Blogger, Animoto, and others) that I had planned to use were blocked by our the new filter in place. Frustrated, I emailed the tech department asking for these sites to be unblocked. They replied by saying they'd "look into it" and get back to me. I waited. Then I waited again. Finally, I was told that if I could explain to them how and why I was going to use these sites they might unblock them if they didn't violate CIPA regulations. Up to the tech office I went and sat down with two of the network administrator's assistants to explain to them what VoiceThread did, what Wikispaces was, and how I was going to use them. As I was explaining what VoiceThread did one of the assistants said, "I think unblocking this would violate CIPA." I lost it. Here I was explaining myself to two people who not only had never taught in a classroom, had no background in education, and who clearly did not understand CIPA.

Down to my principal's office I went, bypassing his secretary and anyone else who might have slowed me down, I steamed in and sat down right in front of his desk. I was fuming and he could see it. Here's the truncated version of happened next. "Ted," I said, "we've just made a huge investment in netbooks for every student, but now the tech department is blocking everything that will make 1:1 a success. Furthermore, it's bullshit that I have to explain everything I want to do in my classroom to people who have never taught or even taken education classes." (Yes, for better or worse, Ted actually does let me swear in his office). To my delight, he agreed with me, but he still wanted more information before making a formal decision one way or another. But in the meantime the sites that I wanted unblocked were unblocked.

Fast forward a few months and my principal and superintendent are developing a formal policy regarding Internet access. As is the case with many decisions in my school, my principal solicited feedback from the staff. As you might expect, I flooded the main office with information about Internet filtering. Some of the sources that I used include Wes Fryer's Unmasking the Digital Truth, the Digital Youth Research project at Berkeley, the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, and from MIT Press Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out (at the time it was available as a free download, it's now available for purchase or you can read some parts of it for free online). A number of other teachers besides myself presented examples of the work we and our students were doing with web tools that we wouldn't have access to if a restrictive filtering policy was put in place. When a formal policy was put in place, we were all happy to learn that we would continue to be able to access all of the sites that we wanted to use in our classrooms.

Tactics for getting access to the websites that you want to use.
1. Attitude: don't sit back and complain quietly, don't sit back and complain loudly. Rather you should go to the top with research and a plan.

2. Relationships: if I didn't have a good working relationship with my principal I wouldn't be able to walk into his and have him seriously consider what I ask for.

3. Persistence: changing a school's or a district's policy isn't going to happen overnight.

4. Recruit supporters: if it's just you leading the fight you might be looked at as "that crazy teacher," if there is two of you you might be looked at as "those crazy teachers," but if you can get a third supporter then you've started a grassroots movement. This is an idea that I borrowed from this Ted Talk by Derek Sivers and from Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.



Come back tomorrow for challenge #2, selecting appropriate tech tools for your classroom.


update: here's another good source of information about filtering. Straight from the DOE: Dispelling Myths About Blocked Sites. Thanks to Wesley Fryer for this one too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Playing With Media is a Great Blog and eBook About Remixing Media

Playing with Media is an ebook that Wesley Fryer is developing. To complement the development of that ebook, Wesley is maintaining a blog related to the topics to be included in the book. Most recently, Wesley posted a blog entry about How to Talk to Your Students About Copyright. In the blog you will find sections about working with text media, videos, audio media, and how to handle Copyright-related issues.

Applications for Education
Wesley Fryer's blog was one of the very first I ever added to my RSS Reader and now I'm going to add Playing With Media to my subscriptions too. Playing with Media is already an excellent resource for educators and is sure to get better as Wesley adds more to it. If you have questions about creating multimedia projects for your classroom, check out Playing with Media.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two Approaches to Cell Phones in Schools - Pick One

Through Wes Fryer's excellent blog I learned about the following video from CNN. The video is a report on two different approaches to dealing with cell phone use by students. Thankfully, my school is slowly moving toward the second approach. Watch the video below then leave a comment and tell us which approach your school uses and which approach you prefer.


Click here if you're reading in RSS and can't see the video.

One of the things that Wes Fryer pointed out in his post about this video is the use of the terms "cell phone computers" and "mobile learning devices." I think that is important distinction that must be made to teachers and administrators who would still prefer to fight the "put your phones away" battle rather than find ways to leverage for the learning the computers in our students hands.

Here is a post I wrote about how I used cell phones in my Civics course last fall. Cell Phones in My Civics Class = Parent Involvement.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Guest Post on Speed of Creativity

Today, I wrote a guest post for Wes Fryer's blog Speed of Creativity. The post deals with the two ways we, as teachers, can respond to policies that impair our ability to deliver the best possible learning experiences to our students. Read it here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

iMovie Quickstart Guide from Story Chasers

Wesley Fryer, executive director of Story Chasers Inc and all-around great guy, has recently published a quickstart guide for using iMovie. The four page guide can be downloaded from Wes Fryer's blog, from Story Chasers, or from Scribd. The guide contains everything you need to know to get started and to publish your first video using iMovie.

Quickstart Guide to iMovie '09

Applications for Education
Wesley Fryer has graciously given permission to reuse the guide for your own professional development workshops provided that you give proper attribution to Story Chasers for the work. If your staff and students have access to iMovie and you're looking for a good reference to distribute to get them started making videos, this guide might be just what you need.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Making Videos on the Web
How to Use YouTube's New Video Editor

Friday, May 14, 2010

Incentives, Rewards, and Motivation

Read Write Web and Wes Fryer both posted an interesting video in which RSAnimate animates a talk given by Daniel Pink. In the talk Pink shares some interesting discoveries about the science of motivation. In the talk Pink explains why larger financial rewards don't always, in fact rarely, equal better performances on tasks. Pink's idea that innovation should be rewarded more than performance on a standard task is the idea that I liked best. That idea will influence my thinking about curriculum design this summer when I'm reworking parts of the courses I teach.

Watch the video below.


Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Three Ways the Brain Creates Meaning

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Examples of PD Opportunities on the Web

Last week I had the opportunity to watch the live Ustream of Wesley Fryer's Technology 4 Teachers course at the University of Central Oklahoma. I've known since last fall that Wes was webcasting the course, but I hadn't found the time to watch the stream until last week. The part of the course that I watched was about screencasting. The students were learning how to screencast and learning about the educational uses of screencasting. During the livestream Wes left the chat open which I used to say hello, add a couple of (hopefully constructive) comments, and even lend a brief moment of tech support.

The point of this post is not so much to talk about the nuts and bolts of Wesley's course, but rather to share an example of the type of professional development that is available for free on the web. Sure, you don't get university credits for watching all of courses online, but you do get access to all of the course materials and the learning that comes with that access. In essence you're auditing the course for free.

Another example of a free professional learning opportunity provided by Wes Fryer appeared on the web yesterday. Yesterday, Wes and his daughter Sarah presented at a school in New Hampshire. Again, the presentation was streamed live on Ustream and was recorded. I watched the recording in chunks last night and throughout the day. The focus of the presentation was on the educational value of creating, remixing, and sharing digital content online. I've embedded the video below. Two of the highlights of the presentation are a student-created video about Pi and a short question and answer session with Wesley's daughter Sarah.


Again, this post wasn't intended just to sing the praises of what Wes Fryer is doing for education (although I think it does that). The purpose is to highlight the fact that the web offers teachers more professional development opportunities than even the biggest schools with the biggest budgets can offer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remix for Personalized Learning

Last week I gave a presentation (slides here) about free video creation tools that students and teachers can use in their classrooms. As a part of the presentation I discussed the ideas of fair-use and remix. This morning I saw that Wesley Fryer had again posted a video explanation of what remixing is all about in the learning environment. The video is called Remix for Personalized Learning and it was created in large part by Bob Lee.
Check out the video below.


On a related note, in the same post referenced above Wesley featured a video made by students in Florida to encourage students to read. If you have a few minutes I recommend watching Gotta Keep Reading.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Problem With the Blogger Navbar - Fix It

The ease of use and integration with Google accounts, makes Blogger a very popular choice for teachers who are starting their first classroom blogs. But it's not without its faults in an education setting. The navigation bar that appears by default at the top of Blogger blogs can be useful for searching the content of your blog, but that "next blog" link can potentially lead your students to blogs containing content that is not appropriate for school. Removing that navigation bar (navbar) is actually a fairly simple task that anyone can do. I've outlined, with images (click to view full size), the process for you.

Disclaimer: Before you go and remove the navbar, keep in mind that some people consider removing the navigation bar to be a violation of the Blogger terms of service. That said, it's a gray area as many bloggers have removed the navbar and continue to use Blogger. You can read the TOS and make the decision for yourself.

Step One:
In your Blogger account select the "layout" tab then click the "edit html" link. If you're using a standard Blogger template you probably don't have to worry about downloading a copy of your current template, but it's not a bad idea to do it anyway. Downloading a copy of your template gives you an offline back-up in case you make a horrible mistake editing the html. If that happens just upload your back-up template and you're back in business.













Step Two:
Copy the following code and paste it directly below the "Blogger Template Style" section in the html. (see the screen capture to locate the proper placement)
#navbar-iframe {
display: none !important;

}











Step Three:
Preview the template to make sure you blog displays correctly without the navbar. If it does, click save and you're done.











Last week Wesley Fryer wrote about the importance of enabling comment moderation on student blogs. In that post he showed readers how to enable comment moderation on Blogger blogs. This post was inspired by Wesley's post.

Much of what I've learned about customizing Blogger templates has come from Blogger Buster.

Something a lot of Blogger users aren't aware of is that for just $10/year you can have your own custom domain for your blog. For that $10 not only do you get to drop the .blogspot on your url you get access to all of the Google Apps like custom branded email. You can learn more about that option in this video created by Google.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Six Resources for Learning About Fair Use

Earlier today a group of us had a great dialogue about fair-use and copyright. The conversation got started when I posted the question, "is copying and pasting entire posts, formatting included, then just posting a link, fair use?" My belief was that it isn't fair use if the copied text was all that appeared without any commentary. I then added these two pictures (pic a, pic b) to clarify the type of situation I was referring to. Nothing was firmly resolved by the conversation, but it was clear that there are many interpretations of fair use. The conversation also reminded me that over the last couple of years I've watched and read some good information about Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use. The following is gleaned from some of the posts I've shared on the topics of Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use.

Probably the best presentation I've found on copyright and fair use is Copyright for Educators from Wesley Fryer. Of particular interest to me in this presentation is the discussion of fair use practices related to using images in digital presentations. After watching the presentation you should check out Wesley's handouts that go with this presentation.


Rodd Lucier has a very good presentation about Creative Commons called Creative Commons: What Every Educator Needs to Know. In addition to this presentation, Rodd has an excellent podcast series and blog called The Clever Sheep. I encourage you to check out all of Rodd's digital content.


The Classroom Copyright Chart created by and hosted on the California Student Media Festival's website. The Classroom Copyright Chart provides teachers with clear explanations of when it is and when it is not okay to reproduce and reuse copyrighted materials. The chart can be viewed online or downloaded for printing and distribution within a school.


The Media Education Lab at Temple University has created a number of great resources about fair use for teachers and students. Visit the Media Education Lab's website to see videos explaining fair use, lesson plans for media education, and to download a copy of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use. The presentation below gives a brief overview of the purpose of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use.


Another resource from the Temple Media Education Lab is this short music video about fair use.


During our Twitter exchanges this afternoon @jtheiser reminded me of the resources from the Center for Social Media at American University which includes some excellent video explanations of fair use. The video I've embedded below offers an explanation of fair use as it relates to creating remixes. In addition to the video embedded below the Center for Social Media offers documents about best practices for online video. Amongst the documents is this FAQ sheet. The Center for Social Media also offers video examples of best practices.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obama's Speech in Student Terms

Today's episode of CNN Student News covers President Obama's speech from last night in student-friendly terms. The episode covers the rationale used by President Obama and the implications of his request for 40,000 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan over the next twelve months. The episode is embedded below.
Wes Fryer has an excellent post this morning about using digital tools to analyze President Obama's speech. If you're looking for some lesson ideas, I highly recommend reading Wes Fryer's post.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Conference Buffet - What Do You Want To Eat?

I spent Thursday and Friday presenting and watching presentations at the ACTEM 09 conference in Augusta, Maine. Like any good conference there was a large selection of interesting presentations going on simultaneously. It was difficult to decide which sessions to attend. It was a lot like going to buffet of great ideas.

On my way to the conference yesterday morning, I had the brainstorm of picking a goal for the day (not a novel concept, but something I'd never applied to conference attendance). I had two goals for the day. The first goal was to observe how professional speakers organize their presentations and work through their presentations. The second goal was to hear the ideas that they have regarding education. Therefore, I chose to attend sessions conducted by Marco Torres and Wes Fryer. These guys are true pros at conference speaking and are thought-leaders in the field of education.

Overall, going into the day with a game plan yielded a better learning experience for the day than I might have had if I had just hap-hazardly chosen workshops.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chatzy - Create a Free Private Chat Area

Chatzy is a neat little website that I learned about from Wes Fryer this morning. Chatzy provides a free platform for hosting your private chat area. To use it, simply name your chat area, select your privacy settings (you can password protect it), then send out invitations. Instead of sending out invitations you could just post the link to your chat area.

Applications for Education
Chatzy is a nice alternative to Tiny Chat because you can restrict access to it. Chatzy could be used to hold an after-school tutorial session, host a discussion about a book, or use it as a back-channel during a lecture.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Short Geology Lesson - And "24/7 Learning"

Inspired in part by Wes Fryer's recent post comparing print and digital reference materials, this morning I searched Watch Know for videos about New Zealand. While I didn't find anything comprehensive on the political history of New Zealand, I did find an interesting video on the geological history of New Zealand. The video is embedded below.



In The World Is Open Curtis Bonk talks about the diverse, on-demand, learning opportunities that are made available through the web. What I did this morning in searching for videos about New Zealand demonstrates the availability of on-demand learning opportunities. I read Wesley's post, thought to myself "I'd like to know more about New Zealand," jumped on the Internet, and in minutes I had learned a short lesson about the geology of New Zealand.

Now compare my learning experience this morning with the same scenario fifteen years ago. Fifteen years ago I was fifteen and didn't even know anyone who had an Internet connection. If I had read an article in a magazine that mentioned New Zealand I would have had to go to the local library, during their open hours, and hope that they had a book or two about New Zealand. I grew up in a fairly large suburb that had two large public libraries so I probably would have been able to find information about New Zealand. But what if I lived in a rural town, as I do now, that only has a very small library? I may have had to wait days, a week, possibly longer to get some books through a library loan. As a fifteen-year-old I didn't have that kind of patience and I don't know how many fifteen-year-olds do. Fifteen years ago the experience I had this morning wouldn't have been possible.

So then, because our students have nearly 24/7 access to information, how has our job as teachers changed? I'm especially interested in the perspectives of those you reading this that could have been my teacher fifteen years ago.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Connecting Social Studies and Art Through Video

Some of you may have read my post that appeared on Wesley Fryer's blog with the same title as this one a couple of weeks ago. Connecting Social Studies and Art Through Video Creation is the title of a workshop that I'm conducting on Thursday morning at the MLTI Summer Institute. This slideshow is a preview of the tools and resources we'll be using that day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Guest Post on Speed of Creativity

Wes Fryer is one of the people in the edublogging community that I've long looked up to. Therefore, when he asked me last week to guest post on his blog I felt like a minor league baseball player getting called up to the major league team. You can read my post about connecting history and the arts through video creation here. If you've never read Moving at the Speed of Creativity, I highly recommend looking through the archives. Wes always has informative and insightful posts. (Wes and his family are on a laptop-free vacation this week so all this week he will have different guest bloggers whose blogs you should also check out).