Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Greeting Card Creators for Kids

It is the time of the year for sending greeting cards. This is a great opportunity to have students practice letter writing (yes, some people still like letters) and to practice design skills. Here are two good services that your students could use to design and print holiday greeting cards.

One of the "hidden" features of Storyboard That is a collection of templates for creating holiday greeting cards. In this video embedded below I demonstrate how to create greeting cards on Storyboard That.

Canva is a free graphic creation tool that I use to create a lot of the graphics that appear in my blog posts and Facebook posts. Canva makes it easy for anyone to create great looking graphics in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Canva offers free templates for creating holiday greetings. In this video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Canva to create greeting cards.

On a personal note, over the weekend we made some hilariously bad attempts at taking a photo for our Christmas card (you try getting a 16 month old, a 6 week old, and two dogs to cooperate). Eventually, we decided to embrace the chaos and just use the outtakes in a collage-style Christmas card.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

But I Gave You Credit... Lessons About Copyright

The blog post that I published yesterday in which I listed people and organizations who have recently stolen my work has elicited quite a few responses already. A couple of those responses have included, "you were given credit at the end." That comment shows a baseline misunderstanding of copyright.

Copying and pasting entire blog posts is a copyright violation even if you put a link to the original source at the end. That is akin to a student who copies and pastes an entire webpage then at the end give a link to the source at the end of it. You wouldn't accept that essay (at least I wouldn't and I have had students try it) and I won't accept it when someone tries that with my blog posts.

So that this blog post doesn't become just another "Richard rants about copyright" post, here are some resources that you can use to help educate yourself, your students, and your colleagues about copyright.

Six weeks 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.

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.

Monday, December 4, 2017

How to Livestream From the YouTube Android App

In a blog post that I published a couple of weeks ago I mentioned using the YouTube Android app to broadcast review sessions for your students. In the time since I published that blog post I have have had a handful of people ask me for more information about livestreaming on YouTube. The best way to explain it is to show how it is done. That's exactly what I do in the video that is embedded below.

A New List to Expose Feed Scraping, Plagiarism, and Laziness

For years I have been trying to educate people about copyright. In fact, just six weeks ago I hosted a free webinar about the topic. I've written dozens of blog posts about the topic. I've sent polite emails and some not-so-polite emails to people who have stolen blog posts from me. Starting today, I am done being polite about it. From here on, if you steal my blog posts, you're going to be called out here.

I pour hours and hours into this blog. I have helped many people get new "tech coach" and similar positions through the use of my work. I have even helped people launch entirely new businesses through the use of my work. I want to help people, that's why I started this blog. However, I have never given permission to anyone to re-use my work as their own. When you steal my blog posts, you steal my potential to earn an income, to keep this blog going, and to help others.

Here are the latest people/ organizations to steal posts from me:
1. Janet Campbell - https://www.smore.com/uvc6q-it-s-tech-tuesday?ref=board

2. The Education Support Forum (TEDSF) - https://tedsf.org/campaign-tag/free-technology-for-students/

3. Loudon County Tennessee Public Schools -http://www.loudoncounty.org/ourpages/Technology%20Resources/Technology%20Tips/Practical%20Ed%20Tech%20Handbook.docx

4. Flip HTML-  http://fliphtml5.com/lxmt/vrnp/basic

5. HowlDB - http://howldb.com/p/two-good-tools-that-help-students-learn-to-program-games-04f36d

Don't want to be on this list? Don't plagiarize!

How to Compare Information on Wolfram Alpha

As I mentioned in a blog post published over the weekend, Wolfram Alpha is useful for more than just solving math and science problems. In fact, it can be a great resource for students who need to quickly find and compare background information on two or more people, places, or things. In the following video I demonstrate how easy it is to use Wolfram Alpha to compare information about two or more people or places.