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Teaching about Intellectual Property – #HyperDoc style

Teaching about Intellectual Property – #HyperDoc style

I love the many ways teachers in my district – and probably your district too – are guiding student-centered conversations  about building positive digital footprints, protecting online privacy, and confronting cyberbullying. A shout out to Common Sense Media, iKeepSafe, and Netsmartz for the wealth of free resources and lessons you provide to schools on these key digital citizenship topics.

There is a fourth digital citizenship topic that many teachers are increasingly recognizing the need to address: intellectual property. By 5th grade, most students have been warned about the consequences of plagiarism, a conversation that is typically repeated throughout their middle and high school days. While plagiarism is certainly an important topic, in a digital age, copyright,  fair use, and Creative Commons also need to be included in the conversations.  Given how easy it has become to download, copy, remix, and upload online content, students need to have an understanding of both their intellectual property rights and responsibilities.

Elk Grove USD’s 4 digital citizenship themes – BY NC SA

As a co-director of my district’s Digital Citizenship initiative and co-curator of the Digital ID project, I am always seeking teacher-friendly/student-friendly resources on intellectual property. I also facilitate district-wide and national workshops ( e.g., CUE and ISTE) to help teachers understand that copyright is different from plagiarism and that fair use and Creative Commons are also options for our students.

Digital ID Project’s 4 digital citizenship foci – BY NC SA

Based on questions from workshop participants, two years ago I created Can I Use That? A Guide for Teaching about Creative Commons. I always review the guide prior to a workshop to check if I need to update any information or add new resources.  This year, in preparation for the March CUE Conference, I’m adding a #HyperDocs* lesson that invites students to delve into copyright, flex their fair use muscles, and license their own creations via Creative Commons. So here it is: Can I Use That? Exploring Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons.

Hope you can join me and the fabulous Jane Lofton for our CUE Can I Use That? session (Saturday, 8:00)! If you have questions about the lesson or suggestions for updates to the Guide, please respond with a comment or contact me @GailDesler.

*#HperDocs is a term invented by @LHighfill.

Keynote Speaker Models Digital Citizenship

Keynote Speaker Models Digital Citizenship

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On Saturday, technology visionary Rushton Hurley blended educational insights, humor and inspiration in his opening keynote for my district’s September Digital Kids, Digital Classrooms event. Rushton shared a number of thought-provoking tips during his Seeing Ourselves presentation:

  • How to avoid C.I.S. (Comparative Inadequacy Syndrome) by reminding yourself “The only person who you need to compare yourself to is the you who you were yesterday.”
  • When students are supported in creating content for an authentic audience, their question changes from “Is this good enough?” to “Is this good?”
  • We need to change our question to students from “What do you want to be?” to “What problem do you want to solve?”

Starting with his opening keynote slide, Rushton also subtly promoted and modeled respect for intellectual property by crediting the image to photographer.

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On the his second slide, Rushton made it clearer yet that he was respecting the Creative Commons licensing the photographer chose when sharing his work on Flickr.

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As a huge fan of Creative Commons, I loved that a nationally/internationally known presenter, from start to finish, promoted the importance of respecting intellectual property through proper attribution.

Following his keynote, Rushton facilitated The Magic of Digital Media for Powerful and Engaging Learning workshop. Once again, he started with modeling respect for intellectual property in his opening slide..

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…and on his second slide …

Rushton

…and then moved on share the power of images via simple teaching tips (EX: start class by projecting a photo and having students team up to generate three possible explanations for the photo – or asking them to explain how the photo connects to yesterday’s lesson).

Besides sharing Search Creative Commons (my favorite way to find CC licensed works), he shared several more options for finding Creative Commons licensed images.

  • PhotoPin – I like PhotoPin’s layout, with the Creative Commons photos below a line and fee-based photos above (what Rushton referred to a “business model”). What I really like is the option to filter for “Interestingness.”
  • Tackkr – Tackkrs helps you to create presentations in a webpage style rather than slides. Rushton explained there are 3 versions of Tackker, one of which is free and doesn’t require a login. I’ll have to play around a bit more with Tackkr. If the free version looks like an easy way for students to find Creative Commons licensed images, I’ll add it to my Can I Use That? A Guide to Creative Commons document.
  • Haiku Deck – Haiku  Deck helps you build beautiful presentations. You can sign up for the free version – and it comes with Creative Commons licensed images.

Just want to say one more time, how cool is that when your keynote speaker and workshop presenter seamlessly weaves digital citizenship into his sessions?!

 

Prairie Elementary Filmmakers Save a Regional Nature Program

Prairie Elementary Filmmakers Save a Regional Nature Program

I was there – at the Sacramento Board of Directors – on Wednesday, joining other concerned educators and citizens in a last minute effort to save one of Sacramento’s primo science programs:  Splash.

Splash-Channel3

Thanks to Splash, thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students have explored life in Sacramento’s streams and, in the process, have come to understand why taking care of our water supply is so vital to the community. However, the Board was ready to eliminate the program as part of their latest round of budget cuts.

We had our chance to speak out, each person being allotted 3 minutes to justify continued funding for the program.  With Splash director Eva Butler leading the charge, I think the 12 of us who took our turns at the podium helped provide the Board members with an understanding and appreciation that for most kids, “Splash is their first experience with relevant science and things that live beyond the pavement in Sacramento’s streams and vernal pools.”

But it was clearly a team of 5th grade filmmakers from Prairie Elementary School (Lesley McKillop’s former 4th graders) who saved the program.  In less than 2 minutes, their Saving Splash video (see snippets in the above TV coverage) provided a compelling argument that led to a unanimous vote to save the program.

A huge victory for students all over the Sacramento region – and a powerful lesson to our young filmmakers on the importance of taking a stand and the power of media to sway an audience.

Harps for Hope – One teacher making a difference

Harps for Hope – One teacher making a difference

Imagine hearing the peaceful music of the harp drifting across an elementary school campus at the close of a busy school day. This image might bring to mind enrichment programs typical of more affluent school sites. But if 4th grade teacher Teresa Cheung is awarded a Pepsi Grant, students at David Reese Elementary School, a Title 1/Program Improvement site in my district, will have access to an after-school program that could be life changing.

Life changing? One student’s story inspired Teresa to apply for the grant:

Thanks to an EETT grant, over the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of spending time in Teresa’s classroom. She is an exceptional teacher, who cares deeply about her students, and continually strives to inspire a love for learning.

Please, please help Teresa fund a set of harps for her after-school program – Harps for Hope. It will take you less than a minute to login to vote – And you can vote every day up to July 31st.

As of today, Harps for Hope is ranked number 125.  If we (you, me, and anyone you know who cares about leveling the playing field) can bring her proposal into the top 10, Harps for Hope will be funded!!!!

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