Muddling through the blogosphere

Copyright Clarity – Workshop, Book, Resources, and More!


I’m back from a three-day whirlwind trip to Philadelphia, where I joined 23 other educators for Renee Hobb’s fabulous Copyright Clarity Train-the-Trainers Workshop. And just like the workshop subtitle states, I’m truly ready and excited to “ Share the Good News about How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning.

This event was actually my third time to join Renee- and her wonderful co-presenter Kristen Hokanson – in their commitment to help teachers step out of the delimiting fog of copyright confusion and start “flexing their fair use muscles.”

My first session was a 3-hour ISTE 2009 workshop on Fair Use for Educators. I blogged that session live, using the same order of resources and activities, so that I would have a step-by-step guide for facilitating  a similar workshop. What impressed me about the session was that in 3 hours, I left, as did everyone at my table, ready to put away forever Hall Davidson’s handy chart on fair use and start the conversations back in my district on “how fair use supports digital learning.”

Last January, I joined Kristen and Renee for their Educon 2.2 session: The Cost of Copyright Confusion: The Future of intellectual property in a Remix Generation. How was this session different from their ISTE session? Time – 90 minutes vs. 3 hours. Although I would prefer a 3-hour, or even an all-day session, the majority of invitations I’ve had for unrolling Copyright Clarity are for  60-90 minute sessions.  I think if you refer participants to the Media Education website, provide a hyperlinked workshop agenda, and strongly recommend that they purchase a copy of Copyright Clarity, participants will leave ready to start their own journeys out of the copyright confusion fog.

Knowing that good things happen in 3’s, I registered for the all-day Copyright Clarity August 19 workshop in Philadelphia. At some point during last summer’s ISTE Conference, by chance, in one of the many crowded convention center hallways, I passed Kristen – who told me, “you should join us for the train-the-trainer summer workshop.” Coincidentally, my NWP/NCTE colleague and ISTE roommate Sandy Hayes had just been extended the same invitation during Renee’s workshop. A few weeks, a few emails, and a few phone calls later, it was settled: Sandy and I would meet in Philly and end our summers as certified Program Associates for Copyright Clarity. Definitely a great decision!

I’ll end with a few of my new Copyright Clarity take-aways:

  • A concept: You truly do NOT have to be a copyright expert to flex your fair use muscles. As a Copyright Clarity trainer, I will NOT be the one to rule whether teachers’ and students’ use of copyrighted materials could be argued as fair use. But I will be available to help them examine individual scenarios and start the reasoning process.
  • A strategy:  Want your workshop participants to leave feeling pumped and ready to replicate your session at their own sites? Working in teams, have them as an ending activity go through your workshop PowerPoint and prepare themselves to come in front of the group when their names are drawn to present one or two of the slides, which they have put their own spin on, based on an audience of their choice (administrators, tech integration specialists, parents, etc.).  Renee demonstrated this strategy beautifully, calling for “warm comments” after each team finished their 1-2 minute presentations.  What a great way to build conversations, enthusiasm, and confidence!
  • A CUE tip:  If you’re traveling to either the fall or spring CUE Conference, be sure to get to any of Spiro Bolos‘ sessions!. He has joined the dynamic duo of Renee and Kristen, which is now an absolutely amazing trio. But if you can’t make Spiro’s real-time sessions, you can also read about his transformative projects in Copyright Clarity.

Next on my Copyright Clarity to-do list: try converting the CC PowerPoint into a Prezi, a seed planted by my slideshow activity partner Mike George.

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