Muddling through the blogosphere

December 28, 2017
by blogwalker

We should choose to teach copyright …

We should choose to teach copyright not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because the goal of understanding copyright will serve to measure the best of student energies, skills, and citizenship.” Tara Woodall

I somehow managed to miss Tara Woodall’s article The Right Stuff – Teaching Kids about Copyright when Common Sense posted it back in July. But thanks to a re-tweet from Common Sense, the article came my way in December. I have read it, bookmarked it, tweeted it, and days later, keep circling back to Tara’s quote.

Tweeting Tara Woodall's post

The challenge to teach copyright and fair use, even though “it’s not easy,” resonates with me on many levels. I started weaving copyright into my workshop agendas about 10 years ago, making sure to remind teachers of legal constraints when adding images found on the Internet to blogs, wikis, VoiceThreads, or whatever program I was teaching.

Initially, I shared Hall Davidson’s chart. Fair use was not part of my agenda. But I let go of Hall’s chart in 2011, after attending an amazing 3-hour  ISTE workshop facilitated by Renee Hobbs. Renee’s Copyright Clarity session provided me with a window into “how fair use supports digital learning.” I left the session with a commitment to develop workshops for my district and region on copyright and fair use and to embed the resources into a digital citizenship toolkit.

As a co-director of my district’s digital citizenship initiative, I’ve had the good fortune to team with Kathleen Watt. Ironically, as we were developing Can I Use That? A Guide to Creative Commons, schools and districts across the country were copying Kathleen’s digital citizenship graphic – without giving credit. Oh, yes, a teachable moment: Oh no they didn’t:

Although we continue to post and add resources to our digital citizenship blog, copyright has taken a bit of a back seat due to a continual abundance of cyberbullying issues and the current rise of fake news. Even Google’s newly released Be Internet Awesome program focuses on confronting fake news, protecting privacy, and combating bullying, and omits teaching students about their intellectual property rights and responsibilities.

Not since the March 2017 CUE Conference have I facilitated a workshop on copyright. I’ve had a lot of things on my plate (mainly the roll out of a new student information system!), but it’s time to start submitting proposals again. Tara Woodall’s post is a call to action and a reminder that, as rapidly as technology changes, digital ethics are timeless. An understanding of copyright “will serve to measure the best of student energies, skills, and citizenship.”


September 17, 2015
by blogwalker

“Oh no they didn’t!” – Modeling good digital citizenship

I blog often about digital citizenship topics. Part of my day job (technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove Unified School District) involves supporting the teaching of digital citizenship across grade levels and subject areas. Beyond the school day, I co-curate the Digital ID Project.

Back to my day job. For the past 7 years, as the co-coordinator of our district-wide digital citizenship program, I’ve teamed with our very talented graphic designer and web specialist, Kathleen Watt, on all components of the program. We have written this post together.

If you visit our Digital Citizenship website, you will see a graphic, created by Kathleen, to show visitors at a glance the four areas of digital citizenship we focus on (cyberbullying, building positive digital footprints, respecting intellectual property, and protecting online privacy).

This post is in response to the need to teach – and model – respect for intellectual property. More specifically, it is our reaction to Digital Citizenship and Copyright Stations, a post we came upon this morning via the wonderful, timely DigCit Daily. We are always looking for new ideas for teaching about copyright, since our teachers often share that they are trying to build their comfort levels in teaching about intellectual property rights and responsibilities.

To see one of our digital citizenship images copied without crediting the source was disappointing – and ironic, considering the image is being used as part of another district’s digital citizenship program. A quick reverse image search on Google turned “disappointing” into “troubling.” We find it hard to believe that more than a few educators have taken the image without attributing it back to Elk Grove – all for the purpose of promoting their own digital citizenship programs. (Shout out to the Plumas Lake School for crediting the source!)

We’ve created the Oh no they didn’t! slideshow to show our reaction, reflection, and next steps in dealing with the apparently very real issue of educators perhaps teaching, but not modeling, respect for intellectual property.

June 27, 2011
by blogwalker

ISTE Day 2: Sandy Hayes – Using Images and Music Ethically in Multimedia Writing

I’m  joining my NWP/NCTE colleague Sandy Hayes to explore more resources for teaching about copyright. Sandy’s starting with the  Simpson’s Intellectual Personality quiz, followed by Fair Use and Cultural Development – a beautiful look at evolution of art icons.

“Fair Use is not a formula. It’s a matter of interpretation. And you can talk about “fair” and “more fair.”

Sandy’s approach to this messy topic is very user-friendly and a wonderful complement to Renee Hobbs’ Copyright Clarity session. Sandy has already posted her PowerPoint and her handout on the ISTE Workshop Description page. Besides a great collection of teaching resources, her handout also includes a template for an analytical storyboard for a book trailer of PSA.

Super job,  Sandy!

June 28, 2009
by blogwalker

Live from NECC – Best Practices in Fair Use for 21st Century Educators

I’m in my first workshop for NECC 2009 – Renee HobbsFair Use for Educators session. With copyright being such a huge and complex issue, I’m hoping to get a better handle on all those sticky issues teachers deal with increasingly as they led their students onto online learning and producing of content.

Joining Renee Hobbs are Joyce Valenza, who just shared the wiki for this event –; Mike RobbGrieco, and Kristen Hokanson. There’s even a link to the session handout!

Renee has kicked off the session by assuring us that by end of the three hours all our questions on copyright will be answered:-)

She’s starting by walking us through her slide presentation, which I’m annotating below:

  • What is media literacy? “It’s the sharing of meaning through symbolic forms.”
  • Question: What’s the purpose of copyright? Partner activity
    • owner’s rights
    • ability to make a profit
    • other?
  • Purpose of copyright is to promote creativity, innovation and spread of knowledge – Article 1, Section 8 US Constitution. So where did our misunderstandings come from?
  • Section 110 copyright law – allows teachers to share entire video despite “for home use only” statement. Section 107 1976 – “The right to use copyrighted materials freely without payment or permission for purposes such as ‘criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.”
  • How Teachers Cope:
    • see no evil
    • close the door
    • hyper-comply
  • How does fair use apply to using popular and mass media? We’re watching the Center for Social Media video – -overview – which I watched for the first time last fall – and realized I could no longer use Hall Davidson’ niffy two-page chart. It’s all about “Transformativeness” = adding new meaning and value to an original works.
  • Myth buster: There are no cases of educators being sued for using copyrighted materials for teaching and learning who have actually sued. “Reasonable standard” of fair use – exempts educators liability if you made a reasonable attempt to comply with copyright as pertains to educational purposes.
  • Fair use reasoning in action: “When a user of copyrighted materials adds value to, or re-purposes materials for a use different from that for which it was originally intended, it will likely be considered transformative use; it will also likely be considered fair use” – Joyce Valenza. This is huge piece of the fair use puzzle!

Remix in Eduction – Mike RobbGrieco – also with Renee at Temple University – “Our students are fully immersed in remix culture. Remix is a way to make sense of our culture – but also well-suited for commentary, critique, and democratic exchange.”

  • Questions to ask: (and the video is incorporated into lesson – p 17 of handout).
    • benefit to society vs. cost to copyright older
    • transformativeness (is purpose transformed: is context transformed?
    • What is the effect on potential markets?
    • What is the amount of source text used

Back to Renee – How do you grab clips from DVDs – which are encrypted with the purpose of preventing copying? Renee went to Library of Congress Copyright Office regarding ability to de-encript DVD clips. She’ll know in October if her request will become a reality. And she emphasizes that “If we don’t claim our right, they’ll erode into ‘pay for click.'”

Kristen Hokanson – Oh, my… Watch Kristen’s video on her Upper Merrian Case Study. She’s also created a PDF worksheet to guide teachers. Check out her hands-on Scenarios! We broke into groups to work with the cards, which generated very focused conversations. Great stuff!!

This workshop is the only fee-based one I’ve signed up for. It was worth every penny! I actually feel that I have a handle on fair use for educators – and am looking forward to taking this training and resources back to my district.

January 17, 2009
by blogwalker
1 Comment

Transformativeness – I Get It!

Professor Peter Jaszi, from the Center for Social Media, was one of the speakers on Wednesday evening’s very informative and engaging Teachers Teaching Teachers Skypecast. I’ve printed out a copy of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, which Jaszi helped produce. It’s actually an easy read – and only 17 pages long, so not too intimidating.  I really like the premise that “educators need to be leaders, not followers, in establishing best practices in fair use” and that we should be exploring the issues with our students.

I’m looking with particular interest at page 13 of the Code: Developing Audiences for Student Work and its use of the term “transformativenss”:

“If student work that incorporates, modifies, and re-presents existing media content meets the transformativeness standard, it can be distributed to wide audiences under the doctrine of fair use.”

Between Jaszi’s Skypcast and reading through the Code, I had a vague idea of what transformativeness might look like, but somewhere on the Center for Social Media site, I found a link to a YouTube video that absolutely made transformativeness visible. Note: Not appropriate for younger audiences

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