Muddling through the blogosphere

February 13, 2017
by blogwalker

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.

September 16, 2015
by blogwalker

Opportunities for students to practice digital & global citizenship

As we head into the new school year, I wanted to promote several awesome opportunities for students to tackle current issues and make their voices heard … and build their digital footprints and ePortfolios in the process.


Image from the Aikuma Project

Aikuma Project – For the past couple of years, I’ve co-facilitated an oral histories project for my school district to preserve the stories from a little known chapter in the Vietnam War: the Secret War in Laos. And that is how Robyn Perry, a recent graduate from Berkeley’s School of Information, found me. Robyn and Dr. Steven Bird are committed to preserving vanishing world languages. In Googling “Mien,” she came across the Time of Remembrance website. We’ve connected several times via Google Hangouts to talk about ways a K12 school district and two university researchers might support our mutual commitment to preserving the stories – and languages – of the Mien refugees, many of whom have resettled in the Sacramento area.

Part of Steve and Robyn’s work is the deployment of Aikuma, a free Android App for recording and translating spoken language. The app allows you to make your own recordings, share them, and translate recordings into other languages.

A special feature of Aikuma is its voice-driven translation mode. Hold the phone to your ear and listen, and interrupt to give a commentary or translation. The phone records what you say and lines it up with the original. Now the meaning is also preserved.”

I’m hoping to encourage Mien students in my district, to interview and record their parents, grandparents, and community elders and then contribute these primary resources, recorded in their native language, to the Aikuma project. There is a very good chance that in the process of interviewing Mien refugees, besides preserving history, culture, and a possibly vanishing language, students will also learn about the viewpoints of individuals whose stories might not otherwise appear in their textbooks.  Equally important, they will be practicing digital and global citizenship.


Image via KQED Do Now

KQED Do Now: Would You Welcome Refugees to Your Community? – I’m a big-time fan of KQED’s stellar program for engaging students, via twitter, in shared conversations on both local and global topics. Given the current Syrian refugee crisis, I cannot think of a more timely way to empower students as digital and global citizens who are informed on the issues and challenges faced by refugees.

KQED provides the background resources and the structure for posting diverse opinions, thereby providing a virtual student toolkit for building active citizenship skills.

PSAcontest (1)Digital ID – How about a Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge to jump start conversations in the new school year on what it means to be a positive, contributing citizen in all the communities to which our students belong, both face-to-face and online? With a December 15 deadline, there is still plenty of time for students to create and submit (through you), a PSA (up to 90 seconds) on issues of challenging cyberbullying, building digital footprints, respecting intellectual property, and protecting online privacy & security.




April 5, 2015
by blogwalker

Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge – Please share with your students

If your students have some thoughts to share on digital citizenship issues, please tell them about the 2015 Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge. This year marks the 4th year the Digital ID Project has sponsored the event. Students are invited to submit a Public Service Announcement (up to 90 seconds, excuding the credits) on any of the following topics:

  • cyberbullying
  • digital footprints
  • intellectual property (copyright, fair use, and/or creative commons)
  • online privacy

In addition to a beautiful certificate awarded to all students listed in the PSA credits, a $25 iTunes card will be awarded to the lead student for each winning entry. Three entries per grade-level division (Elementary, Middle, and High School) will be selected.

Entries must be submitted (online) by midnight, May 6, 2015. For more information, visit the PSA Challenge page and download the 2015 PSA Challenge flyer.


January 19, 2015
by blogwalker

Cyberbullying: What the Research Shows

This week I will be gathering resources on cyberbullying in preparation for an upcoming school board meeting. As I explained in a recent post, school districts in the Sacramento region are dealing with troubling, even tragic, stories of bullying/cyberbullying at a number of school sites. As a result of media coverage on the very real, very negative impact of bullying on students (targets, bullies, bystanders) within and beyond the school day, I think/hope all districts are revisiting this important topic.

As the co-curator of both a district and a global digital citizenship site, I am always on the lookout for new resources, lessons, and research. I really appreciate timely resources from two of my favorite digital citizenship organizations: Cyberbullying Research Center and Common Sense Media.


Cyberbullying Research Center

Cyberbullying Quiz – What the Research Shows – Professors  Sameer Hinduja (Florida Atlantic University) and  Justin Patchin (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) are the co-directors of the Center for Cyberbullying Research. As researchers, they delve into and provide “up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.” I highly recommend using their newly released Cyberbullying Quiz to  jump start faculty discussions.  The quiz is short (15 true/false questions) and each answer also includes the supporting research.

In addition to the quiz, Hinduja and Patchin have  published a comprehensive Cyberbullying Fact Sheet that is written for educators, administrators, and parents. If you are looking for a professionally done handout for a Parent Night, I’d recommend the Fact Sheet.


Common Sense Media, although not solely focused on cyberbullying, is also constantly updating and adding to their resources. The awesome Kelly Mendoza, director of program development for Common Sense Media’s education programs, recently hosted a webinar with Dr. Elizabeth Englander, professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University: Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Social Media Use. Both the audio and the video are excellent – as is the content! I learned a few new terms from Dr. Englander, such as self-cyberbullying:

“Another issue that is a little peculiar that you may have never heard of is something called self-cyberbullying. This is a problem where kids essentially go online, they create a second persona online, and they use their second identity to cyberbully their first identity themselves. And then they take evidence of this to either their friends or to adults, and they say essentially ‘see, I’m being cyberbullied.’ It’s one of these issues that I thought was going to be very rare. However, we’ve been tracking it for three years now, and we’ve found that about 15 percent of kids admit to doing this.”

Dr. Englander is also the director and founder of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, or MARC, “an academic Center in public higher education, committed to a public health model for bullying and cyberbullying prevention for the state of Massachusetts.” MARC’s K-12 cyberbullying “evidence-based” curriculum looks excellent, including their videos. I will definitely be sharing the K-5 video, Meanness Is Like Littering, with my district community:

Dr. Englander also champions the Great American No Bull Challenge, which includes wonderful student-created videos such as Numbskull:


In addition to cyberbullying research, lessons, and videos,  I am hoping to add links to printable posters to cyberbullying my cyberbullying resources. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



January 2, 2015
by blogwalker

Teaching Kindness

It’s become quite clear that modern education must encompass more than just academics, and that matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority. Lisa Currie

The Challenge: Can kindness and empathy really be taught?

This morning I re-read Lisa Currie’s October post for Edutopia: Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reducing Bullying. In the past couple of months, the impact of school-wide bullying in the Sacramento region has been disturbingly newsworthy: the tragic suicide of an 8th grader in one district; a bullying lawsuit in an adjoining district; a number of student suspensions for racist activities at another; and an embarrassing parent confrontation during a regional cyberbullying public event for another.  This recent stream of bad press highlights the need for districts to teach – and expect – kindness and civility (AKA good citizenship) – face-to-face and online.

In my current position as a technology integration specialist for a large public school district, I am a regular visitor in K-12 classrooms. Many school sites display banners and/or posters around the campus reflective of the sites’ character education programs. Many have added cyberbullying to their character ed programs or are offering it as a stand-alone part of their digital citizenship curriculum (all sites are required to have some type of #digcit program in place). I am proud of the way many of our students, particularly at the secondary level, have stepped up to the challenge of confronting bullying. At one site, for instance, through their Unbullyable project, I know students have had a positive impact on their own campus as well as on their feeder elementary and middle schools.


I am grateful I have not yet opened the SacBee to find one my district’s schools featured on the front page for hurtful or hateful acts. And I applaud the efforts of K-12 teachers across the district to support their students in standing up and speaking out against bullying/cyberbullying. Yet a number of times, at several high school campuses, as I make my way through throngs of students exiting at the end of the school day, I hear them yelling out to classmates with rude, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., comments. As tempting as it is to keep walking (it’s just kids being kids, no? … I’m not actually a faculty member here, right?, etc.), when I stop and face the offending student (who probably had not realized there was an adult in their midst), he or she basically always has the same reply: “Oh … Sorry… I was just kidding.” It takes my standing there a while longer before they will generally say once again that they are sorry. It think/hope the difference is that the first “Sorry” is because I heard them; the second “Sorry,” the one that matters, is for having said the unkind slur in the first place.


Kindness can be taught, and it is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.” Maurice Elias, Rutgers University

Stepping Up to the Challenge

But really, can kindness be taught? Can school districts serve as hubs for promoting these essential, timeless life skills? As evidenced in the Unbullyable project, I think so. Part of my job involves checking that all sites are teaching digital citizenship. In the first quarter of the school year, each site submits how it plans to meet e-Rate requirements. So teaching a few lessons during an advisory period, for instance, from Common Sense Media’s wonderful offerings, meets the requirements and often generates thought-provoking, possibly behavior-changing conversations. But some sites go above and beyond the minimum requirements by supporting a variety of student-led initiatives. These sites recognize that, with bullying/cyberbullying, the most impactful campaigns are student-initiated and student-led. At several of these same sites, teachers are weaving discussions of current bullying issues (local, national, or global) into their literature and social studies units. Although I’ve not set up any type of formalized student surveys, I’d be willing to bet that at these sites bullying incidents are becoming less frequent and, hopefully, less devastating.

Tips and Resources for Teaching Kindness

So how do we teach kindness to our students? I believe in the power of stories to transform hearts and actions. Thankfully, there is a wealth of powerful literature, starting with picture books, that teachers can use to ignite ongoing conversations on what kindness looks like. Common Sense Media’s Books that Teach Empathy list is a great K-12 resource and includes some of my favorites, such as R.J. Palacio’s Wonder.

There are also a growing number of websites that offer action-based lessons, such as the National Council of Teachers of English’s  Read, Write, Think site. Their Living the Dream: 100 Acts of Kindness lesson/challenge would be a wonderful literature extension for primary grades to use in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s,legacy and upcoming birthday. For middle and high school, I recommend visiting Facing History and Ourselves and checking out their Bullying and Ostracism Collections for resources to help students “think critically about the dynamics and impact of bullying in schools and communities.”

It is from stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, recent or from the past, and the ensuing conversations, that students often come to understand the role of the bystander in allowing bad things to happen, from bullying on the playground to unthinkable, unspeakable acts of government sanctioned brutality. Students need examples of what it means to cross the line from bystander to upstander. They need opportunities for grade-level and cross-generation conversations on how the courage of a single person to stand up and speak out against bullying and social injustice can change the school climate or even the history of the world. One of my favorite upstander’s tools is the Upstanders, not Bystanders VoiceThread. I co-curate this VoiceThread with my Digital ID partner/National Writing Project colleague Natalie Bernasconi. In the two years since we started the Upstanders, not Bystanders project, we’ve come to value how all voices and stories matter, from our kindergarten contributors to our Rwandan genocide survivor. Teaching kindness and civility needs to start in the primary grades and continue through adulthood.

One tip I have for readers is to document the work of your school sites. In the Sacramento bullying samples I mentioned above, I believe three of the four districts are currently in the process of developing district-wide digital citizenship plans. The fourth district has curriculum and procedures in place, but refers to the program as digital literacy rather than digital citizenship. Although the broader title makes sense, in the likely need to CYA, I think it’s wise to intentionally single out how each site specifically implements the teaching of citizenship/digital citizenship. A simple procedure my district has put in place, in addition to each site submitting an implementation plan at the start of the year, is requiring each principal to sign a statement at the end of the year verifying that digital citizenship has been taught at his/her site.

As my district heads into the third year of requiring school sites to document their digital citizenship plans, one shift I’ve noticed is also one I strongly recommend: Rather than plug in your plan at the close of the school year (post testing), as some of our secondary sites initially did, start the year teaching kindness and civility. Whether it’s through a shared article, a story, an assembly, etc., if the activity is followed with classroom discussion, I am pretty sure you will find, as a number of our teachers have, that student buy-in will be greater as will instances of students actually putting their citizenship skills into practice. Once standards for online/offline behavior have been articulated across the site, students are more likely to speak up for others and to think twice before they hit the submit button.

Additional Resources

In addition to the resources listed above, another outstanding resource is the Cyberbullying Research Center. I love their Cyberbullying Quiz – What the Research Shows, and all the resources linked under their Related Posts section. This exceptional resource, and many more, are listed on the Stepping Up page of the Digital ID project – along with the invitation for your students to submit a PSA in the upcoming 2015 Digital ID PSA Challenge.

Edutopia! Lisa Currie’s article is part of the dynamic Bullying Prevention collection of resources on teaching kindness, empathy, and digital citizenship.

On my New Year’s Resolution List is the intent to update this post during the school year with samples of digital citizenship surveys for students, along with data on the results and impact of teaching kindness and civility. I welcome your input.

Best wishes to all school sites for a year of newsworthy positive accomplishments!



April 6, 2014
by blogwalker

2014 Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge

If you are looking for opportunities for your students to speak out on digital citizenship issues, checkout the 2014 Digital Citizenship PSA Challenge. Students in grades 4-12 are invited to submit a 90-second (or less) PSA that addresses taking a stand on cyberbullying, building a positive digital footprint, respecting intellectual property, or protecting online privacy.

Sponsored by the Digital ID project, all the information for creating and submitting a PSA is posted to the PSA Challenge page, including a wealth of resources and even a link to printable flyer.

Prizes? Yes. Once again we* are offering $25 iTunes cards to student producers of the top three entries for elementary, middle, and high school categories.

Please let me know, by leaving a comment, if you have questions. Hope to see entries from your students!

*Disclaimer: I am a co-curator of the Digital ID project. As my fellow co-curator Natalie Bernasconi and I head into our 3rd year of sponsoring the PSA Challenge, we look forward to showcasing the work of students across the nation and globe. The Digital ID project and the PSA Challenge are in recognition that the most powerful, impactful teaching model is the students-teaching-students model.

January 26, 2014
by blogwalker

Starting the Count Down to Digital Learning Day 2014

Feb 5 = Nat'l DLD

Feb 5 = Nat’l DLD

February 5 marks the Alliance For Excellent Education’s 3rd annual national Digital Learning Day (DLD). I love the many ways the Digital Learning Day website and program encourages and showcases best practices in supporting students as digital learners and global citizens. The video below highlights the importance of digital learning from a student perspective, with a strong message that digital learning is no longer optional or simply an add-on:


If you are wondering how classrooms, school sites, and districts are participating in DLD, a great starting point is the Digital Learning Day Celebration Map, which includes a search bar and the registration form. As of today, Alabama, New Jersey, and California educators are the top contributors.

Of the many ways you and your students can participate in DLD, here are a few of my favorites:

 Another option we are offering through our Digital ID partnership with the California Writing Project is an #Upstanders Tweetout.

Wherever you are and however you involve your students in any of the above  or other DLD activities, please be sure to visit the DLD Map Celebration and enter your information.  I look forward to learning from and being inspired by a national network of DLD contributors!

May 24, 2013
by blogwalker

NWP Radio – Sharing the Microphone with Student Upstanders

It was my privilege to join NWP’s Paul Oh, Common Sense Media’s Merve Lapus, CWP’s Jayne Marlink, and my Digital ID joyce-frendelyco-curator Natalie Bernasconi for last night’s NWP Radio Talk Show discussion on California’s first-ever Digital Citizenship Month. The highlight for me was sharing the microphone with Valley High School seniors Joyce Joseph and Frendely Vang – two outstanding upstanders, who were willing to participate in the event – even though it was the night before their last day of high school!


Joyce and Frendely are upstanders in all the communities to which they belong.  From sharing their stories on the Upstanders, Not Bystanders VoiceThread to assisting with and participating in the making of the very powerful Teen Dating Violence PSA, these two cross the line on a regular basis to speak out for themselves and for others.

Like many of their classmates, Joyce and Frendely have had their share of challenges, challenges that are all too common in tougher neighborhoods and school communities.  They are both passionate on the importance on converting bystanders to upstanders. They have have made a difference at Valley High School.  They will make a difference as they move on to life after high school. Lucky me for having the opportunity to meet, work with, and co-present with Joyce and Frendely!

July 22, 2012
by blogwalker

Learning to “Flex our fair use muscles”

I’m a huge fan of YouTube. I really appreciate some of the digital citizenship/media literacy videos they’ve created and shared this year, such as Detecting Lies and Staying True.  This is one of several that I’ve embedded into the Digital ID project wiki because in 2 minutes it lays out the need for students to question information, an essential (digital) literacy skill.

I was therefore excited to delve into the lessons YouTube  just released as part of their free digital citizenship curriculum.  The one area of digital citizenship I find teachers are the least comfortable discussing or teaching is the fine line between copyright and fair use.  I was hoping that YouTube would have a content-rich, yet straight-forward piece that teachers would feel comfortable using with their students, similar to style of Detecting Lies and Staying True.

Maybe it was a mistake to start with the Fair Use Section of YouTube’s curriculum. But I did – and was frankly, well, disappointed by the lack of content. And the videos are weak.  Perhaps the fact that YouTube did not produce either Fair Use & Copyright or Legal Information  is part of the problem.

I suspect the bigger problem is that there are not yet enough advocates for fair use for educators jumping in to produce informative, student-friendly guides and videos on the topic….and for a good reason: fair use, unlike copyright, is a little messy to explain. In my current job as a tech integration specialist, I often receive questions from teachers about fair use, generally related to projects their students are working on that will eventually move beyond the walls of the classroom to an authentic audience. I no longer provide teachers with Hall Davidson’s Copyright and Fair Use chart, which, unfortunately, even though the title refers to the chart as “guidelines,” the opening sentence states that the chart “was designed to inform teachers of what they may do under the law.” So it sort of sounds like law, no? (Note: Hall Davidson has since made several videos on fair use. He mentions the misinterpretation of “guidelines” for legal policy.)

Although the chart does eliminate much of the messiness of fair use, it does not provide students with any understanding of the original intent of copyright, as stated in the U.S. Constitution, or their rights to claim fair use, as spelled out in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. A much better guide for teachers (and where I learned about Section 107) is the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy (and accompanying slideshow). Thanks to the on-going work and commitment of Renee Hobbs and Kristin Hokanson, more and more educators, including myself, feel confident to help teachers and students understand both their responsibilities and their rights when it comes to using copyrighted materials for school-related projects.

I’ve had the good fortunate over the past few years to participate in several events with Renee and Kristin.  I’ve made progress: I’m now to the point where I actually see the “messiness” of fair use as a good thing – as a process that requires critical thinking and promotes media literacy. Kristin’s Reasoning Tool for Fair Use and her scenarios are great starting points for classroom discussions on what constitutes fair use and how to construct an argument, on a case-per-case basis. It is through discussion opportunities on such pertinent, timely topics that students become active, contributing (digital) citizens.

In addition to Renee’s and Kristin’s resources, I’m very grateful to Common Sense Media for stepping beyond the artificial percentages of the Copyright and Fair Use chart and crafting outstanding lessons that align with ISTE NETS, as well as the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy. Check out, for instance, Common Sense Media’s Rework, Reuse, Remix lesson for grades 6-8. The two lead up lessons provide students with the background on copyright issues. They are well-prepared to then head into this lesson and “expand their understanding of fair use, apply it to case studies, and create an original work of fair use.” Thank you, Common Sense Media.

I completely understand that YouTube is constantly having to remove videos that are clearly in copyright violation. But, at the same time, when I re-watch 3 of my favorite long-standing samples of remix + a newcomer (listed below) still, thankfully, hosted by YouTube, I feel the need to speak out and request policies that allow and invite our students to collaborate on a remix….already knowing they will raise the bar on this 21st century genre:

I honestly don’t mean to criticize YouTube. Their venue is an incredible teaching resource, and I very much appreciate their responsiveness to educators.  As I mentioned above, YouTube content rightfully occupies a chunk of real estate on the Digital ID wiki. My concern is simply with Fair Use, one tiny piece of their digital citizenship curriculum.  But given how many times over the last 72 hours I’ve seen links to their digital citizenship curriculum come into my Twitter feed, my concern is that school districts and sites that are just now waking up to newest CIPA requirements may opt for using – and limiting themselves to – this curriculum since the topics do address the three required CIPA components: Internet safety, appropriate online behavior, and cyberbullying – even though the depth and breadth fall way short of what Common Sense Media offers.

I hope administrators and teachers will create policies that guide students in the ethical use of intellectual property – in ways that do not shut down creativity and innovation. Although legal mandates differ from state to state and country to county, I believe strategies, best practices, and policies for teaching our students respect for intellectual property – including allowances for fair use – are topics worthy of both local and international conversations.

How does your school district educate students about copyright law and restrictions while encouraging them to, as Renee Hobbs puts it, “flex their fair use muscles” ?



July 1, 2012
by blogwalker
1 Comment

ISTE 2012 – Day 3 Highlights

Personalization of Learning through Digital Content – Each year that I’ve attended ISTE, I check through the program for Cheryl Lemke, knowing that I’ll leave her session with research that will inform my practice and guide me through the next school year. The session write up from her Metiri group stated that she would ” present a framework for understanding the types of digital content pertinent to schools, approaches to lesson design that leverage digital content; how to curate digital collections for and with students; and policy and digital learning environment considerations. ” She delivered.

The good news is that Cheryl’s session was pre-selected as a an “Executive Summary,”  meaning it was recorded and will soon be available on the ISTE website “Cliff Notes style…turning the content from the session into concise, documented, actionable insights” ($.99 for 1; $9.99 for all 15). Cheryl also said she would post the PowerPoint, a great resource for starting district, school, and grade-level discussions on the meaningful integration  of technology. “Technology needs to be ubiquitous and necessary.”

Throughout the presentation she shared examples of sites for differentiating and personalizing learning. Here are a few that were new to me:

    • The W.A.Y Program – Out of the U.K., Student Centric – kids build multi-media products
    • DreamBox Learning – Adaptive learning – Math for primary grades – gathers data on kids and suggests a range
    • OER Commons – Open educational resources = democratization – lays on top of copyright, allowing others to remix and repurpose. Rich collection of lessons with an open invitation to download and use.
    • Gooru Learning – In Beta phase, site is a partnership between Google engineering and the Packard Foundation. Gooru is suggesting that kids become the curators. 
    • Ubiquitous Games – From MIT  – check out Breeders (protein synthesis), Invasion of the Beasties (evolution),  Island Hoppers (food webs), and Chomp! (complex food webs).
I’ll update this post when Cheryl’s presentation resources are available online.

Copyrights? Teaching Fair Use Reasoning to the Remix Generation – I had the pleasure of joining Kristin Hokanson, Ginger Lewman, Sandy Hayes, and Lisa Parisi as part of this panel discussion.

My interest in “strengthening my fair use muscles” started several ISTE Conventions ago, when I traveled to Philadelphia for the all-day Sunday session with Kristin and Renee Hobbs.  I blogged that session, stating that if it were the only session I could attend, I already had my money’s worth.

A year later, I traveled back to Philadelphia to participate in another all day workshop with Renee and Kristin. Having made the switch from the “10% of this; 30 seconds of that” approach to teaching copyright and fair use, I now wanted the background to turn around and help teachers and students in my district make the mind shift to fair use as a case-by-case argument – and a critical component of digital literacy and citizenship.

In the past school year, as I worked on updating my district’s 3-year Technology Plan, I wove Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Support Digital Learning (Renee’s book) into the plan narration and bibliography. I have also included the book as well as Kristin’s link to Fair Use Reasoning Tools on the Digital ID project.

What a treat to be a part of the ISTE’s Copyrights? Teaching Fair Use Reasoning to the Remix Generation panel! As the hour ended, I left with a renewed commitment to continue teaching this “messy” topic back home in my region and district.

ISTEUnplugged – Digital ID Project

ISTE Unplugged – Digital ID Project – In a couple of weeks, I’ll be joining my project co-curator Natalie Bernasconi on a trip to Redmond, WA, where we will compete in Mirocosoft’s Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum.  We’ll be joining 100 other educators from across the US for what I already know will be an extraordinary experience. As part of the event, Natalie and I will be pitching our Digital ID project to a team of judges – in hopes of taking the project one step and location further: the November International Forum in Athens, Greece.

Given the above, when our NWP friend and mentor Paul Oh suggested we sign up to do an Unplugged session, we decided a 15-minute pitch + 5 minutes of Q&A might be an excellent practice run. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Steve Hargadon, pretty much all we had to do was show up. Steve had a screen, projector, microphone, and wireless already set up for the ISTE Unplugged sessions. Now all we have to figure out is how to condense our pitch into 5 minutes for our US Forum pitch;-)

Google in Education – I entered the Exhibition Hall and wondered into the Google booth in time to hear Elizabeth Calhoun’s presentation on Digital Literacy and Citizenship… just as she was referencing the Digital ID project as a great starting point for teachers looking for resources, strategies, and tools for rolling out digital citizenship programs at their school sites.  Now this was definitely an ISTE highlight for me and my Digital ID co-curator, Natalie Bernasconi:-) 🙂 :-).

Implementing Digital Citizenship: Lessons Learned from the First Year – Common Sense Media’s session, facilitated by Kelly Mendoza, was a great opportunity to hear stories from the trenches from elementary teacher Audrey Stokes and a middle school teacher Jeff Brain.  Like everyone in the crowd, I too was there to let Common Sense Media know how much educators appreciate the phenomenal free content posted to their website – with more on its way, such as the soon-to-be-launched Digital Passport Program (for grades 3-5).

Sadly, in order to catch my flight home, I had to leave before hearing the DeforestACTION closing keynote, so I’m hoping others have blogged the session.

Start to finish, ISTE 2012 was a fabulous experience (and only a direct, non-stop flight away;-).




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