Session 7: 3,2,1 News in the classroom
This was one of the few lecture sessions that I attended, so it was noticeably less “hands on” that I was getting used to. They had a solid structure to their presentation, a narrative of how they started a live closed-circuit news show at their school with very little money. They broke down the steps needed and how to structure a similar program for success. The only thing that I would change is that I didn’t’ think their presentation was always as compelling as the story they were telling. I would really like to point them to resources like Dan Meyer and Dean Shareski, which talk about using more visuals and dumping the text from slides. Part of the problem may be on my part, I was so tired before the preso that I had to snatch a nap by laying my head on the table while I waited for the session to begin. They had handouts, and they also have a Web page to support their presentation, which is very helpful. I don’t know whether I would want to try something like this now. I think I would prefer to perfect what I’m doing with podcasting/audio first and I’m not as wed to the idea of live (although I should be because based on my experiences live Webcasting) there is something that is magical about doing it live. Nonetheless, I feel there will be lessons for me from the presentation about structuring a student news program, whatever the medium I choose.
Session 8: Copyright in Education
Now this was an interesting session. Many of the issues from Kristen Hansen NECC UnPlugged session on copyright in education came up here. If Kristen advocated for fair use as a floor, then the presenter here, Tony Jongejan, seemed to present it as a ceiling. This was a much more cautious approach to copyright issues. In fact, at the end someone from the same working group that Kristen has been participating in at Temple University (the commenter was from American University), discussed the issue of “cost” in education that being so cautious causes. Basically, people don’t do project, or post projects that involve copyrighted material at all, even under fair use, which inhibits learning and sharing.
While these are two different approaches to copyright/fair use issues, both of them discussed the concept of transformation (although it was not discussed as much here), which I’m beginning to think should be a part of all educators training on copyright.
I saw a great point in one of Gail Desler’s reflections from Arnie Abrham’s presentation on Digital Storytelling. He has a notice he posts with his online collection of digital storytelling by students that reads:
“Many of the digital stories on our site include images and audio found on the Internet using commonly available search engines. The stories have been created for non-profit, educational use by students and teachers and we hope are within the fair use protection of existing copyright laws. If any copyright owner objects to the use of any work appearing on this site, please contact us and we will remove the work and review the propriety of including it.”
I would only change, “we hope this falls within fair use” to the more affirmative and explicit “we believe this is a fair use of your material based on the fact that the students have substantially transformed your original work through their creative efforts”.
My closing thoughts are that I do want to be cautious in how use copyrighted material, because I list my students’ work (not mine) as copyright protected on the blog. I do this because it is not my place to take away their intellectual property rights, and I want them to respect the intellectual property rights of others. If we did have a post up as the one above, we would be saying that others could use that same argument to remix their work. That would require some discussion and understanding with my students.
Session 9: From Comics to Trading Cards: Teaching New Literacies Using ReadWriteThink.org
Presenter: Emily Manning with Lisa Fink and Bridget Hilferty
I noticed that I was doing something that was detrimental to my live blogging at this session. I was trying to do other things online while live blogging (checking twitter, ,etc.). Then, the presenter at this session (which was a Bring Your Own Laptop one), told us that she wanted us to stay on the ReadWriteThink site, and not wander (do email). She did this in a polite way, but it made me realize that is a couple of the last few sessions, I had missed things as I was blogging by trying to do other stuff. With a lack of sleep, and all the running around, I was not multi-tasking effectively, and needed this direction.
On to the meat of the session. Read Write Think is part of an initiative by NCTE to improve English instruction and teach 21st century literacy skills. This is the more accessible end (how-to) of the whole discussion about how to use these tools to teach content, not just technology content. It was done by NCTE/IRA with a grant from Thinkfinity/Verizon Foundation. The site has a number of literacy related activities for students at a variety of levels to do. We went though doing some activities and sharing out. You can see my live blog notes for details on that. I’ve already been using the activities in my classroom. I had to rush from the session, so I missed a lot of the sharing. I don’t feel like I got as much as I should have out of this sessions for that reason (also, the first activity was one that I’ve already taught). The trading cards example was very useful. Kids describe a character from a book (or make one up) by answering prompts. This then results in a “trading card” based on their input. The neat thing is that you can have the kids talk about character’s traits factually on the card, OR they can do extension by giving them traits that are not explicit in the story. The only complaint I have about it was not the session, but the application itself, does not have a lot of portability (you can print, but not save). On the other hand, there is not login required. I will definitely be using that activity in my own lab next year as a means to both create new characters and explore ones they know.