Clearing Up Copyright Confusion Session

Copyright Confusion Session

Kristin Hokanson with Renee Hobbs

  • Exercising fair use demands an expanded conception of literacy that includes mass media, popular culture, and communication skills
  • Copyright confusion — the end has arrived with the¬† Code of Best Practices for Fair Use
  • Purpose of copyright: to promote creativity, innovation, and the spread of knowledge — Article 1, Section 8 of the Contitution
    • Copyright was not designed to have forceful restrictions
  • How teachers coped
    • “I am going to do what I want”
    • “Close the door”
    • “Hyper-comply”
  • Problem — the educational use guidelines are still confusing
    • These are negotiations between media companies and educational groups
    • But, these “guidelines” are not the law — these documents give them the appearance of law, but they are not and the guidelines have a negative effect on education
  • Transformative use
  • Creative Commons looks at owner’s rights
    • Lessig’s idea — let’s give the owners some options
    • But, users still have rights under fair use, too
    • Think of Creative Commons as an owner right and fair use as a user right
  • TEACH Act and Digital Millenium Copyright Act have limited fair use
    • No teacher has ever been sued under fair use — but cease and desist letters are used to create fear and uncertainty
    • This is all the copyright holders can do — not really force you to take something down
  • Almost all parodies are protected under fair use
  • There are fair uses that are not transformative, too
    • Some can be illustrative, so long as it benefits society more than it harms the copyright holder
    • All fair use is based on informed opinion — did we make a good faith interpretation, especially for educational purposes
    • Fair use is an interpretation that we, as educators, are obligated to do under the law

Notes from Opening Panel Discussion of EduCon 2.1

Notes from opening panel discussion at EduCon 2.1

Panel Discussion @ The Franklin Institute — “What is the Purpose of School?” Come to the Franklin Institute to see a group of societal visionaries speak about their vision of the purpose of school in a panel discussion.

  • Joel Arquillos — Executive Director, 826LA
    • 8 years in San Francisco schools, dealing with all that happens in the classroom — the purpose of school is to build community and to respect and honor the students that come into our classrooms
      • The best that you can do some days is to help students talk with one another and get through all the big issues in their lives
      • How to help them build the world that they will inherit
      • Then, I began to see that there were other ways of opening the school to the world — working with 826 Valencia
      • Wanted to create a space for students to have an opportunity to work on their writing
      • Connecting the classroom and the community; changing the perception of what schools can be
  • Dr. Molefi Asante — Professor, African American Studies, Temple University
    • First, this is a complex question, the purpose of school, because the purposes given for schools have always changed
      • 17th century — train young white men how to be leaders in the world
      • What should be the purpose of school is perhaps what we should ask
    • One purpose that perhaps should be non-changing is that the purpose of school is inquiry
      • If there is a value to be transmitted by schools, it would be inquiry because inquiry is about openness
    • The notion of knowledge needs to be developed such that we have an understanding that all cultures contribute to knowledge; there is not one perspective on knowledge
      • We might need to redress this whole question about this idea of a monocultural system that has evolved from the Greeks to now; we forget the Chinese, Africans, Indians, and others
    • The purpose is inquiry — just when we think we are set, that is the moment we should inquire even more
  • Kendall Crolius — Founding Partner, The Sulevia Group
    • Creativity — what business leaders say is that the biggest challenge is to keep innovation going
    • Collaboration — more important now than it has ever been, must be able to work in teams by appreciating cultural diversity and other perspectives
    • Courage — confidence; embrace change and challenge the status quo
  • Jeff Han — Founder, Perceptive Pixel and inventor of the multi-touch screen
    • Did really love school, and I had some really excellent teachers
    • We were really well equipped and got to use technology in the classroom
    • Communication
      • Learn how to communicate socially, and also in the sense of sharing concepts and constructing an argument
      • Be didactic, be able to communicate with one’s peers
    • Calibration
      • Look at how teachers can callibrate what knowledge is difficult to understand, what problems are difficult to solve
      • Is this something that is novel? That is a real contribution?
  • Prakash Nair — Co-Founder, Fielding Nair International — Architects and Change Agents for Education
    • There is a huge disconnect between what you see as the rhetoric in school offices and what happens on the ground
    • Six ideas
      • Schools should be a social anchor, a hub that offers value to students and community
      • A place for kids to hang out with all the cool toys: computers, video links, gamers, artists, musicians
      • Generate ideas and not just regurgitate ideas: from architecture to courses
      • Ideas harvesting, bring them to fruition
      • Key player in¬†community’s economic network
      • Flexible, accessible to build social capital: physical and cultural resources for schools
    • Many of these things are happening around the world today
    • How do you enhance the bottom line — accountability for all, and everyone should be pulling in the same direction
    • 30 Strategies for Education Innovation
  • Dr. Stephen Squyres — Principal Investigator, Mars Exploration Rover Mission
    • Two particular purposes for science education
      • Open student’s eyes to what is possible — this is important for those who are going to go into STEM
        • Went to a public high school and realized that teachers were hamstrung in many ways because they couldn’t do everything that they wanted to do with students
        • Space exploration was something that I saw on TV, and not until college realized that there were options for being exposed to those doing space exploration; this is much too late
        • Need to reach students in high school and middle school — expose kids to what is possible
      • To allow people how to understand how things really work
        • Teaching an introductory astronomy course — it is very easy for students to see science as a static body of knowledge to be learned and tested
        • Instead, try to show them what science really is and what scientists can do
        • Start with “what happened on Mars” today in the course
        • Science is a process of uncovering new knowledge, of discovery
        • Opening their eyes to how things really work
      • Collaboration with the Mars Rover — the machines are so complex that no one of us understands everything about it
        • Bringing together the right size group of people for the task at hand that are united by a common passion
        • Everyone has to believe it is going to be great and has to agree to the core, crisp statement of the mission and what we are trying to accomplish
  • Diane Castelbound, Pennsylvania Department of Education
    • Meeting with people everyday from businesses, to politicians, to people in schools from rural to urban and talk to kids and find that they feel schools are failing them all
    • Schools are supposed to create community and civic identity, and failing on that front, too
    • By whatever metric, our schools are not keeping pace
    • How the system is failing our kids and teachers — public education funding system
    • If education is supposed to be the great equalizer, then it is no wonder that we are not keeping up
  • Moderated by Frederic Bertley — Vice President of the Center for Innovation in Science Learning, The Franklin Institute

Franklin Institute founded in 1824, teaching in mechanical arts 2006 – SLA opens in a partnership with Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Schools

Personal Technology Learning and the Teaching of Writing

Today, I will be introducing my ENG 315 pre-service teachers to the idea of developing their “digital teaching persona” and thinking critically about why and how to use technology in their personal technology learning and to become better teachers of writing.

Each semester, I face the act of balancing the introduction of a number of digital writing tools — Google accounts for Gmail and Google Reader, Edublogs, Wikispaces, podcasts, digital stories — and the content of our course which includes principles of the writing workshop, reflecting on a midtier teaching experience, and examining our work as writers.

And, each semester, I find that students initially (and sometimes in their final reflections on the course) say that the first weeks of class are overwhelming in terms of the new technologies.

So, I am thinking about how to make things only “whelming,” not overwhelming, and also articulate why I think that learning how to use these digital writing tools are critical to their success as teachers. Thus, I offer this brief list that I intend to share with my students today:

  • Understanding digital writing tools can be intimidating at first, yet provide opportunities for writers to share their work and read the work of others. This kind of publication ritual is an important component of the writing workshop, and digital writing tools enables students to easily distribute their writing to a wider audience.
  • Understanding and applying technologies to the teaching of writing — as well as understanding concepts associated with them such as copyright and fair use — has become the professionally responsible way to teach writing. Professional organizations such as NCTE, NWP, IRA, ISTE, the Center for Media Literacy and others have moved quickly and clearly in the past few years to show that integrating technology across content areas, including the teaching of writing, is critical for creating students who are literate in a variety of ways.
  • Creating a digital teaching persona — via one’s own blog, wiki, RSS reading, email address, digital portfolio and through other online tools — has become essential for teachers who are increasingly being asked to use these tools as they search for jobs and establish classrooms that use technology in critical and creative ways. By learning these tools in a pre-service methods course, and understanding the ways in which they can be applied as a part of one’s overall approach to teaching, pre-service teachers can enter the profession well-prepared to represent their work to a variety of audiences including students, parents, administrators, and other stakeholders.

My hope is that learning how to use digital writing tools will help my pre-service teachers accomplish these three interrelated goals — providing opportunities for student writers, being a better teacher of writing, and creating a classroom environment that fosters critical and creative writing.

While it is difficult to jump into new technology learning, and I acknowledge that the learning curve can sometimes be very high for some of these tools, my goal this semester is to help students in their learning by offering more time during writing workshop where they can collaborate and I can confer with them.

If you have other ideas about why personal technology learning and the teaching of writing are important, I welcome additional ideas to add to this list so my pre-service teachers can gain more insights into why and how teachers should learn about these tools and ideas.

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