So I reference tools and posts from FreeTech4Teachers (http://www.freetech4teachers.co) from time to time. He definitely puts out some great content. Not sure how he does it, with teaching, presenting at conferences, and running a few different sites, but I am quite glad he does. He recently put out a post on a great resource to teach Copyright (http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/05/copyright-on-campus-six-minute.html#.UZoOG7Wsh8E). If you read this blog at all, you definitely know I do not like the current rules on Copyright. Giving entities (ahem…Disney) rights to content for the creators life plus 80 or 90 or some obscene number years really takes away from this Remix culture that Lawrence Lessig among others discuss and discuss. Especially us being in education, we want to use media and content to allow students to build their own understanding of everything. Mash-ups, remixes, what ever you call it, we want them to access content and create new understanding with it.
BUT…we must teach the law. Whether we like it or not, Copyright has pretty concrete allowances (Fair Use) that we can follow. This video shows Copyright for Campus’ take on Copyright. I say to definitely use this as ONE way to discuss Copyright in your class. As Richard mentions on his blog, this for-profit company definitely may not see Copyright Law as we may see it. Best to find a variety of sources, review them all, and allow students to discuss how they are similar and different. That would definitely provide a great additional higher-level thinking activity–lead discussions on interpreting these different videos and identifying the propaganda in each of them.
Regardless of your views, though, we must teach Copyright. With content so easily consumed and ‘borrowed’ these days online, educators must really first take the lead on knowing about what you can and cannot do with content and then teaching the students about those rules. Plenty of great resources out there to help!
I recently saw a review of Go Class on Android 4 Schools. This app definitely provides something we have been looking for. Just to summarize, my district decided on Android a few years back, first utilizing the Samsung Galaxy Tabs and now with a few hundred Nexus 7 among all the nook HDs and other devices. So one question that always comes up is how to push content to the devices. Go Class explains what it does:
Built to support the classroom dynamics, GoClass aids the instructor in delivering rich content effortlessly and effectively. You can achieve so much more in your classroom by doing very little. It brings you power of technology combined with the time tested teaching methodology of SHOW-EXPLAIN-ASK. It allows you to create, deliver, evaluate, and update content all from the same application and store it all on the Cloud. See how it works!
Sounds pretty good, yes? Before going forward though, I would slightly warn they are in a free beta. That could mean they will stay free, they will go away without explanation, or they will come back with an exorbitantly high price after the beta. So how does it work? Well, first you need to create your class. Your typical data entry of student names, emails , and information. You then begin creating your lesson plan. Really, this just organizes your content. You can add media (images, movies, etc), weblinks, pdfs, and other documents. Once you finish, you can create some questions for your students. When time to teach, you can project your content or push it out to your devices. Pretty cool. With all the 1:1s, BYODs, and the like, I can definitely see this being a good way to share content. Similar to what a Course Management System (Moodle, Blackboard, etc) does, but maybe a little quicker and cleaner. I will continue to play around with this to see how it works. Can’t you see this working for teacher professional development as well?
With all the shiny devices out there, most people do not think to use a small arsenal of tech tools. We want the biggest, fastest tools, without sometimes thinking of the learning that can take place. Take for instance a recent article and infographic that I posted here. Infographics can provide so many teaching moments in pretty much every curricular area. In this one I used think of how students can use this in math…looking at the populations of the countries in an outside the highlighted circle. Making a spreadsheet to total up the populations. Looking at percentages or using decimals. Going deeper into higher math functions. Social Studies is pretty obvious, but to go deeper looking at the style of government inside and outside to see if there are any similarities. Science -can the resources there sustain these large populations. So many things. So why, why do we try to make things so difficult by introducing all these confusing devices and applications? Sure, they can work some, and in this case, if you had a couple devices, you could definitely use them with these infographics, but we just tend to make things difficult in keeping up with the neighboring school district or county. Keep it simple, right?
Image source: http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682915/infographic-majority-of-earth-s-population-resides-in-this-one-relatively-small-circle?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fastcompany%2Fheadlines+(Fast+Company)
If you call yourself a geek, you probably like zombies. The Walking Dead is a favorite of ours…although this last season came across pretty lame. The new World War Z looks pretty promising too. I am not a Brad Pitt fan, but have wanted to read the book. Will take in the movie after reading it.