Thursday, March 29, 2012

Copyright and Fair Use

As educators, we are rule followers and want to know what can and cannot be used in the classroom. Here is a chart from TechLearning on Copyright that is makes it easy to understand.

Another fantastic resource is Copyright Catechism: Practical Answers to Everyday School Dilemmas. This books does a great job highlighting real life situations in schools and gives easy to understand answers.

According to the book, as far as video and film are concerned, videos must be shown in a classroom setting, with the students and the instructor that is responsible for the curriculum, shown during the unit of study (not before or after), and be legally acquired (this could be purchased or rented).  Videos may not be shown for entertainment, enrichment, or rewards.

"A NO answer to any of the questions means that public performance rights are required.

1.  Is the performance being shown in a non-profit educational institutional.
2.  Do the students and teacher in a regular class give the performance.
3.  Does the performance take place in a classroom or other instructional place?
4. Is the performance made from a legally acquired copy of the film/video.
5.  Is the performance made in the course of direct instruction of a required curriculum topic."

Additionally, a great blog post to read is called, Three Rules Your Kids May Be Breaking at . The author makes great points about plagiarism, illegal downloads and uploads, underage social media.

Works Cited:
1.  Simpson, Carol, and Carol Simpson. Copyright Catechism: Practical Answers to Everyday School Dilemmas. Worthington, OH: Linworth Pub., 2005. Print. Page 115-116. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another Reason Why Admin Should be on Twitter

This past week I got a Direct Message on Twitter from a member of my PLN from a couple hours away within my great state of Nebraska.
The message asked, "What is your Skype name?  I had a teacher apply for a job here & she list you as a reference, I'd like to touch base with you".

So we exchanged Skype contact info quick and in a matter of minutes we were video conferencing via Skype, me, and the group of educators who interviewed an old teacher of mine I hired when I was principal a few years back.

I was eager to find out who it was, and once I heard who I quickly shared all my thoughts about their candidate for the job in their building, their district, and their community.

My reason for this post is simple:  without TWITTER this would not have happened.  This connection is because of TWITTER.

Without TWITTER this person would have applied and my name would have been listed as a reference, but the key is they would not have known me from Adam.  I would have been a fancy principal name on a piece of paper listed as a reference that they may or may not have called and or contacted.  And even if they did call me they would not "know" me, because of TWITTER, they know me!

She may or may not have got the job, but guess what. . . . yep. . . . SHE GOT THE JOB!!!

I'm not saying it was all about me that she got the job, but it didn't hurt her.  The connection I had on TWITTER with the people interviewing her made all the difference.  Bottom line.  And anyone who would try to say different is fooling themselves.

As a past administrator I was once again struck by the POWER OF TWITTER and the network you can build and how that led this group of educators to me.  I know when I was principal and I was hiring new teachers to come into my building I ALWAYS depended on references from someone I knew and someone I trusted before I hired them!   That was before I found TWITTER.

In retrospect now, I continue to say how I thought I had things together as a principal, but I didn't have TWITTER and I should have.  I do now of course as an Instructional Technology Trainer for my district, and I can see how as a principal it could be such a powerful tool for something like hiring a new teacher, which is a very big deal to the culture of a building.

Once again, this is one more reason why you should be on TWITTER.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pin It, Scoop.It, Tweet It

What to do with all the AWESOME resources you discover on Twitter? @weaver5th and @kkmathias have the answer, “Pin It, Scoop It, Tweet It.”

"Pin It, Scoop It, Tweet It" became the theme of the day at our Techie Tuesday on curating a topic with Pinterest and Scoop.IT.   Both Pinterest and Scoop.It are electronic ways to organize and manage web resources.

Pinterest is a visual way to creatively organize the web, collaborate, and share resources.  This virtual pin board is intuitive to use and manage.  The Pin It button slides on to the bookmarks bar of the browser, making it simple to Pin ideas as you find them.

Scoop. It works similarly. Find a great blog post or article, just click Scoop.It on the toolbar and the article is scooped onto your topic page.  The page has its own URL making it easy to Tweet or share the link.  

By mid morning, we had a room full of pinning, scooping, tweeting teachers, and by afternoon a cacthy little jingle was created. (check out the YouTube Video of the Pin It , Scoop It, Tweet It song).

So what are you waiting for? Pin It, Scoop.It, Tweet It!

Four Ways to Use PInterest in Education  (includes video tutorial)
20 Ways Libraries are Using Pinterest Right Now

Primary Junction Pinterest Board:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pinterest- Window Shopping With Other People’s Stuff

In a recent Techie Tuesday, Teachers were happily pinning away ideas, photos, Youtube videos, and lesson plans they found online. On this particular day our learners were all female. We did get into a little discussion about which gender uses Pinterest more. Turns out our male trainer in the room, @catlett1 was adamant that Pinterest is for women. However, in the UK there are more male Pinterest users than female. 56% to 44% in fact! In the United States it is no less than 83%. Either way you slice it, millions of people, males and females are pinning away. To me Pinterest is like window shopping at Christmas.

Pinterest is another strand in the spider-web of social media. It lets you pin your blog for greater exposure, pin your own Youtube videos, but it also opens the door to go get other people’s ideas, products, and information. Pinterest apparently captures the entire image most of the time, which appears to cross the copyright lines of using other people’s stuff.

Pinning does beg the question “Is it OK to pin other peoples stuff?” As we were discussing ways to use it one of our Twitter friends @chericson tweeted out an article about Pinterest and copyright laws. It was an eye - opener for sure and raised a lot of questions about the legalities of pinning other people’s information.

So here are some things to remember when pinning: Pinterest places all liability on you as the user. (I only read the fine print from the article mentioned above). Always give credit to the author, photographer, and movie maker. Can’t really promise this will protect you, but it is always good practice when sharing information whether you are Tweeting, Scooping, or Pinning. Use Pinterest to promote your own digital content and then you are completely safe.

It seems like people love to jump on the latest tech bandwagon, but this one appears to be staying. It will be interesting to watch user policies and legalities. Would you want your photographs on other people’s boards? It probably depends on the artist. Should Pinterst develop requests to pin your stuff? I would not be surprised! Look how many times Facebook has changed it’s policies multiple times. With 12 million users to date, Pinterest will have to be on top of its policies as well! Happy and safe pinning to you!

Written by Jenny Krzystowczyk

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Twitter Etiquette

There are many things in Twitter that are tricky to learn. Etiquette is no different.
There is no official guide to read from. This is our take on a couple of key pieces to
having the proper etiquette on Twitter.

One thing to keep in mind before you continue in this post is good old-fashioned manners ring true in Twitter just like they do at home. Saying Please and Thank you are still the same.
If someone says something nice to you on Twitter, tweet them back a thank you. Pretty simple really.
  • If someone follows you, @mention or Direct Message them and thank them for the follow.
  •  If you retweet someone, you can edit their tweet, if you do make sure to put MT for a Modified Tweet. Perhaps in this case you take off a hashtag they used to make it fit or you wanted to put your hashtag like #tt4t on it to send it to your people.
  • Include professional information in your profile. Many people carefully read profiles before following you.  It’s important for you to list your subject, grade level, & content areas.
  • Text lingo can be used to shorten messages.
  • Twitter is not texting or Facebook.  Take personal conversations to a DM (Direct Message) or move it to Facebook or Skype.  
  • Use an @mention and tell the person that you like or have used their idea.  They will appreciate it.
  • Always give credit where credit is due. So if you find a great blog post or article from someone on Twitter @mention them in the tweet that you found it from them.
Chats come with their own set of unwritten rules that we have discovered as we have joined the professional Twitter community.  

Educational Chats
1.  Add a column with the hashtag you will follow.   Ed Chat has a CHAT every Tuesday at 6 PM CST.
2.  Watch and read the tweets before jumping into a conversation.
3.  Stick to the topic that is being discussed. This is not the place for personal updates.  If you need to leave, just walk away, no need to waste a tweet to tell people that.  They will notice you are gone.  People don’t want to waste time reading something that does not help them as an educator.
4.  If you make a connection with someone perhaps you don’t use the hashtag and continue to converse through DM (Direct Messages) or through your regular home feed of followers.

#FF - Friday Follows

Dear New Twitter Friends,

You are going to see a hash tag #FF on Friday. This stands for Follow Friday.  People will tweet off people in their network on Fridays with @mentions of people in their network. This means they are suggesting you follow them and this is also a big compliment to them. A #FF is a tweet filled with people who are tweeting great things in their personal learning network (PLN).

Shelly Mowinkel@ShellyMowinkel
#FF build your PLN with these awesome educators: @techiefeldie @j_allen @Coach_Sautter @catlett1 @mrbadura @jennykbps

This is a compliment to each person included in the #FF tweet.

The #FF’s also make it a simple, quick, easy way to find people to follow.  Since they are recommended by others as Twitter rockstars, they could be a great additions to your PLN!  Just click the names and follow them!

Our #TT4T #FF’s:

@cybraryman1 @stumpteacher @cyarzy @j_allen @Matt_Gomez  @NMHS_Principal  @web20classroom @shannonmmiller @Grade1 @mrbadura  @L_Hilt @justintarte @MrWejr @rmbyrne  @beth_still @chericson @shellymowinkel @kevinhoneycutt @shellterrell @stumpteacher @larryferlazzo @adambellows @teachingwthsoul

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Recently I saw a tweet come across my feed and one of the teacher's I follow from Ontario, Canada.  Her name is Angie Harrison or @TechieAng on Twitter.  She tweeted, "Looking for an adult who loves Dr Suess & is willing to read aloud one of his stories via Skype tomorrow to our grade 3 class 

I then saw her interaction with another elementary Twitter teacher I follow @Grade1 and Aviva was lining up a time to Skype in and read to Angie's class so I thought, what the heck, I could do it.  So I tweeted Angie and told her I was up for it.  In a matter of minutes I was lined up to read the following day, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!  My personal, all-time favorite book to read to kids.  As a principal, on #drseussbday's I was always asked to come into lower elementary classrooms and read to them.  I always enjoyed it.  

This experience was no exception.  It was fantastic!  I was skyping into an amazing teacher's classroom in Canada who thinks outside the box, she uses Twitter to flatten the globe, and on this day I was in Canada for a little while.  How cool is that?  I busted out a CAT in the HAT hat and surprised the kids with that!  Ha!

Within this great idea of Angie's, her husband Brian Harrison or @bharrisonvp on Twitter, came up with an idea called #FarAwayFridays to go along with it.  And from that a Google Spreadsheet was born.  See it here: #FarAwayFridays This idea was to continue on with setting up educators skyping into classrooms all over the world from Far Away on Fridays.  What a great idea and a fabulous use of a #hashtag in twitter!  I love it!  I am so glad I tweeted back to Angie and got involved with it.  I will encourage and share this with as many teachers as I can because what a great way to show kids a love of reading and learn from others "Far Away".  

Check it out!  Get involved!  Pass it on!