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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 02/17/2013



  • Claiming intellectual property of STUDENTS and FACULTY (check your contracts faculty, most contracts already claim your IP which is why you shouldn't use school computers for anything you create) but now, publicly schools are going on record claiming copyright. Sadly, like many colleges, this serves more as a dampener than a revenue generator. I think a more creative copyright where students own their work, but schools have permission to use and reuse for school purposes makes more sense. I agree with TechDirt that this is a problem that we should begin speaking out about. Read and educate yourself, however, TechDirt needs to realize that most work for hire documents claim IP rights.  "We recently wrote about how the school board for Prince George County, Maryland, was considering a policy that would claim the copyright of everything produced by both students and faculty at the various schools in the district. That seemed extreme in so many ways. Some folks have set up a site called Don't Copyright Me, in which they're asking people to sign a petition to be sent to the school board, telling them not to take the copyrights from students and teachers. While this may seem like a small deal because it involves a single school district, the larger concern is that it actually becomes a bigger deal in the long term, as other school districts may follow suit: Copyright is getting out of control. Prince George's County is one of the top 25 school systems in the country. If this policy goes into effect, it could set a terrible precedent at a time when quality education is needed more than ever. Students and teachers deserve the same rights as everyone else. With this policy, a high school student could get a takedown notice from their own school for posting a video they made for class on YouTube."

    tags: education news copyright.

  • There is a wrong way to follow a photography policy. This is an example. While the child wasn't to be included in photos, the photographer removed him in a way that bothered the parents. Just realize this is a sensitive issue and that schools should have photography policies. "A second grader at Sawgrass Elementary School in Sunrise, Fla., who didn't have the parental consent form to be in his class photo was nevertheless included, but in a way that has shocked school officials and the boy's parents, WPLG TV reports. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO Per the elementary school's request, The Huffington Post blurred the faces of the other students in the photo, but the second grade boy can still be seen with a crude, brown-colored, smiley face placed over his face."

    tags: news photography permissions

  • Backchannels in the classroom - this is a fantastic guide by Jerry Blumengarten @cybraryman1 of just about everything about backchannels.

    tags: backchannel education tumblr news elemchat msedchat bestpractices all_teachers edu_trends

  • As some say that all students should be required to "speak up" in class, I say "let them type." If you run a backchannel, that should count as classroom contribution. I've found that quieter students will float an idea in the classroom and are willing to express it verbally if the teacher notices and speaks about the topic. Sometimes students want a low-threat way to suggest and interject, and I've personally found the backchannel to be a powerful way to do this.

    tags: news education backchannel tumblr

  • A new website that many are discussing. I love using BAckchannels in my classroom and thus far have used Chatzy and Ning chat, however, this website is designed for real time chat for classrooms. You can mute and remove comments, it has a profanity filter and also a full transcript so you can go back and assess participation and weaknesses. You can set the chat to discontinue when you leave. When I review for tests, I always like to use a backchannel because I can ask questions and we can document answers and the students can save as notes. This is a great tool. I'll be testing the free chat room this week. I've heard from some of our Flat Classroom(r) certified teachers that this is a create tool.

    tags: education news tumblr app backchannel wiki_book evernote all_teachers edu_newapp

  • No, the government isn't CREATING a WIFI network (the Washington Post didn't really look at this), however, this article on Gizmodo does share what is happening at the FCC that could help many, especially those in rural areas, be part of the world's new digital landscape. As we work to put devices in our student's hands, this sort of development could make a big difference for kids and can further spur online and blended learning initiatives as digital divides are further bridged. Applause? Can we have it next week? "Let's get one thing straight: the government is not creating its own "super WiFi network", but its plans will indeed make awesome new WiFi networks possible. Technically, what the FCC is actually trying to do is increase the amount of open spectrum that is available for WiFi networks of all sorts-and for other "unlicensed" uses. This is a very good idea."

    tags: news fcc tumblr wifi

  • Doug Johnson is a great read for his blunt, in your face honesty and his point about how technology companies are trying to differentiate is a great one. I think, however, we should extend this to schools as well. If your school is great, say why, but dissing the competition is no way to compete. If you think your school has no competition, think again. So, read this in light of the arriving and coming competition on the edulandscape and have an honest take on how you should "sell" the virtues of your school. If you can't talk about how great your school is and have to resort to how bad the other one is, prepare for a day when you'll shutter the windows and wonder how they're going to keep the bugs out of your empty building. Wake up and smell the wires burning their way into your student's computers and tablets, great teachers are just a click away and we've all got to learn how to blend and trend our courses, teaching, and to bridge our classrooms to add real value as teachers. It isn't hard as you think but if you just sit and teach like you've always taught, you're setting yourself up for some unpleasant days. You can't do everything but you can do something to improve yourself. Next practices are an important part of your best practice. Always innovate and never settle. Standards are only the beginning, you must have purpose if you're going to be a great teacher. Doug says: "But what I do know that when competitors trash each other, I tend to tune out. And I flat out hate it when I know they are lying - and I will NOT buy from a liar. A salesman recently promoted his video storage service by stating "unlike YouTube, we don't own your movies." That's just not true. (YouTube doesn't own your movies, GoogleApps doesn't own your Docs, CIPA, FERPA, etc. do not ban social media.)"

    tags: education news edreform tumblr bestpractices all_teachers edu_trends

  • Pinterest is popular. In my experience, ESPECIALLY among teachers and Mom bloggers. Just know how to use it and get on there consistently.

    tags: social media news pinterest twitter

  • Twitter is going to "rate" your tweets in the hopes of giving you and developers better content. Again, those late to the game may have trouble being heard, but I'd like to think there is always a way to be valuable. Never assume that because everyone is following someone that they have something worth saying - decide who YOU want to follow and that is enough. Of course, when this happens, expect the usual uproar of those who are valued and not valued, as for me, I hope I can resist the urge to start comparing in sharing and just try to stay helpful. From Mashable..."The value judgements will be assigned to the public metadata of tweeters' posts, and used by Twitter's streaming API to help developers more selectively curate massive amounts of status updates. Designations of "none," "low" and "medium" will most likely debut on Feb. 20, according to a post by developer advocate Arne Roomann-Kurrik on the Twitter developers' blog. A "high" value option will be rolled out sometime after the initial batch."

    tags: twitter tumblr news apps edu_news

  • There are some cool new features in the Kindle app - in addition to xray and notebook (previous feature upgrades) you have multi-colored highlighting, brightness sync across devices and a prompt to rate a book when finished (I like this one because, perhaps, more REAL people will rate amidst many book reviewers who are either biased for or against an author for undisclosed reasons.) Update that iOS or Droid Kindle app or whatever device it is on. 

    tags: news app kindle ebook all_teachers

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