Saturday, March 27, 2010

To Copy or Not to Copy

I must admit that copyright laws trul intrigue me. Last week for another one of my LIS classes I had to do a book trailer. It took forever, but i was very happy with the product. After I took part in the web conferences, I had a bit more guidance regarding certain copyright issues. Our prof. wanted us to post our videos on YouTube, but I declined to posts mine. During the book trailer, I inserted copyrighted music by the 10,000 Maniacs. It looked and sounded great, but the sounds were not original. Since I was only showing to my LIS class and a couple students at a local school, I chose to use the music, but not to publish it. My intent was to get people excited about the book and the focus of the book trailer was the book, NOT the music. I think I effectivley avoided a copyright violoation. Based on the readings in Simpson and the information in some of the other readings, I feel much more informed about copyright law. I see copyright law similar to intent, in legal terms. Educators do not have free reing to violate copyright law and I feel like this is an area of concern I could really help address in my future school.

I also had another instance in a school last week dealing with copyrigh laws. I am homeschooling a studetn in social studies and I wanted to make a couple copies from the pages of a graphic novel. I wanted to share them with my homeschool student becasue eh does not go to the physical school he does not have access to the library. Before I made my copies, I noticed (for the first time) that the copy machine had simple guidelines for students and teachers in regards to copying materails affixed to the top of the machine. The school library staff actually said they would prohibit copies being made if teachers or students used the machine for repeated violations. When I asked the staff about it they said they police it the best they can. I was impressed.

Again, I do not want to be the copyright police in my school, but it was nice to see a small staff working together to enforce the rules.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Movie Makers for ANYONE

I am surely one of the most avid movie watchers among my my personal or professional acquaintances. I remember being mesmerized by the animations and sound of Disney's The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. I was awestruck when I went to see James Cameron's Titanic on my 18th Birthday. Who wasn't, right? This year the animation techniques on the big screen kicked it up yet another notch. A big notch with Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen and again with James Cameron's Avatar. I thought the Harry Potter series was pretty impressive, but I have been continually astounded. I am new to learning about computer apps ( or apps we LIS folk call them) and I have no interest in downloading them to my non-touch phone. Not until however, I found out a friend of mine from high school developed an app. He actually developed several apps for the Apple IPhone. Pretty impressive I think. What I then began to think about was how can I use apps to make a movie or movies for my students? I am a social studies teacher (licensed, but not working full-time) and an aspiring librarian, and I have a good feeling that certain computer animation applications can really be life changing for me and my students. For my LIS 565 class, I attended an Online Conference at the K12 Online 2009 Educators' site. . Part of this online conference included dynamic ways to introduce your students to movie making. These movies can part of class projects, portfolios, teacher instruction, book trailers, anything that may help the students connect with a certain topic or concept. In Joyce Valenza's presentation "The Wizard of Apps", I learned about two great sites: and Voice Thread . Both sites are free and offer unique ways to produce movies and pod casts using different production techniques. For someone like me who is not yet able to create an animated movie, these sites provide tutorials, templates, troubleshooting, and examples as to how to create a movie or podcast. As an educator, I know the best way to engage a student, help them learn, and assess their skills is to have them teach another person what they have learn. AHA! Why not have them put their skills and knowledge to use and have them teach the whole class what they have learned by creating a short movie? At the xtranormal site, they offer you a wide variety of formats and character options that would allow you to story tell or teach about anything! I actually used this site to make a book trailer about the book, "The Shack" by William Paul Young. If these sites can take the technical work out of the project for me, think of how we can use these tools in our classrooms and libraries. Sometimes teaching skills about library, technology, and information can really eat into instructional time. A format like this would allow students a greater degree of flexibility for managing their time and talent. I will continue to explore these incredible applications to make my future classroom and dynamic learning environment.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New KNOWlegde about Computer Apps + Love of Couponing = Free Pizza

This class has proved to me to be very self-serving outside the realm of library and information studies. I consider myself a novice on copyright issues, I can effectively create and write a blog, I can write a paper without everseeing and physicially meeting my co-writers, I can download lessons to my IPOD, I can use a Wiki, I will soon be certified to instruct other teachers on Internet safety, and I created a Wiki for a student I am homeschooling. This has surely been my most productive class of the season in terms of learning tools to manage, use, and manipulate information. Before this class, my first encounter with blogging was a coupon site I visit daily (actually several times daily, I"m addicted and I admit it!). I used the same blogging software as my favorite coupon blogger and got ideas as to how to set up my own blog. From this blog site, I've also been lead to many great freebies - shampoos, make-up, children's books, candles, air fresheners, indoor paint, lightbulbs, name it. I'm a queen of great bargains. So mix up my computer app class skills and my passion for couponing and I get free pizza. I signed up at I applied to host three parties and I won one! Here's the link to Liz's Rock N Roll Pizza Party . At the house party site I upload photos, blog, send e-invites, answer surveys, and use a pre-made web page to get my family and friends excited about coming over for free pizza and prizes. The kicker is that they tend to select active Web 2.0 users who will be good advertisement for their product according to a survey all potential party hosts must fill out. All the Web 2.0 apps they asked about I use for this class!! Not only am I finding practical application for this class and its many resource tools, but it is helping me win free stuff. Yayy for computers, LIS programs and free pizza!! And I'll be sure not to steal any illegal copyrighted music or pics and put them on my party site thanks to Carol Simpson and Copyright for Schools.