So, here we are, starting off the beginning of CoETaIL Course 2 already. I really am enjoying the community spirit amongst my fellow CoETaILers, from reading each other’s blogs to seeing that someone new is following meon Twitter. (I will eventually make ‘tweeting’ part of my routine, right?) My RSS feed seems to grow by the week, and not because I’m not keeping up with the reading, but that I keep adding more blogs to the list. I aim to focus on writing truly quality posts for those of you who so nicely take the time to read my blog…so, put your hairnets on…the quality control staff is in the house!
In my Course 1 Final Project post, I mentioned the use of Prezi amongst our 5th grade students. Those projects are slowly wrapping up and I am anxious to share the students’ work here in this blog. Working on these projects has brought some great discussions up between myself and one of the 5th grade teachers, particularly focusing on the use of pictures in their work. So, when the class focus this week was on Creative Commons and your digital footprint I was excited to see what useful information I could learn. The Creative Commons website helped me to understand that its purpose was to help bridge the gap between old copyright laws and today’s technology. This allows for more universal access. As a teacher, I think it is my responsibility to help students understand the value of someone’s work, whether it’s text printed in a book, a track of music, or a picture they find on the internet. So many of us are guilty of simple hitting up Google Images whenever we need ‘just the right’ image. It’s fast and has a huge bank of millions of pictures. But, you never quite know where the original image came from or whether or not you can use that image without consequence. My blog readings led me to a new source of knowledge this week from Bill Ferriter’s The Tempered Radical blog, and in particular his post “What Do YOU Know About the Creative Commons?” In this post, he shares a story of how his use of using Google Images led to a hands-on lesson in copyrights. Two videos are linked in his post to help explain to adults and tweens why we should all pay more attention to the ownership of the pictures we are using. I plan to use them to help educate my 5th and 6th graders further on this issue. I’m proud to say that I managed to add the Creative Commons license to all three of the websites I post to regularly.
I was also really interested in the Positive Digital Footprints article from Educational Leadership. As I look back at the article to write this post, I’m realizing that the author of this post is also The Tempered Radical’s writer. Seems like Bill Ferriter is a pretty good source for information surrounding the idea of your online presence in education. The article does a great job defining some basics, like offering that digital footprints are “online portfolios of who we are, what we do, and by association, what we know.” Ferriter goes on to explain that while many educators are worried about teaching the dangers of the online world, we should not forget the importance of teaching what this new connectivity can do for us in a positive manner. He stipulates, “Instead of teaching students to be afraid of what others can learn about them online, let’s teach them how digital footprints can quickly connect them to the individuals, ideas, and opportunities that they care most about.”