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Friday
Nov142008

Generation We

 

This from my buddy Ian Jukes. Not sure of the political sponsorship or agenda, but well worth watching:

I feel both guilty and encouraged.

Oh, and a different perspective from just thinking of today's kids as Generation Wii.

Wednesday
Nov122008

Is that a projector in your pocket...?

 

Check this out*:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/05/technology/personaltech/05pogue.html

That's right. A data projector that fits in your (shirt, not coat) pocket and connects to an iPod. Cool.

Now back when I was a little presenter growing up on the prairie, it took two men and a boy to carry the equipment needed for data projection. I remember humping:

My trusty MacClassic, B&W, with added video-out pigtail which connected to...

an LCD projection panel to be placed on...

an overhead projector, better when bright and portable. The room still needed to be pretty dark and image wasn't much sharper than the presenter, but there was still quite a WOW factor for the time.

I honestly believe I got my tech director job back in 1991 because I impressed the hiring committee with my really cuttin' edge HyperCard resume that I projected with a set up just like this. Sort of a proto-geek.

Speaking of equipment, the best backhanded compliment I ever received was from a very nice lady who gushed, "Just watching you set up the equipment was the best part of your presentation!"

Hard not to get a big head.

Off to the School Library Journal Summit in Fort Lauderdale where all the problems of the world I am sure will be solved. Cathy Nelson promises to stream some of the programs. My (literal) 15 minutes of fame will be "7 Audacious Statements about Fair Use and Copyright" as part of a panel.

Warm weather and old friends. Could be worse.

*Thanks to Tim's Assorted Stuff blog for this link.

Wednesday
Nov122008

Teasers from Best Practices in Fair Use

As I was re-reading the Center for Social Media's Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy (released with great pomp yesterday, including an excellent short address by Joyce Valenza), these lines jumped out at me:

[Fair use] is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities. (p.1)

Like literacy in general, media literacy is applied in a wide variety of contexts—when watching television or reading newspapers, for example, or when posting commentary to a blog. Indeed, media literacy is implicated everywhere one encounters information and entertainment content. (p.2)

...there is a climate of increased fear and confusion about copyright, which detracts from the quality of teaching. Lack of clarity reduces learning and limits the ability to use digital tools. Some educators close their classroom doors and hide what they fear is infringement; others hyper-comply with imagined rules that are far stricter than the law requires, limiting the effectiveness of their teaching and their students’ learning. (p.4)

...there have been no important court decisions—in fact, very few decisions of any kind—that actually interpret and apply the doctrine in an educational context. This means that educators who want to claim the benefits of fair use have a rare opportunity to be open and public about asserting the appropriateness of their practices and the justifications for them. (p.5)

In fact, the cultural value of copying is so well established that it is written into the social bargain at the heart of copyright law. The bargain is this: we as a society give limited property rights to creators to encourage them to produce culture; at the same time, we give other creators the chance to use that same copyrighted material, without permission or payment, in some circumstances. Without the second half of the bargain, we could all lose important new cultural work. (p.5)

Today, some educators mistakenly believe that the issues covered in the fair use principles below are not theirs to decide. They believe they must follow various kinds of “expert” guidance offered by others. In fact, the opposite is true. (p.7)

Experts (often non-lawyers) give conference workshops for K–12 teachers, technology coordinators, and library or media specialists where these guidelines and similar sets of purported rules are presented with rigid, official-looking tables and charts. At the same time, materials on copyright for the educational community tend to overstate the risk of educators being sued for copyright infringement—and in some cases convey outright misinformation about the subject. In effect, they interfere with genuine understanding of the purpose of copyright—to promote the advancement of knowledge through balancing the rights of owners and users. (p.8)

We don’t know of any lawsuit actually brought by an American media company against an educator over the use of media in the educational process. (p.17)

And lastly...

The next step is for educators to communicate their own learning about copyright and fair use to others, both through practice and through education. (p.14)

OK, folks, I hope your interest has been piqued. Download this document and read these statements in context where they are even more powerful. Share the document with fellow educators (especially your favorite librarian). Keep in mind these words from the document:

Educators need to be leaders, not followers, in establishing best practices in fair use.