The information for this week is very informative and of interest to me. The videos talking about Fair Use spelled it all out in an easy to follow format. The copyright laws for use on the Internet have had to redefined so they are not so restrictive. If someone is doing something for the greater good of society, like teaching, then the needs of teacher supersede the rights of the owner under the law. The restrictions were interesting in the sense of the limitations on limitations which was not for use of entertainment, rewards, and videos & CDs. I was a little bit fuzzy on this in that many times teachers will “reward” students with movies. I am guessing because they have purchased the DVD or rented it, then this is ok under copyright laws. But they are not allowed to download a movie and show it. It was interesting to know that any tests, worksheets, scantrons developed by companies for schools were not allowed to be copy. This stands to reason, as was talked about in the video, if we as teachers want to keep these companies going we need to purchase the products. Another idea which caught my attention was “face-to-face instruction trumps copyright laws.” There is a lot of latitude available to teachers, if they are aware of the laws governing copyright issues.
The YouTube video was great in the sense it gave kids a good idea of what copyright infringement is. I felt like it went along with what the thinking process in children tends to be, especially for the younger ones. The graphics were not only entertaining but also something kids could and would understand. The written info with the fast talking announcer would be lost on most kids, though. Too much information, too fast talking, and I could see them just glossing over it. I understand YouTube’s need to include the information, just as car sales commercials to too, but it was distracting also. I am not sure how this could be changed. As an adult it was a positive graphic reminder of the basic copyright laws for using YouTube.
Being a newcomer to the Internet and teaching in general, I am very excited to learn about Primary Sources and the use of them in the classroom! Most of what was available years ago when I first taught, it all had to be in books which were not easy to come by, then had to be copied in some way. I think the use of the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, National Archives and museums across the nation and world opens up some exciting ways to use the Internet within all areas of the curriculum! For myself, I will need to push myself to get completely immersed in the information available. From my other classes we have talked about how do we as teachers get the students more interested in school and the subjects which we teach. I believe this is the way in which to do it. I looked at a lesson plan done for 4th grade math and it was teaching skills about geometric shapes. It used the idea of quilts. There were several pictures of quilts and then went on to talk about the different shapes which make up the quilts. After class discussion they went on to make their own math quilt. Very innovative and inspiring to me! This also ties into the discussion about creative commons by the ability to use another teacher’s lesson plan to teach a subject. Plus looking at what others have done, gets my own creative juices flowing and I can see ways in which to go off in my own direction from there. I like the creative commons http://creativecommons.org/ video talk of “Share – Reuse – Remix”. The wheel does not need to be reinvented in teaching all the time.
NETS standards for teachers plays out a lot in this weeks topics. The first standard talks of “Facilitate and Inspire Student learning and Creativity.” With the use of primary sources to enrich the learning it can get students fired up about learning. Another NETS-T standards is “Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments” using different sources on the Internet will also enhance learning, and meet one of the standards goals. As a future teacher, I believe when I am excited about a subject or subjects the students will pick up on that and become excited to explore and learn also. Since the possibilities to develop all lessons are awesome on with the web, it will be important to me to remember to narrow my focus to the subject at hand, and not get overwhelmed by the process. I will be in a learning mode, too, as I work in the digital age.