@newsfromtengrrl for 2011-08-03

  • Teacher changing lives with 'The Power of Words' — Morning Express – CNN.com Blogs http://hoki.es/o3LFkC #
  • Deadline to submit abstract for Computers and Composition special issue extended to August 8 | Kairosnews http://hoki.es/q25gbi #
  • Universities Join Together to Support Open-Access Policies | Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education http://hoki.es/pWz1Yb #
  • Summer PD: New Teacher Boot Camp Week 5 – Using Blogs | Edutopia http://hoki.es/qx0AvP #
  • YouTube & Fair Use | viz. http://hoki.es/qcp3EY #
  • QuickWire: South Korea Gives $2-Billion to Turn All Textbooks Digital | The Chronicle of Higher Education http://hoki.es/qE9Ic2 #
  • Move Quickly from Idea to Draft with Notational Velocity | ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education http://hoki.es/pyIpr9 #
  • Benjamin Franklin’s Habit Tracker | ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education http://hoki.es/nzhhh8 #

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Updating the Copyright Puzzle

Copyright Symbol by Horia VarlanIn some ways, copyright is a very static thing. Once you set your words down, you own them for decades. When it comes to how teachers apply and teach copyright however, there are always new resources and new guidelines to take into consideration.

This entry was originally published on the NCTE Inbox blog on June 15, 2010. This revised version includes some additional resources and is updated to reflect the Library of Congress ruling on DVD remixing from July of this year. Resources are included for all grade levels (kindergarten to college).

Figuring out copyright can be like piecing together a puzzle. You have a good idea how it’s supposed to work in the end, but all the little pieces can be confusing to piece together.

These links can help you learn more about copyright yourself and teach students about fair use and copyright. In no time, you’ll move from scattered pieces to a full picture of copyright and fair use.

Classroom Resources

Check out the Media Education Lab website for key resources and curriculum materials. The site includes links to My Pop Studio, which focuses on media literacy for girls 9–14, and Assignment Media Literacy resources for K–12 students. You’ll find songs and video clips that you can use with students or in your professional development workshops.

Copyright on the Web, from CyberBee, is a simple FAQ interactive that younger students can explore to learn more about copyright.

Older students can use the Digital Slider from the Copyright Advisory Network to test whether the works they want to use are covered by copyright. The Fair Use Evaluator, also from the Copyright Advisory Network, steps content creators through the process of creating a fair use defense.

Teaching Copyright, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is a collection of five lesson plans on copyright, fair use, file sharing, and remixing.

The Fair Use section of the Center for Social Media website includes teaching materials and educational resources on fair use of documentary film and online video.

Movie Clips and Copyright from Inside Higher Ed explains the Library of Congress ruling on DVD remixing and fair use, which allow wider use of samples from DVDs for classroom use and student projects.

The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance from the Copyright Clearance Center provides a thorough overview of copyright, fair use, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication, from the Center for Social Media, “identifies four situations that represent the current consensus within the community of communication scholars about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials.”

Copyright, from University Publishing of Washington State University, recommended by NCTE & CCCC member William Condon, includes information on everything about copyright from music to the Internet. The Public Domain Chart and Fair Use section are great classroom resources.

Profhacker’s Solutions for Dealing with Copyrighted Materials in an Open Access Course offers strategies for creating open classes that provide the necessary audio, video, and print documents while still respecting the intellectual property rights of those who created the texts.

The article “Copying Right and Copying Wrong with Web 2.0 Tools in the Teacher Education and Communications Classrooms” from CITE Journal outlines guidelines for determining the fair use of various Internet resources by teachers and students. The article was reviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In addition to resources on copyright, you may want to know something about Creative Commons. For a great overview, check out “The Beauty of ‘Some Rights Reserved’: Introducing Creative Commons to Librarians, Faculty, and Students” from the November issue of the Association of College and Research Libraries publication C&RL News. The About section of the Creative Commons website offers movies, comics, and FAQs.

Issues for Discussion

If you’re ready to ask students to think critically about the complex issues that copyright law raises, you’ll find ideas on these sites. Some are meant to provide background for you, the teacher, while others are appropriate for sharing in the classroom.

Academic Institutions Face "Unfunded Mandate" To Enforce Copyright on Networks from Library Journal discusses regulations that require all schools that receive public funding to “combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of an institution’s network.” Is the legislation asking libraries to police areas outside their control (and what are the funding ramifications for those schools)?

The role of “fair use” in a time of CHANGE, a 2009 lecture by Lawrence Lessig, raises intriguing questions about the way copyright works for print-based texts versus video-based texts and introduces the idea of Creative Commons as an alternative. The video is 66 minutes long, so you may want to ask students to view it outside of class and save class time for discussion.

Copyright: The Elephant in the Middle of the Glee Club, from the blog Balkinization, points out the glaring problems with the instruction at William McKinley High School on the television show Glee. There’s lots of fun and songs, but also a lot of apparently teacher-sanctioned copyright violation. The article will lead to lively discussion among students who watch the Fox TV show.

The Inbox Blog post Mixing or Plagiarizing? raises questions about how print-based text was recently borrowed in a German novel that the author defends as a cultural remix. Students can read the related news articles and discuss whether the copying was fair use or a violation of the original writer’s copyright.

The Intellectual Property Colloquium offers a recorded conversation among three scholars on Copyright Termination, the “unwaivable right to terminate certain contracts and licensing agreements.” Students can listen and then join the debate. Should someone be able to reverse a copyright agreement?

NPR’s “Cooks Source, Copyright And Public Domain” and The Guardian’s Cooks Source: US copyright complaint sparks Twitter and Facebook storm describe the copyright scandal surrounding a stolen recipe for medieval apple tarts. Classroom ideas for discussion are included in my An Easy-as-Apple-Pie Plagiarism Lesson on the Bedford Bits blog (forthcoming 11-23-10).

Challenging a YouTube Video Take Down is a short, and likely memorable, introduction to the fair use in using video clips to create a new work. Classroom discussion might focus on how the principles of fair use apply in other contexts. Students might also search other sites to learn how to protest a take down on another website.

Can You Copyright Your Tweets? refutes the position that Twitter posts are too short to be protected by copyright. The post comes from the blog 95Years, recommended by @jensmyth. Check the blog for the latest controversies involving technology and social media. Because some information on the site is not appropriate for your typical classroom, the resource is best for teachers rather than students.

The xkcd comic “Steal This Comic” is a short, pointed discussion starter for the issues surrounding music copyright. Whether you agree with xkcd’s take on the issue or not, it’s an interesting way to introduce the topic.

[Photo: Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo of copyright symbol by Horia Varlan]

Piecing Together the Copyright Puzzle

Copyright Symbol by Horia VarlanFiguring out copyright can be like piecing together a puzzle. You have a good idea how it’s supposed to work in the end, but all the little pieces can be confusing to piece together.

I’ve posted links to 15 sites on copyright and fair use that will help you move from scattered pieces to a full picture in this week’s NCTE Inbox Blog.

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo of copyright symbol by Horia Varlan]

Week in Review: January 30—February 5

The “better late than never” edition of news for this week. Be sure to check out the “Assorted Extras” links to an image placeholder technique you can share with web design students and a poetry interactive.

Campus Issues

Donations have decreased at colleges across the country (Inside Higher Ed). Yale will cut staff and freeze some salaries to meet a $150 million budget gap (NYTimes). Princeton’s efforts to squash grade inflation are meeting with complaints from students (NYTimes). In a ten-year strategic plan, the president of University of New Hampshire calls for interdisciplinary collaboration and rewards for innovation to ensure the school’s future (Boston.com).

Intellectual Property Rights

UCLA has removed all copyrighted films from their course Websites because complaints of copyright violation from the Association for Information and Media Equipment (Chronicle of Higher Ed). IP rights and piracy have been at issue for centuries (Inside Higher Ed), and many universities are unsure what is and isn’t legal (Inside Higher Ed). The UCLA action has lead to speculation about the role of video projects in education (Inside Higher Ed) and emerging understandings of copyright and online streaming (Inside Higher Ed).

In a strike against a possible plagiarism mill, an Illinois court has shut down an online term paper site until it can prove ownership of the essays it sells (USA Today).


Federal funding for FY2011 may fall short for Pell Grants, the Department of Labor’s Career Pathways Innovation Fund, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (Inside Higher Ed). The proposed end to the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership program could spell the end of millions of dollars in matching funds from state coffers for students (Inside Higher Ed). Lobbyists are challenging the federal plan to end government subsidies to private lenders and provide the monies to directly to students (NYTimes).

A letter from Jill Biden counters misconceptions about federally-subsidized loans and urges community colleges to offer the loans to students (Chronicle of Higher Ed).

According to a recent report, the number of nonprofit schools gaining federal funding as “Hispanic-Serving Institutions” is increasing (Inside Higher Ed).

Tablet Computing

The new iPad has inspired discussion of the tablet’s educational benefits (PCWorld), how students will respond (Nevada Sagebrush), and how the various tablets stack up (Lifehacker). Apple’s decision to use a proprietary format for ebooks on the iPad complicates things for consumers and publishers (Yahoo! News). The free Blio Reader may change expectations for ebooks, with features that duplicate layout and appearance of paper-based books (eSchoolNews). Regardless of the evolution of ebooks and tablets, author Katherine Paterson argues that we’ll still read paper-based books (NY Daily News).


Universities report increasing interest in hybrid courses, which combine online and traditional classroom experiences (eSchoolNews). A Brigham Young University experiment found that free online distance courses did not harm traditional course enrollment (Chronicle of Higher Ed).

A recent Pew Trust report finds that teens do not use Twitter or blog but their interest in social networking sites is growing (Washington Post). Regardless of teen engagement, teachers can benefit from using Twitter to connect with other teachers (Educational Leadership). For tenure purposes, however, a UC-Berkeley reports indicates professors should focus on traditional publication options (Chronicle of Higher Ed).

Assorted Extras