Kendall Boninti is the Instructional Technology Specialist at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School in Cambridge, MA
Do you teach copyright and fair use to your students? I’m ashamed to admit it, but until a few years ago, I avoided copyright altogether… in my lessons, in my conversations. It just seemed like such a downer. A bunch of negative rules that restrict students' ability to do fun innovative things with music, media, and art. That was until Alida Hanson, the Library Teacher at Weston High School, recommended that I read the book Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning by Renee Hobbs. The book was published a while back, but the information is still relevant today. Hobbs' book opened my eyes to how big media companies intentionally mislead educators into being ultraconservative in the way they practice and teach fair use and copyright. Have you ever seen or used one of those copyright checklists that lays out the “rules” of fair use (i.e. you can only use a certain percentage of a song or video)? Those checklists were often born out of agreements between media companies and assorted educator groups to intentionally limit students’ rights. Not surprisingly these agreements are not based in actual law (Hobbs, 29).
Laura Gardner is the Teacher Librarian at Dartmouth Middle School
One of the rules of an Ignite talk is to NOT talk about one tool and from my title it looks like I’m breaking that rule. We librarians are such rebels, aren’t we?
Over the last three years, the teachers and students in my school have created over 500 videos with our green screens and the free iPad app, Touchcast. We have four green screens in our library, three others around the school in classrooms and countless green tablecloths that go up in hallways and classrooms when we’re doing a big project. Several teachers now have their own channels. Some students even create their own videos at home, for extracurricular projects and of course, just for fun. This has fundamentally changed our school. The specific app isn’t what matters; it probably could have been any app. However, I do think Touchcast is the very best choice; not only for student projects, but also for flipping your classroom, school news shows and MakerSpace-style video creation. It is easy and fun to create videos that promote future ready libraries for every school. You can include video apps including polls, quotes, and pop-up images as evidence, all the while using green screens to create backgrounds such as news shows and of course, school libraries.
Margaret Schoen is a librarian at Newton South High School.
You can hardly open a newspaper or look online these days without being confronted with the phenomenon of fake news. Politicians, media critics, librarians, educators - we’re all discussing the topic and wondering, how do we educate our children to deal with a world where much of the information they’re being bombarded with is designed to trick them?
In this month’s column I’m addressing how the library team at Newton South is working on this topic, but we’re also interested in hearing from you. What has your school been doing? Are there programs or practices you’ve found effective? Respond in the comments and share your stories.
Jennifer Scheffer, formerly ITS at Burlington High school, currently at Fox Hill Elementary
As Burlington High School embarks on its sixth year as an Apple Distinguished, 1:1 iPad school, all students, beginning with the class of 2019, will be required to take a Digital Citizenship course as part of their graduation requirements. This pass/fail, one credit course is entirely online and is self-paced. Students have until the end of May of the current school year to complete the course; providing them with flexibility in terms of completing assignments. Because Burlington is a Google Apps for Education school, all assignments are distributed and collected through Google Classroom. Google Classroom was chosen for its intuitiveness and the fact that it integrates seamlessly with Google Forms. Google Forms was selected for each assessment in the course because of its quiz feature with automatic grading.