Larry Lessig’s recent talk at Educause is now available online at Blip.Tv. Lessig is an outstanding speaker and eloquently builds a compelling argument on why copyright laws have increasingly become caustic to education, science and the free sharing of knowledge.
Lessig, a Havard Law professor and expert on cyberlaw, is the principal architect of the Creative Commons movement. Unlike the “all” rights reserved terms of traditional copyright law, Creative Commons attempts to provide an open license framework where content creators may share their work while still maintaining some reserved rights of ownership, attribution and dissemination.
Creative Commons licensed works are growing rapidly. If you have ever accessed Wikipedia for a quick fact check, you’ve benefited from their Creative Commons license on content and material. For many additional, excellent examples, visit the Creative Commons Content Directory. The directory contains numerous audio, video and picture repositories which may be mined for high quality, free content. Recently Google image search began offering an advanced filter for finding pictures tagged for reuse.
Colleges and universities are increasing their public course offering under the Creative Commons license too. Check out the University of California’s free college prep course site or MIT’s Open Courseware for two exemplary examples.
More information on Creative Commons licensing is available on their website: http://creativecommons.org/.
Penn Manor High School‘s student newspaper, Penn Points, made history today as it launched the 1st 2009-2010 “edition” totally online. Students in Mrs. Susan Baldrige’s High School journalism class have been working since the start of school on a 100% digital, print-free news magazine. Their work and dedication has produced a truly outstanding student news site and blazed a trail for future high school journalism classes to follow.
Moving to a fully online digital news magazine has a number of advantages. Besides the obvious environmental savings gained from not printing tens of thousands of paper pages a year, the newspaper staff will also realize significant efficiencies in publication speed. Specifically, the concept of scheduled “editions” is largely gone; students may publish stories directly to the web as soon as the article is finished. The net result is a student news magazine with the flexibility to publish stories in a much more timely fashion.
Additionally, a fully online student newspaper provides digital delivery to the local community and the entire world. In the past, Penn Points readership was limited to students and staff at Penn Manor High School only. In contrast the online addition may be read by anyone with Internet access. Further, the Penn Points team has made the decision to permit story feedback via the blog comments tool. Comments are open for anyone to use, however, Penn Points editors will continually monitor and approve comments before they are posted live.
Congratulations to Mrs. Baldrige and her student team for taking a risk and trying a new approach to journalism. Check out Penn Points Online and let the student writers know what you think!
Google Earth fans take note: Several Penn Manors streets and roads have been included in Google’s Street View. Although the entire county has not been added, several major Penn Manor routes and portions of Lancaster City have been photographed and added to Street View. Additionally, a number of district school buildings have been snapped and added to the catalog of images.
If you are not familiar with Google Earth’s Street View layer, the tool provides a 3-d panoramic view from the perspective of a car driving along a given road. Google’s Street View has been available since 2007 and continues to slowly expand the number of cities, routes and landmarks included in the catalog.
Google Earth is currently installed on most district laptops. Besides being a fun tool for visiting global destinations, Google Earth can be easily integrated into lessons across multiple content areas. Teachers looking for a great listing of Google Earth lesson ideas may want to check out the “25 Interesting Ways to Use Google Earth in the Classroom” presentation online here: http://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_175fp5qg9d3.
Our Summer ’09 technology in-service workshop schedule is now available in OTS. We are pleased to offer 15 different workshop topics. Here are a few inservice reminders and highlights:
- Elementary and Manor Middle teachers need to signup for one three-hour MacBook Boot Camp session in August. Laptop distribution will be followed by a morning of instruction on the new software tools available to teachers.
- Due to popular demand, we are offering the Blogging Basics workshop on two separate dates.
- New this year: Google Earth. Come discover multiple instructional uses for Google’s amazing mapping tool.
- Staff who are interested in exploring the new Keynote (presentations) and Pages (desktop publishing) programs should consider one of the three-hour workshops scheduled in August.
This past week, 2nd graders at Central Manor Elementary collaborated with Penn Manor High School students on a basic geometry and shapes lesson. With guidance from Mrs. Shelly Arment, Mrs. Melissa Przychodzen and student teacher Ashley Kulbacki, 2nd grade students conducted a remote video session via iChat. Mrs. Arment’s students demonstrated their command of complex shapes and facilitated a lesson on how various shapes are utilized on signs, buildings and other objects. Mrs. Przychodzen’s students followed the lesson from their classroom at the High School and answered questions posed by the 2nd grade students. The lesson concluded with Miss Kulbacki leading a brief long-distance “memory” game where 2nd graders and high school students worked together to search for geometric shapes on an interactive whiteboard.
On Friday March 20th students in Mrs. Arment’s 2nd grade class celebrated World Story Telling Day with students at the Akshara Library in Bangalore India. Despite the 9 hour time-difference, student from both sides of the world connected live via video conferencing to read books, ask questions and share cultural experiences.
Read more about the collaboration, co-sponsored by Pratham Books, from India’s perspective. For the Central Manor perspective, check out their blog entry. Thanks to everyone involved for making the live video event such an outstanding success.
Penn Manor students and staff were prominently featured at the PA Educational Technology Conference (PETE&C) this past week. On Sunday, Shelby Foster conduced a pre-conference workshop on Moodle basics. Monday featured two poster sessions from Pequea staff: Kevin Bower and Carin Leisure. Kevin demoed the Tech-it-Out parent tech showcase initiative while Carin showed off her Tech Mates video conference project. A special thanks to Megan Augustine for her support with both of these Pequea initiatives. Finally, Charlie delivered a conference session on Penn Manor’s Internet safety initiatives and the Millersville University Cyber-partnership.
On Tuesday, more Pequea projects were featured as part of the PETE&C student showcase. Students from Lisa Koetteritz and Megan Urban’s 4th grade demonstrated their winning commercial for the Pay-It-Forward project. Additionally, Kevin showcased the 6th Grade TechTrek problem-based learning wequest project. Congratulations to the staff and students for being accepted to present these outstanding initiatives at the state-level!
Students at Central Manor recently had the opportunity to sharpen their reading skills while participating in the district’s first international voice call. Via Skype, students spoke with Gautam John, a representative from Pratham Books in Bangalore India. Pratham Books is a non-profit trust dedicated to publishing high-quality children’s books in multiple languages. Pratham has generously donated several books to the Central Manor Library collection.
Mr. John was treated to a private reading of books by two Central Manor students. First up was a book about automatic cow milking practices. Our students learned that in India most cows are still milked by hand; a process that takes up to 20 minutes. Next, a student read a book about Pennsylvania geography. Mr. John and CM students also spent some time talking about differences and similarities between PA and India.
While the call took place at 10AM EST, it was 8:30 P.M. in Gautam’s homeland. A big thank you to Pratham Books and the staff at Central Manor for helping our students develop a critical 21st Century skill: multi-cultural collaboration. We look forward to cultivating a long-term relationship with our new friends in India.
Here is a website of simple and useful tools. The author is none other than Bernie Dodge, the father of “Webquests“. Dr. Dodge is a professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University. His blog is fun to read and often offers great tips on practical instructional resources.
The DodgePodge list is a compilation of websites that require no upfront training. Check it out here: