Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Copyright Action Plan

Copyright can be a sticky subject. When most people hear that word, they tend to shy around any associations with it. But in education teachers have to face the realities that copyright issues bring into the classroom. They aren't fun, and most teachers don't sit down excited to deal with copyright, but it may keep a teacher out of jail and in possession of their teacher's license.

One aspect of copyright that I did not know that surely will impact my classroom is the issue of copying books or workbooks. Since I will teach English, it could be tempting to copy large amounts of books for students to read if copies of the book provided by school aren't available. But this is illegal. According to the columbia.edu site for fair use checklist, it is possible to copy small quantities of a book, like a page or two, but copying a whole chapter or a whole book, is simply not allowed. So, if I want students to be able to read one book at the same time, I will either have to find copies of the book or find a different book.

Another aspect of copyright I had never thought of is if I wanted to show a taping of a TV show in my classroom. Sometimes authors are interviewed or a certain literary period is spotlighted on TV. According to the fair use standards at stanford.edu, it is only legal to show a recorded TV segment on a tape within ten school days after the airing of the show. After that, it must be destroyed if permission has not been granted to incorporate the tape into the teaching criteria. If no permission is granted, in 45 days, it must be destroyed. If I want to show a taped program, I'll have to show it within the ten days of its airing, or ask the producer of the show if I can have permission to incorporate it into my teaching curriculum.

A third aspect of copyright I had never taken into account is that textbooks cannot be copied according to the TEACH Act from copyright.com. Textbooks cannot be copied and neither can digital content that may come with the textbook, like the CD. This could also pose a problem for an English teacher because with literary textbooks that include many different works from authors, it would be easy to copy pages out of them if the teacher didn't want to use the whole textbook. But this is not allowed. Buy the textbook, one for every student, but don't copy any part of it.

Many more possibilities involve copyright do's and don'ts, but these are three of the many I feel will impact my classroom the greatest.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

As Life Goes

So, you know a couple of posts ago when I mentioned how nervous I was about talking to my parents about my going on a mission trip in January? Well, guess what? I sent my parents a letter and received my mom's response letter today. She basically told me I had her blessing to go if it's God's will. She told me she knew God was going to use me someday, but she didn't know how or when. I cried when I read her letter.

God is just so unbelievably good. This time last year, I was having the hardest time with classes and just getting settled with things. But now, God has taken me under his wing and things are great. Yeah, Satan likes to get in there and poke his ugly head up sometimes, but I know God prevails in the end. I still haven't found a job off-campus, but now that the paper has picked back up, I'm working more hours and God has allowed to me to see that maybe I wouldn't have time for a job off-campus. I don't know.

I've also been praying about if I'm really supposed to live off-campus next semester. I think I've thought about it so much because I know I can and it seems fun, but maybe I'm not supposed to. It would mean finding money for rent each month instead of just paying for housing all at once to the college. Maybe I'm supposed to wait and find a place to move into for the summer. I don't know, but I know God has a plan.

With other news, I went to a Zumba party last Friday night. If you don't know what Zumba is, I wish you did. It's the most amazing form of exercise ever to hit the country, in my opinion anyway. My college offers like five classes a week, and one of the instructors told us about this Zumba party. It was held in a town about forty-five minutes away from here, and it lasted for an hour and a half. A normal Zumba class at my college lasts about forty-five minutes. But it was amazing. I don't think I had ever sweat so much in my life. We danced to 24 songs, and it's all like Latin and cha-cha dances. It was amazing. Over 200 women attended.

I was in tap dance when I was like five, but I had never really danced since then until going to Zumba. It's so fun, and you get a great workout. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun way to get in shape, try to find a Zumba class near you. It's so worth it.

Anyway, I've got an eight o'clock class in the morning, and it's twenty til one. I'll update more later.

God Bless.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Multimedia in my Classroom

After looking through the site Free Technology for Educators, many avenues of multimedia are highlighted for potential use. Likewise, EduBlogs, presents several options educators of all fields can use to incorporate multimedia in the classroom.

Audio and video are two developing media that can change how a student learns in my classroom. With video, students can manage and make projects in the classroom. By investing so much time and energy into something so intriguing, the student will retain more about the project and be interested in it to a great level.

Audio plays the same role. Podcasts used to just be for important people recording important information. But why not use them in the classroom? To record a lecture or a discussion session, or to even record an oral report by a group of students; this medium of technology could prove more useful than ever thought possible.

Before computers and multimedia were available for classroom use, students had limits on their access of the outside world. Now, with computer labs building in schools and computers in classrooms, students have an open horizon of possibilities of how their method of education can change. Students will no longer dread coming to class to sit and listen to a boring lecture. Instead, they will come excited because they know they will get to make a recording of their oral presentation or interact with the Smart Board. Students are not going to strive to succeed if the classroom is not a welcoming environment. When the lecture is boring and the homework is tiresome, it will not grab their interest.

With times changing the way they are and students understanding how to work these forms of multimedia, why not adapt and change as well? It is time; it will improve learning for the students and for the teachers as well.