3 must-knows about teachers and copyright

Report answers the question ‘Who owns teacher-created digital content?’

copyright-teachers-briefSchools and districts are increasingly urging teachers to use digital content for instruction, with many teachers taking innovative steps by creating their own digital content. But when it comes to copyright, ownership, and sharing, that’s where it gets tricky.

“In the era of digital publishing, which includes teacher-created, -refined, and –remixed materials, an important question has arisen: who owns this digital content?” asks a policy brief from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), titled “Clarifying ownership of teacher-created digital content empowers educators to personalize education, address individual student needs.”

According to the brief, the confusion over who owns teacher-created content is due to three main reasons: 1) Lack of clarification in terms, 2) vague wording in The Copyright Act of 1976, and 3) Lack of specifications outlined by state and district leaders (including the state educational agency, state board of education, legislature, and/or governor).

(Next page: 3 must-knows about teacher copyright)


New interactive guide for digital learning

Site helps districts implement online tests and plan for digital learning

SETDA-digitalSETDA has launched The Guide to Technology Requirements, a website to help school and district leaders understand the detailed requirements for the online assessments being developed by all six state-led assessment consortia aligned to new college- and career-ready standards.

Just as important, it provides guidance to help districts consider these requirements in the overall context of school technology needs.

The Guide to Technology Requirement is free to access at: http://gtr.setda.org.

The site culminates months of work with all six state-led assessment consortia: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced), the WIDA Consortium (WIDA), the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) consortium, DLM Alternate Assessment System (DLM), and the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC).

“This site will be an invaluable resource, particularly for educators who support English language learners and students with significant cognitive disabilities. It’s heartening to see representatives of the assessment consortia, state education agencies, and SETDA working together to provide this kind of resource to educators,” stated Phil Olsen of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Project Lead for the WIDA consortium.

“Many schools and districts already are thinking about how to meet the technology requirements for the new tests, and this site will prove invaluable for their planning needs today and into the future as technology requirements for testing evolve,” said Douglas Levin, Executive Director for SETDA. “In preparing for online testing, school districts should take the opportunity to evaluate their overall technology needs, including for teaching, learning and the day-to-day operations of their schools. The guidance we provide along side of the technology requirements for all consortia’s assessments will help districts do just that.”

The Guide to Technology Requirements provides an interactive chart that allows users to view the assessment consortia to which their state belongs, along with the technology requirements for the assessments from those consortia. Users can customize the chart based upon the technology that is appropriate for their district and access resources related to the effective implementation of technology for learning as well as assessment.
“In developing The Guide to Technology Requirements, SETDA reinforces a message Smarter Balanced and all consortia have emphasized from the beginning: technology is for learning and assessments,” stated Brandt Redd, Chief Technology Officer for Smarter Balanced. “We are excited to let districts know about it.”

“Thank you for creating this great resource,” said Susan Van Gundy, Director of Technology Assessments for PARCC. “It takes the mystery out of some seemingly complex requirements for the assessments across consortia.”


6 inspiring TED Talks

These TED Talks highlight promising and inspiring concepts

TED-talksEvery educator needs some inspiration now and then, and these days, such inspiration can be found online in just a few seconds.

The internet brings inspiring and motivational speakers and experts to anyone with a connection and an internet-ready device.

TED Talks are one of today’s most popular example of the internet’s power to expand learning opportunities to all.

Each month, we’ll bring you a handful of inspiring TED Talks. Some will focus specifically on education; others will highlight innovative practices that have long-lasting impact. But all will inspire and motivate educators and students alike.

Did you miss our first TED Talk feature? You can find it here.

(Next page: 6 inspiring TED Talks)


Smart phones, dumb choices: Five dangerous trends of student cell phone use

The last thing educators want to see is one of their students hurt or taken away in handcuffs

student-cell-phone-bullyingSeveral years ago, a school’s greatest concern regarding cell phones revolved around the risk of them ringing in class. Today, there are much greater worries that educators, parents and students themselves need to be aware of in and out of the classroom.

From sexting to cyberbullying, a momentary lapse in judgment on a smart phone or through social media can have lifelong consequences. Here are five digital trends that every educator should know about.

Watch this clip on how to beat cyberbullying.

(Next page: Digital trends 1-3)


TechSmith solutions

techSmithLogoLearn how you can use video to improve education at every level for teaching, training, administrative communication, and parent outreach, all with your favorite devices.

TechSmith solutions let you easily create video lessons for flipping, custom professional development and more. In just a few clicks you can save screenshots and research, mark-up assignments, and talk through personalized feedback.  Share content securely with just one student or your entire class.  Watch videos on nearly any device for accessible learning anytime.

From classroom favorites Snagit and Camtasia to mobile apps such as Coach’s Eye and Snagit for Google Chrome, our tools are here to fit your needs, from one teacher to an entire school or district.

Visit our ISTE booth to hear from educators across the country on how they use TechSmith tools to enhance learning and improve student outcomes. Talk with flipping pioneers about their personal experiences withrolling out technology, best practices, and what works at their schools.

See why educators trust TechSmith for effective e-learning solutions and how video can help you engage learners of all ages with dynamic, timely videos that clarify concepts and encourage collaboration in the classroom and beyond.

Learn More: http://www.techsmith.com/education.html



8 ways to jump into eBooks

These strategies will help you design an eBook implementation

eBook-webAs districts increasingly move to digital content, many school leaders are chucking printed textbooks in favor of the more interactive content that eBooks and digital texts can offer.

Ann Fondren, retired district library coordinator for Spotsylvania County Schools (Va.), outlined a number of key considerations district library media specialists and administrators must keep in mind as they move to eBooks during “Take the Plunge with eBooks,” an edWeb webinar.

“I believe it’s eBooks and print books that can live quite happily in your library,” Fondren said. “eBooks are just another format to enhance our collections–I don’t believe eBooks eliminate the need for print books or will anytime soon.”

In Spotsylvania County, the district launched Follett eBooks district-wide through Destiny Library Manager, funded with division end-of-year money.

Recent data from Scholastic indicates that the percentage of children who have read an eBook has almost doubled since 2010–25 percent versus 46 percent. Half of children ages 9-17 said they would read more book for fun if they had greater access to eBooks.

(Next page: 8 considerations for eBooks)


App of the Week: Walk with the dinosaurs

Back-to-back dinosaur apps can engage students of all ages. Check out last week’s App of the Week for a dinosaur app targeted to younger students.

dino-appName: Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside their World Lite

What is it? Walking with Dinosaurs – Inside their World is a comprehensive and interactive dinosaur encyclopedia, with narration by actor Stephen Fry.

Best for: Students ages 12+, and teachers

Price: Free

Requirements: iOS 5.0 or later.

Features: Users can explore interactive dinosaurs in 3D, spinning turntable and amazing animations. The app features more than 60 fully animated, interactive and photorealistic dinosaurs to engage and delight dinosaur fans of all ages. Every page contains information that has been researched by expert palaeontologists and each creature has been designed to create an unparalleled dinosaur experience on the iPad.

Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside their World features:
– 280 fully interactive 3D models
– 60 expertly modeled, photorealistic dinosaurs, pterosaurs and reptiles
– 40 fully interactive 3D recreations of dinosaurs in mid-fight
– 200 pages worth of original text
– Hours of magical narration by Stephen Fry
– Animations and historical pictures
– 60 original dinosaur sounds
– Interactive 3D walking dinosaurs
– 15 pages of famous dinosaur hunters
– 22 pages of thoroughly researched articles on prehistoric life

Link: iTunes 


4 easy solutions for a successful blended learning transition

The blended learning classroom is different to the traditional classroom, and the strategies of the past need to be modified

blended-learningThe world changes, and when it does the old ways of doing things may no longer work. The answers that used to be correct in the past may now lead to incorrect answers.

This should be a mantra for education in the 21st century; it should be a mantra for the move to blended learning.

In the past an experienced teacher could modify a traditional lesson, and even a traditional course “on the fly.” However, the “rules” of the past no longer apply in this area; it is very difficult to build a blended learning course “on the fly.”

Some explanation of this statement follows, with a course delivered in a “traditional” manner compared to a course delivered using a blended learning model.

Watch: Blended learning explained in 2 minutes and 38 seconds.

(Next page: Four steps for a successful blended learning course)


5 ways to remember STEM’s forgotten ‘E’

Engineering experts are urging U.S. schools to incorporate the subject in a few novel ways

engineering-STEMSTEM education–a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math–has cemented its place of importance in U.S. schools and in the global economy.

And while science and math skills remain at the top of educators’ lists, engineering, often called the “forgotten E” in STEM, is equally important in today’s world.

Students need to know what engineering actually is, experts and stakeholders say. What has traditionally been viewed as a stereotypically dry and numbers-heavy career actually has vast applications in today’s workforce. Engineers can specialize in space engineering, special effects, sports, toys and entertainment, and more.

(Next page: Five ways to make engineering relevant and engaging for students)