Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tool #3: Online videos and image resources

Two resources on the web that I like for use in the classroom come from  and 
Khan academy has a wide variety of math videos that I like to use when introducing a concept that is difficult for me to teach, or I also use it for students that need information presented in a different way than how I taught it. is another site with videos that can be used with students.  I highly recommend watching the video all the way through before deciding to use it!!  This would also be a good time to use the services that let you cut the video to where you only use the necessary part. 
In second grade we touch on Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth who spoke up for women’s suffrage and the right to vote.  This video would be one that I think would be too overwhelming and the message would get lost if I showed the whole thing, but it would definitely engage students when talking about the meaning of having equal rights for all citizens.  Then when we talked about the Civil Rights era in the mid-1900’s, we can compare the women wanting fair and equal treatment with the African Americans.  This video is a bit more meaningful than watching the mother from Mary Poppins dancing around---which I have used in the past, showing that this movement was also taking place in England, that it wasn’t just an issue in the United States.


 Okay, history lesson over!  J  I just stress caution over content—it is so easy to find videos on the internet to use in the classroom, but just like anything else, if you use too much of a good thing, when does it stop being good?

Copyright in school will never be a black and white issue, there will always be gray areas.  Carol Simpson has done extensive research and has written about copyright laws and how it applies to schools and classrooms.  In her book, Copyright for Schools, she writes about four misconceptions about fair use.  First, schools can use any copyright protected materials they wish, because they are schools, second, using materials is OK if you don’t make a profit, third, promoting someone’s work by distributing copies is justification for free use, and fourth, materials used “for the good of kids” absolves one of copyright liability.  Educators are not given the right to fair use.  When charged with an infringement, this is a defense, but it is up to the educator to prove fair use.  There are laws in place as to how much music can be used in a powerpoint, the amount of work that one uses by one author (copies of pictures/poems), and with smartboards and activboards becoming more widely used in classrooms, the materials that teachers use to make flipcharts needs to be addressed.  If one is just pulling pictures off of the internet and not giving credit or abiding by the time constraints (some material may only be used for two years), there could be grounds for a lawsuit. 

I wish I had known about Dropbox sooner.  It would have come in very handy for an oopsie I experienced during grad school.  (Lucky for me, I had printed out my slides so I was able to recreate my presentation before class, but if I had utilized Dropbox, I wouldn’t have  been quite so frantic!).  This tool can be handy if students put their projects here in addition to their electronic portfolio.  If the server is down at a particular time, it won’t affect their ability to stay on task, (or the other thing, they “save” it in the wrong location).  I haven’t tried this out with a classroom yet, but it is definitely worth taking a look.  If you have had any experiences, please share—the good, the bad, or even the ugly.  What useful tips do you have?

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday, I found out that if Drop Box gets too full, it automatically starts to delete files. So my tip is to watch your file size. It worked great transferring videos to the i Touches. I've never tried having students save their work on it.

    I kind of liked the mom in Mary Poppins. Sort of ditzy, but she sang some catchy songs. RIGHTS FOR WOMEN!