A Fair(y) Use Tale

Many of you may have already seen this video, but in case you haven’t I wanted to pass it along. I think it would make a great teaching tool about copyright! We’re always looking for content that addresses a topic such as copyright in a format that will engage students to think about the deeper layers of meaning behind an issue. With this video, you could discuss the nuts and bolts of copyright and fair use, but then could also have discussion about the format in which this is presented and the fact that it has been posted and reposted on YouTube. Thanks Stanford!

A Fair(y) Use Tale | Stanford Center for Internet and Society [beta site]


Creative Commons

The following link is to a very nicely done explanation of Creative Commons licensing. What is that? This is an important tool for higher education because it allows academics and others to control the copyright of their own works. Most importantly, it can allow the author/creator of a work to specifically allow certain kinds of use without the need to obtain permission. ELI7023.pdf (application/pdf Object)

While you’re at the site http://www.educause.edu/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutSeries/7495, check out some of the other “Seven Things You Should Know About”. This is a great series from EDUCAUSE to help you keep up with the latest technology.

Speaking of keeping up with the latest, I found this link on Steven Bell’s The Kept-Up Academic Librarian. I highly recommend it!

The Machine is Us/ing Us – We are the Web

This is the video of the week! Everyone is talking about this video, which was created by Professor Michael Wesch and his class of Digital Ethnography students at Kansas State University.

Some of the important statements he makes in this video are:

  • XML allows us to separate content from form. This is important because content can then be moved around, reformatted, repackaged, reused. How does that impact our understanding of authorship, copyright, etc? How much does context effect meaning?
  • We are the Web. The social nature of Web 2.0 technologies means that information we view is not static. It can constantly be rewritten. How does that impact our understanding of authorship, copyright, and truth?
  • Text is no longer the medium of choice. Video and audio are now prevalent means of communication. How does this change our experience and understanding of information? Of ourselves?
  • He says, “We are teaching the machine. Each time we forge a link between words, we teach it an idea.” When read in the context of the last video I posted on regarding Google’s use of personal information, what does this mean for us in terms of privacy and identity? Who is writing the code that allows the “machine” to learn?
  • “The Web is no longer linking information, it is linking people.” In the end, will we no longer recognize any authority? How will we identify authority?

TravelinLibrarian.info Posts Video on YouTube by Google

Exactly my point! http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/2006/10/on-google-purchase-of-youtube.html

From the TravelinLibrarian.info

YouTube may add to Google’s copyright worries | CNET News.com

As you’ve probably heard, Google announced yesterday that it has plans to buy video sharing power house, YouTube. I’m not sure what to think. I love Google and I love YouTube. So this should be a good thing, right? Well, with the spectre of Googlezon hovering just underneath the surface, even I find this a bit creepy. Is Google trying to take over the world? What next? Google buys Harvard?

Also, I am concerned about the impact on YouTube’s format and content. Analysts are speculating that Google will now face an onslaught of lawsuits over YouTube’s copyrighted content. Likely, Google will need to impose some changes in policy at YouTube that make it more difficult to post copyrighted material. I believe that would be unfortunate. If the copyright policy is clearly stated and users choose to ignore it and post copyrighted materials, they should be held personally liable for their own actions. The alternative, more stringent oversight and even censorship on the part of video or music hosting sites, will inhibit the flow of creative and legal content.

Lonelygirl15, you got out just in time!

YouTube may add to Google’s copyright worries | CNET News.com

Writing Assignments :: Just Ask the Students

I love the philosophy of this Professor, Laurence Musgrove from Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education – Inside Higher Ed :: Just Ask the Students
“But I would also say that it’s important for us to understand that we get the students we get, and they come with a wide range of skills and attitudes and experiences in writing. It’s our job to help them continue to develop as writers and provide the right kinds of assignments and assessments that help them on that path.”

The rest of this article goes on to discuss the views of students on their rights in regards to writing assignments. He argues that thoughtful assignment creation helps students to be more successful writers. This ties in with my post from last week regarding plagiarism. A writing or research assignment that requires students to follow well defined steps, gives ample time and guidance for revision, and includes an assessment rubric goes a long way towards creating good writers. I’ve seen some very good examples of this when I’ve worked with students in our Composition Classes. I would add in that including the librarian in planning the research portion of the assignment and having the librarian co-teach the sessions when you talk about research is another great strategy.

Members of our campus community who would like more information or to schedule a consultation should contact our Instruction Coordinator, Courtney Bruch, at 549-2363.

Preventing Plagiarism

No matter how hard a professor tries to prevent plagiarism, some enterprising students will find a way to cheat.

I would offer our faculty the following rules of thumb:

1. Structure the assignment so that the grade is based on demonstrating understanding of how the final product or correct answer was achieved rather than just the final product or correct answer itself.

2. Especially in the case of written assignments, require multiple drafts and bibliographies to track the student progress in preparation of turning in the final project.

3. Ask a librarian to come in and talk to your class on the ethics of information managment and copyright law.
4. Finally, if you suspect plagiarism, search google for unique phrases to see if the text has been copied from an online site. Contact the library reference desk for assistance with this process.

Clipped from: The Kept-Up Academic Librarian: Preventing Plagiarism Requires Extra Effort
September 26, 2006
Preventing Plagiarism Requires Extra Effort

Preventing plagiarism takes hard work. Cheat-proofing her classroom pushes this biology teacher’s workweek up to 80 hours some weeks. She scoured the Internet before realizing she needed to switch a lab experiment on fruit flies because the genetic codes were online. Her assignments show just how far teachers are going to fight an unprecedented boom in cheating that has been driven by the Internet and other technology. Read more at:

Posted by steven bell on September 26, 2006