Thursday, January 27, 2011

Copyright and Canadian Values

We spent some time today talking about copyright and plagiarism in class. I feel that this is an extremely relevant topic, but I feel that we are uninformed to what the law actually says. So, here is a short overview of the Copyright Act.

1.  To have copyright means to have the sole right to produce, copy, publish, adapt, or distribute your work (3).

2.  Copyright lasts for the life of the author, and then to the end of the 50th calendar year after that (6).

3.  Infringement (quoted directly from the Act - section 27):
  1) It is an infringement of copyright for any person to do, without the consent of the owner of the copyright, anything that by this Act only the owner of the copyright has the right to do.

(2) It is an infringement of copyright for any person to
(a) sell or rent out,
(b) distribute to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,
(c) by way of trade distribute, expose or offer for sale or rental, or exhibit in public,
(d) possess for the purpose of doing anything referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c), or
(e) import into Canada for the purpose of doing anything referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c),
a copy of a work, sound recording or fixation of a performer’s performance or of a communication signal that the person knows or should have known infringes copyright or would infringe copyright if it had been made in Canada by the person who made it.

4.  Fair Dealing.  You can use a work for research or private study, criticism or review, or news reporting.  Educational institutions may copy for instruction or examinations, except where a work is commercially available in a format suited to that purpose.  Schools may perform a work, but if it is recorded, must pay royalties after one year, or destroy the recording (29).

5.  Electronics.  Computer programs may be copied or adapted for single use.  They may make only one copy (30.6).

6.  Music and schools.  Schools and religious or charitable organizations may perform a work in public, play a recording in public, or play a communication signal carrying either of the two without penalty (32.2).

7.  Criminal remedies.  It is an offence to sell or rent an infringing copy, or to distribute an infringing copy (42).

8.  Private copying.  As long as you do not sell or rent or distribute, persons may copy entire works onto an audio recording medium (80).  Authors, makers, and performers have the right to payment from makers of blank audio recording media (81).

As a reward for making it through the legalese, here is a Reebok ad from a while ago that you might not remember.

There is a lot more in there, but these seemed to be the important parts.  It's really hard to talk about copyright when you have no idea what the law actually says, I think.  When we were speaking in class about this, I got the impression that our knowledge of the law came from hearsay and not fact (especially from myself), so I have gone to the source here.


Friday, January 21, 2011


Today, I created my first podcast.  Unfortunately, Blogger won't let me post it here, so I have uploaded the file to YouTube and copied it below.  Happy listening!

Definition of Podcasting provided by Wikipedia.

***EDIT*** To upload this podcast, what I had to do was save the podcast as an .mp3 file, then create a movie in iMovie with this as the soundtrack.  I then saved that project as a .mov file, and uploaded it to YouTube.  I then took the "embed" code off of the YouTube site, and embedded it into the blog using the "Edit HTML" tab.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Movies and Teaching

First things first:  Watch this.

I think that this is an example of how NOT to test.

Let's discuss:  we looked at a movie in class today that talked about features of teaching using a film.  The features were:

Review the film first

Make the environment optimal for learning

Prepare the class for what they will need to get out of the film

Review the film and answer questions


In the above video, Dwight has given a fire safety lecture, and he wants to test the retention and application of his materials.  Although I question his methods, I do applaud his follow-through and testing in a practical setting.

I think that we as teachers need to take both the above video from the Office and the film that we watched today (and the lessons learned from it) into account when using film in class.  After we watched the film in class, we were given a test.  Some of the class were given different instructions than others on how to watch the film, and so they did poorly on the test.  This is important to remember - as we've been told many, many times, assess what the students have learned in class.  What we need to take from the video in the Office is that students need to know that they are going to be tested, and for the test to be a FAIR assessment of what they have learned, rather than trying to frustrate and trick them.

Side note:  I found that in one of my classes, showing YouTube videos was a great way to connect with the students, because it showed them that I was in tune with what they thought was important.

Final points:  Videos are great to use in class, but I find that they can be overused sometimes.  A video should never be a substitute for teaching, but rather an aid and a complement.  Videos cannot administer tests, get to know the students, or assess for purposes of learning.  But they can accent a point that we are making, show information in a new way, or just give you (or the students) a break. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Teacher And Technology

This is an example of a blog post.  I am commenting on the class which I am currently a part of, Teacher and Technology.

Look at me, ma!  I'm blogging!  Wheeeeee!