GEEK is the Word!

Cross posted from EdTech@UNISHanoi
Getting Ready to Geek!

On Wednesday we held our 3rd Annual SpeedGeeking session (previous post here). Like I said in an email to all the teachers, this is my favorite day of the year! SpeedGeeking is an opportunity for our teachers to learn, celebrate, socialize, and hopefully get inspired.

In the past, speedgeeking has been a highly orchestrated affair, involving different rotations, various groups and multiple locations. At the end of it, there were a lot of teachers with glazed-over eyes, scratchy throats and full brains! This year, we decided to simplify: 18 presentations divided into two rooms, groups were made at random and on-the-fly (the ol’ pick-a-number-out-of-the-hat trick) and each group only went through one room. Each presentation was 7 minutes long with about 20 seconds to rotate to each new station.

After a delicious mid-afternoon snack, we had about 45 minutes to just sit and digest, both the food and what we’d just seen! In addition to all the great ideas they had just seen, we were able to talk with our colleagues about what happened in the other room. We’re hoping this can help spark conversations for months to come.

A huge THANK YOU! to all of the presenters who shared a small bit of their teaching practice with us. Without you all, an event like this could never be successful!

Below is a list of all 18 presentation topics. If you were a presenter and would like me to link to anything, let me know. If you want to learn any more about any of these topics, the presenters are good people to start that conversation with!

  • Research Better with Social Bookmarking (Diigo) – Kelsey G.
  • Using Edcanvas as a presentation tool – Jan H.
  • Flubaroo – Neil F.
  • Mixcraft with Elementary students – Sally O.
  • Coach’s Eye – Mel H.
  • Class sites with Google Sites – John G.
  • Class blogs – Jen P.
  • Digital Ads using Photostory – Jennifer K.
  • G8 Drama animation/movie – Anne Marie D.
  • VoiceThread/Animoto – Abigail L.
  • ThreeRing in ECC – Andy D.
  • Scribble Maps – John H.
  • Using Prezi – Simon N.
  • Pecha Kucha w/ students – Susan C.
  • Copying and Copyright in the Creative Classroom – Michelle W.
  • Learning Numeracy (and Coding) using Scratch – Mindy S.
  • Robotics – Mags M.
  • “Cutting out Kids” with Photoshop – Chris F.

IB Art and Creative Commons

I had an interesting conversation with our IB Art teacher after school today. We were initially talking about Photoshop and the best way for her students to learn new techniques. Very quickly, however, the conversation turned towards copyright, fair use and creative commons.

We came up with some very interesting discussion points and I wonder what you think about any or all of them. (My thoughts are in parentheses.) I also wonder what the IBO and the examiners think on these matters:

  • If a student is creating digital artwork (in Photoshop for example), under what circumstances would you – as the Art teacher – allow him/her to use CC-licensed photos? (Personally, I would allow it. But it better be good!)
  • How does one attribute CC media when it is used to create a piece of art? (No clue!)
  • Is it a violation of copyright to use images from a magazine in student work? (Yes, definite violation.)
  • What if he/she is taking the images, cutting them into unrecognizable pieces and creating a mosaic with those images? (Less certain… does this make it transformative?)
  • What if he/she is only taking a small portion of the image so as to make it unrecognizable? (My feeling is this is a violation.)

I am certainly no expert on copyright, fair use or creative commons. But as Shepard Fairey and others before him have shown, not very many people can agree on boundaries of these terms. Do your boundaries as an artist and as a teacher of art differ?

Note: Just for fun we sat down and watched A Fair(y) Use Tale. I always enjoy watching that!