Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week 1 Comment

Website URL for Brandi Martin's blog:

Brandi's Original Blog Posting:

I am frustrated because suddenly My school district is blocking Blog sites just as I decided to integrate it into my classes. Here is an email exchange, followed by the videos I sent in response.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brandi Martin []
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 4:16 PM
To: Jeff *******
Cc: Luanne *****
Subject: Re: blocked site

I am wondering why all of the blogging sites are blocked. Last year I gave my AP class a summer assignment to blog about photography during the summer, and since that time, most of the main blog sites are blocked. It gave the reason as social networking. I wonder how many people really read blogs to meet others? There is a privacy setting on some blogs, if it is student privacy that is the concern.

I gave them this assignment because of what I'm studying in my master's degree. Writing in a public way (even if the public isn't very large!) adds gravity to the assignment, and students take it more seriously. In addition, students can comment on each other's work, instead of just the teacher. Here is my page that links to all of their blogs, so you get an idea.

That page isn't blocked, but most of their blogs are. If some or all of these could be unblocked, that would be great. Please let me know either way.

Brandi Martin
Art Instructor
West Aurora High School

We will not be unblocking any blogging sites. We cannot control who has access to these sites on an individual basis.

Jeff *******
Coordinator of Information Services
West Aurora School District 129

Ok, but why are they blocked at all is my question?

Brandi Martin
Art Instructor
West Aurora High School

My Response to Brandi's Blog Posting:

That seems to be a reoccurring problem as I work on research for my own thesis. I'm not sure if technology coordinators are either too lazy or "Luddite" in nature when it comes to incorporating technology in the classroom. There are several work-arounds for this problem, but it varies from school to school. Here are some good websites on helping teachers get around this problem:,130061733,339295247,00.htm

I understand that the filtering software has its purpose and place in the classroom, but technology coordinators and school districts will need to loosen their grip on the flow of information. In the end, it is just hurting the students and their education.

Week 1 Wimba Session 1

Hey guys:

Sorry I was not able to attend the Wimba session last week. Work has been really crazy as we gear up for November sweeps (I work in television). I'm looking forward to the media asset creation topics in this class, but the thesis part has me worried. It just feels like the past nine months have sailed by. I think that this class will be a good complement to the past three classes in gaming, music and film/video production. It's like we have been given all of these tools, and now we're going to figure out how to put them all together in an efficient and effective manner. I have seen the Doctor Don Power Point presentation before (in other training sessions for using Power Point in the workplace). It is a very effective and funny piece that should be viewed by anyone that is interested in creating technology instruction or teaching. I have been reading the book Convergence Culture and have been fascinated on how Henry Jenkins looks at how technology and culture are combining or clashing on certain things. I don't think that the entertainment industry could have foretold how powerful (and how dangerous) the Internet was going to be. I think that the idea of how the Entertainment Industry is dealing with 21st Century technologies can be compared to how the Education Industry is dealing with them. I look forward to working with you guys this month and will be more than happy to help if anyone needs anything. Have a great weekend!

The following video was found on the "@ Google" channel on Youtube.

Here is the link to the video:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 1 Show Me What You Know Project

Gathering, researching and organizing media files is a pretty easy process. The above video (found on YouTube) shows the high importance of Social Media.

There are several websites out there that teachers and presenters can use to find free image and video files for their lessons and presentations:

Free Stock Images
Turbo Photo
The Stock Vault
Every Stock Photo
The Stock Exchange

There are also several Web 2.0 tools that teachers and presenters can use to gather, collaborate and organize media files:

Cell Sea Video Editor
Teacher Tools
Nice Net Classroom Assistant
Zoho Creator
Voice Thread Podcasting Tools
PB Wiki

I have been professionally trained on the Adobe Creative Suite (CS4) as well as Final Cut Pro. I am currently learning Adobe Flash CS4 and ActionScript. Here are links to recent work in my studies:

All images used in Comic Book Presentation are used with
permission © The Stock Exchange 2009

Photo of Adobe CS4 Creative Suite Master Collection Package

Week 1: Fair Use, Copyright Law and Collaborative Education

It's a fine line that students walk when incorporating copy-written works into their presentations, whether it be music, video or still images. As teachers, we need to make sure students understand what is important in using these materials and what is legal. I have located several different resources that you can use in your classroom to help get this message across:
Media Education Lab Lesson Plan on Copyright & Fair Use
Teacher Resources on Copyright & Fair Use
American University Center for Social Media
An extremely funny video on Teacher Tube helps demonstrate the point perfectly:

This video from Media Lab is also a useful primer for teachers to show their students their rights where fair use is concerned:

When I teach film and video production in my classes, I always reserve at least two class periods to go over fair use and copyright issues. The safest thing for students (especially in college) to do is to either not use copyrighted material or obtain permission from the copyright owner. In this age of instant litigation and bureaucracy, students and teachers have to be careful when using copyrighted material. I hope you guys find these materials useful. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week 1: Using Media In The Classroom

Using media in the classroom is an opportunity that is not new to teachers, but an idea that has technologically evolved over the past couple of decades. Students are becoming more collaborative as technologies continue to change and improve. Who would have thought that just ten years ago you would have complete access to the Internet simply by clicking a couple of buttons on your phone.

A good example to see what I'm talking about can simply be seen by going to this website:

Teachers no longer can just rely on playing a VHS tape and letting students watch content that is anywhere between 3-5 years old. Students can now access information that may be as new as 5 seconds ago. They can collaborate. Share. Edit. No longer is information controlled by the few. Now everyone has a voice; and this has changed the landscape of the classroom.

Maryland isn't the only state that has a digital classroom portal. Take a look at this one from Ohio:

And lastly, here is a good site that highlights 13 "enlightening" case studies arguing for the positive benefits of using media to teach 21st Century Students:

Odessa, Ever (2007, June 12). Guidelines for using media in the classroom. Retrieved from