Saturday, March 26, 2016

PLN Journal Week 10: Copyright Toolkit

When I was hired as a Teacher Librarian last fall, the terms of my employment included returning to school to earn my California Teacher Librarian Services Credential to complement my single subject teaching credential. As a result, I enrolled as a graduate student at San Jose State University's School of Information. The Teacher Librarian program requires completion of 31 units (1 introductory course and 10 core courses) as preparation for credentialing; but, by adding another 12 units, it is possible to earn a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree.

While I already have a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology, I have chosen to earn an MLIS for a couple of reasons. First of all, having the degree will open up a number of career options for the future since an MLIS is usually a minimum requirement for library-related jobs outside of K-12 education. In addition, since the Teacher Librarian course sequence is prescribed, taking the additional units allows me with the flexibility to explore elective courses.

So far, the elective courses that I have taken include: 

Having mapped out my future courses, I am also looking forward to taking these other electives in upcoming semesters:
  • Seminar on Contemporary Issues, Topic: Graphic Novels (Summer 2016)
  • History of Youth Literature (Fall 2016)

Upon review of these electives, you might notice a mix of technology-focused courses along with those related to reading and literature. I have attempted to select an array of courses that will help me to develop greater expertise in different areas that directly relate to my work as a Teacher Librarian. This semester, for instance, I chose to study Digital Copyright since I have felt that this is an area with which I could use more in-depth exposure and familiarity. My hope is to integrate this information into my instruction and professional practice.

As a one-unit course, the Digital Copyright class has been an intense, whirlwind experience over the past month. I have gone through periods of feeling very overwhelmed and lost; but in the end, I am glad that I took on the challenge. Having just finished the final project of creating a "copyright toolkit," I do not claim to be an expert by any means. Still, I do think that I have gained a great amount of knowledge in a short amount of time, and I am glad that I now have a finished product to use as a reference and share with others.

Provided with different options for creating the copyright toolkit, I ended up choosing to make a website. Click on the screenshot of the homepage below to check it out!

Copyright Toolkit

If you want to explore the entire toolkit, please go for it. But, since it might be more than you have time and/or interest to sift through, I will highlight my top ten copyright resources below (not necessarily in any particular order). Enjoy!
  1. U.S. Copyright Office - While legal language is not always easy to understand, it is often important to reference actual law by going to this website. Here, you will also find a number of detailed guides and tools.
  2. Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums - This free ebook by Hirtle, Hudson, and Kenyon was the textbook for the Digital Copyright course. While it has a focus on digitization, it covers the general foundations of copyright and features helpful flowcharts.
  3. Stanford University's Copyright & Fair Use Website - This is one of the most comprehensive free copyright resources out there! The information is well-organized and written in an accessible manner for most audiences.
  4. University of Minnesota's Copyright Services - The site features great overall resources, but it is perhaps most well known for its "go to" online Fair Use Checklist.
  5. Cornell University's Copyright Term and Public Domain Chart - This is an easy-to-use and frequently cited resource for determining whether or not a work is currently under copyright or in the public domain.
  6. Copyright Advisory Network Resources - The American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy provides this suite of interactive copyright tools worth trying out.
  7. Creative Commons - The nonprofit organization provides a leading alternative licensing mechanism that adds nuance to copyright by expanding options for clarifying rights when it comes to sharing content. The site provides a number of tools to help with choosing licensessearching for Creative Commons licensed content, and more.
  8. Lawrence Lessig - As a follow-up to Creative Commons, an interesting way to go even deeper with ideas related to open access is by exploring works by Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons. He has a free ebook, TED Talk, YouTube channel, and more about the power of "free culture."
  9. Electronic Frontier Foundation - This nonprofit group defends "civil liberties in the digital world." Besides the advocacy work that they do, they provide a number of useful resources such as their blog and educational curriculum.
  10. Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain - This university project is host to a variety of events and resources related to the public domain, including an annual Public Domain Day, a public domain comic book, video lectures, and much more.

Monday, March 21, 2016

PLN Journal Week 9: Banned Books and Intellectual Freedom Resources

Last fall when I attended the California School Library Association (CSLA) Southern Region workshop, I had the opportunity to meet fellow San Jose State University School of Information classmate Korrie Krohne in person for the first time. Korrie shared some banned book trading cards that she had students make at her school. This project is one that Korrie was also recognized for by CSLA as a 2014-15 award-winning "Good Idea"!

Here are some links about Korrie's project:

As you may note in the embedded tweet above, as soon as I saw Korrie's cards back in October, I shared the idea with social science teacher Josh Reyes from my school site who had previously mentioned the possibility of doing a unit on banned books. He liked the idea of the trading cards is planning on introducing the unit in April. This will work out particularly well since Josh is planning to have students use Google Drawing, which he loves (I'm not exaggerating - check out his "I Love Google Drawing" presentation!)

In preparation for the unit, I have started to put together some resources related to the topic and am posting some of the links here since they will be useful to return to in the future, including next year during the annual Banned Books Week. I am glad that this has given me a good excuse to dig deeper into this topic, and I look forward to seeing what students create this unit!

More Banned Book Curriculum Links

Banned Books Week Links

The First Amendment, Intellectual Freedom, and Censorship

Banned Books in the Blogosphere


Related Organizations

Thursday, March 17, 2016

PLN Journal Week 8: Media Literacy and Body Image Resources

Tuesday was a minimum day at school, and I was excited that it gave me a chance to meet with an English teacher who has been implementing a new Linked Learning Medical English course this year.

For the spring semester, she is working with students on a media literacy unit tied to body image and mental and physical health. As this is a new unit, she reached out to me, and I put together some resources. She has taken the list and gone running with it, creating some great lesson plans that she shared with me when we met.

Since media literacy a topic that is a core piece of library curriculum, as well, and since it applies to students across subjects and grade levels, I figured this would be a good opportunity to catalog some of the resources that we have found to be most helpful.

General Media Literacy:

Media Literacy and Body Image:

Stories from the News:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

PLN Journal Week 7: Educating for Careers Conference and What's Possible

It has been a week since I returned from the Educating for Careers 2016 Conference in Sacramento, and so this post is long overdue! Fortunately, given the fact that time has passed, I can honestly report that Fredi Lajvardi's keynote message has continued to stick with me and keep me thinking.

As others who attended agree, Lajvardi was an outstanding speaker, weaving together a moving story about his journey as a high school science teacher with both humor and deep feeling. The facts of his story are summarized on the conference website as follows:
With countless hours spent after school, mentoring and investing in the underserved students at Carl Hayden Community High School, Lajvardi drew national attention in 2004, when he entered his diverse high school team in a university level national underwater robotics competition, where they not only proved their skills and ability to compete at that level, but they placed first, defeating leading universities, including MIT.
While his students' monumental accomplishment failed to garner much attention at first, it eventually gained recognition after being featured in the Wired Magazine article "La Vida Robot." The story then went on to be retold in the documentary film Underwater Dreamsthe Hollywood movie Spare Parts, and a book by the same name.

Without the privilege of having had formal experience and education with robotics, the success of Lajvardi's students could be attributed in part to the fact that they were not limited by having existing paradigms in place. He shared an example of how underwater robots at the time were built with heavy cabling that connected to batteries that floated on the surface to remain dry. Rather than accept this design standard as a given, his students came up with the idea of packing batteries with the robot, allowing the device to be more agile. All that they had to do was figure out how to keep the batteries dry, and they did by using tampons, a memorable piece of trivia that drew a lot of laughter from the crowd.

In the end, though, what touched me most was when Lajvardi talked about the moment when he and his high school team first found out that they had won the entire competition, including beating the prestigious MIT team. He shared how he told his wife about the team's victory over the phone, and her immediate response was: "But that's not possible" (or words to that effect).

The thing is, it wasn't just his wife. Part of the reason why it may have taken so long for the story to gain attention is because people simply could not comprehend what had happened since it defied their understanding of what is possible.

I consider myself to be a practical realist in many ways and instances, but Lajvardi's message reminded me to avoid being trapped by my assumptions, especially when it comes to setting the bar for what students are capable of achieving.

I have returned from the conference with some good career resources that I can share with my studentsimpressive branding models for improving marketing of our program, and ideas about starting up ePortoflios and advisory committees. All of this information is valuable and will undoubtedly help with our program improvement efforts; but, in my everyday work and life, it is Lajvardi's message that I have internalized and that I am inspired by. Whether "that's not possible" is verbalized explicitly or implied through actions and attitudes, I am motivated to question and defy these boundaries so that my students and I may realize our true potential.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

PLN Journal Week 6: Educating for Careers Conference and Career Resources

This weekend, I am grateful to be traveling with a group of teachers from my school and others in our district to attend the Educating for Careers 2016 Conference in Sacramento. The genesis for this trip goes back to last spring when an English teacher at my school reached out regarding potential collaboration around the launch of a Linked Learning Pathway in Health Science and Wellness.

Since I know that Teacher Librarians are not always considered to be eligible for all projects, I was pleased when my participation was warmly supported by our district's Career Technical Education office. I was able to engage in a week long professional development session this past summer, and I have continued to work with my school's Linked Learning team throughout this year.

From today through Tuesday, we are getting the chance to attend professional development sessions related to our career pathway programs, and after my first day, I have greater clarity around some state-hosted career resources.

In the session "Answering Who, Where, How with CalCRN Resources," led by John Merris-Coots from the California Department of Education, I got a detailed tour of a suite of web-based career resources available for free use in our schools. The main site, which is a good starting point for educators, is the California Career Resource Network. This landing page links to "Presentations" and "Lessons" that teachers may use and customize. In addition, this page serves as a directory for the resources below, which are geared more for student audiences:
This information may be helpful for our Linked Learning pathway, but it is really relevant for all of our students more generally as we work to meet an identified school goal of supporting our students with post-secondary options. One of my future hopes is to work more closely with our guidance department to ensure that the library program optimally complements their work with students related to these topics. Exploring these resources is definitely a good place to start!