For this post, I want to focus in on the theme of digital law and how I taught this in my grade 4 classroom. For several years, I had my students publish their work online using their blogs. In the beginning, we did not worry about citing sources when posting images to our blogs. Students would use Google to search for images and use those. It was much like they did when they used images from the internet in a document or presentation when they did not publish their work online. We soon started questioning if this was the right thing to do when we use the images online. As a class we started investigating the answer to that very question. Are you allowed to take images from a Google search and just use them? This question led to more questions of my students:
-What is copyright?
-Is it different to use images online as opposed to images you use for other things?
-How do you know if you have permission to use an image?
-Where can we find images that we are allowed to use?
-How do we cite images properly?
-Does copyright apply to music we use in our work?
-Where do we find music we are allowed to use?
Over time my class and I have found some useful resources when it comes to using images and music in our work. I hope you find them useful!
2Learn- copyright & teaching the basics
The Noun Project- a community building icons that anyone can understand
Pixabay- Free images
Compfight- A Flickr Search Tool
15 Best Sites for Open Source Images
Photos For Class - The quick and safe way to find and cite images for class!
Pics4Learning - Free photos for education
27 Superb Sites With Royalty Free Stock Images For Commercial Use
Google Image Search Adds Usage Rights to Search Tools
Research Tools in Google Docs- allows students to easily find and cite images in a Google Doc
Incompetech- royalty free music. Search by genre or feel.
Soundation- online music studio with recording, effects, virtual instruments and over 700 free loops and sounds
Audio Nautix – Online collection created by Jason Shaw.
FMA- Free Music Archive. Search by genre.
Jamendo- royalty free music downloads
Are there any resources you and your students use? Let me know in the comment section below!
One of the projects I used to teach on voice, had my students reading remixes of the story of the 3 Little Pigs. When I started this project back in 2007, we only had the desktop lab, but I started having students respond in less traditional paper and pencil kind of ways. I would read 3 different versions of the story to my students. We would start out with the classic version, followed by The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and lastly The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, by Eugene Trivizas. I used these books to show my students that good writers get ideas from other people’s work. I had the students follow up the reading by creating a blog as one of the characters, from one of the stories we read. They had to fill in their about me page and add a couple of posts as their character. I encouraged my students to respond to the original story by filling in the “holes”.
Here is a link to an example I showed my students the first year (http://bigmomma-christine.blogspot.ca/).
Here are some student samples (http://atriptograndmashouse.blogspot.ca/ & http://myownstoryofthethreelittlewolves.blogspot.ca/)
I have not done this project on the 3 Little Pigs in a few years. Now that I have more access to iPads and laptops, I have my students creating things like movie trailer responses, vlogs, Telligami’s (avatar’s), Toontastics, Storybirds, Animotos, ToonDoos (comics) and more. Looking back, I could do this project again, but on my students’ blogs they could respond in more ways than adding just images and text like we did back then. Now they can use the tools available to them to respond in many different ways and of their choice. Pretty much anything they create using an app or web 2.0 tool can be embedded to their blog. If they choose to create something more hands on (not digital) they could then video tape a reflection about their piece or use a screencasting tool like Educreations or Explain Everything and that could be embedded to their blog.
In the beginning, I only used blogs for publishing their language arts work. Since 2007, my students' blogs have evolved into a portfolio of their work across subjects. It is no longer limited to writing. The apps and web tools mentioned above can be used to represent learning across subjects. Let your students be creative and then upload their work to their blog. Use Tellegami to let your students take on the role of someone else for social studies. Have them create a commercial on why people should visit Alberta or Canada (thinking about social studies again) using Animoto or WeVid. Video record them explaining how they worked out a math problem. Let them video record their group doing a skit or role play. You are probably doing some of these activities already with your class. Just think though how can you make them digital and then students can share them on their blog or any other web publishing platform for that matter.
The commenting feature on blogs lend themselves nicely to getting feedback. Not only can classmates be giving feedback, but parents and families can be encouraged to engage by commenting on student blogs too. I have found that opening up my blogs publicaly also allows students to get feedback from others students and people from anywhere. I started doing this by connecting my class to another same grade class in our division. We created links to each others blogs and our students began connecting and reading each other's work. We talked about giving constructive and positive feedback to each other. My students were so motivated by this. They loved hearing what others had to say about their work and they really took what the other students had to say, to heart. It was no longer only me saying the same things over and over to my students. Other people were giving them the feedback and they seemed to take this more seriously. A bit annoying for me but it worked! Later on I added more classrooms to our blogroll. This included classes across our province and throughout Canada. You could even open this up to classrooms anywhere in the world. In grade 5 students learn about Canada. Why not connect your class to students blogging across Canada? Where do you find these connections? Start with teachers or people you know or try Twitter. There are so many educators on Twitter looking for classes to connect with. Search the hashtag #comments4kids to find people blogging with students.
Blogging is one way I am able to get my students engaging in the participatory culture we live in. How do you do this with your students? Please add your suggestions in the comments section...I would love to hear them;)
For more information on blogging/eportfolios see our resource page: http://phrdconnections.weebly.com/eportfolios.html
Nov. 7 PHRD PD day- Blogging Session
By Kyle Laughy
Last year I started my kids blogging on a site called “kidblog”. Kids would blog their weekend writing and would post comments on each other’s work. This year I’m excited to do even more with Edublogs. I’m hoping to not only have students post their weekend writing, but also their other writing projects along with pictures of other classroom work they have completed. Later on in the year, I plan to pair up with another grade 4 class and complete a writing project with them where students from different schools can learn from one another. The kids seem excited and so am I.
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.