Leland Kriegh's Blog

Leland Kriegh's Blog

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week 3 Free Post - Communicating

I have been amazed at what using blogs, posts, e-mail, and instant messaging can do with communication with some students. We have all had those students whom hardly say a word. They do their work but seldom interact. Mostly through instant messages and blogs, I have learned more about some students and a couple of days that I have been several years of conventional communication. For whatever reason, many students are more comfortable communicating through this medium. It is almost like they are dying to tell someone but have never had the opportunity. Even the gregarious students share information. In a typical classroom, there are so many voices that want to tell their story but there is never enough time. Technology has the ability to stop time in this sense and allow for the quietest voices to be heard.

Week 2 Reading Response to Josh Tolar

Josh's Post:
I keep thinking about the current situation about my job and how it happened so fast. While I was hastily updating my resume to look for a new job to cure my unhappiness with my current one, an opportunity came out from no where and basically slapped me in the face. I’m now in a new position with the same company, but I don’t know for how long. I have this hidden fear that one day this position will be over and I will have to go back where I used to work and fall into an unhappy lifestyle again where my expertise is nothing but a title on a sheet of paper. It is here that I have enclosed myself into a box and never stopped to think about the opportunity I have right now and how it might actually affect my future; An opportunity to seize the moment.

By reading the first 4 chapters of “Art of Possibility”, I realized the potentials I have as well as the weaknesses I have had and still have. When thinking about giving an A to someone, it somehow calms my nerves from expecting too much and allows me to focus on how to contribute to someone else’s life or a project. This IS a realization, but NOT THE END of realizations. While giving an A to someone might make it easier for two people to work together in a more harmonious fashion, there is still the realization of giving yourself an A. For so many years I have been controlled by a never-ending urge to please everyone. It has caused me to go above and beyond to the extent that my body shuts down and causes many problems like stress or an occasional illness. This is from my past of always having to live up to an A or suffer the consequences or living up to the expectations of a parent and it never stopped. It never stopped because I never allowed it to stop. I have always given in to the persistent calculations and measurements in my head. I have always been afraid that if I don’t do the best possible work then I would fail or cause someone to feel disappointed. I have always been in the realm of self-doubt despite of what others say. This is just like what Ben Zander was describing about his students and how giving an A would open up the possibilities of being creative and not focusing on the measurements in their head. If I give myself an A first, then I feel I can start handing out A’s to other people and I can then start a successful domino effect of contribution.

Life is constantly changing and the past year at Full Sail has not only given me strength and trust in myself, but has shown me that when you work with others and recognize their contributions as well as your own, amazing things start to happen. I have always been told, “If you put your mind to it, anything can happen”. This is so true in so many ways, but you have to first realize that if you give in to self-doubt and the measurements that we are so conditioned with, you start to focus on the negative instead of the positive. You become enclosed in a box. I think that by realizing our contributions and the contributions of other people, we can start to open the lid of the box and slowly come out.

My Response:
Josh, thank you for your honesty. One of my favorite things of reading other people's blogs and responding is the realization of how similar we all are. I can relate to your anxiety of going back to your old job. How fascinating! Right now, you are in a job that you love. It is funny how we sabotage ourselves with the emotions that have nothing to do with the reality of today. Not only do we not allow ourselves to feel fully passionate and enjoy what were doing, the angst and anxiety that you feel could be misconstrued by others (your bosses). Can you imagine them thinking that they thought they put you into a good position but you just don't seem that happy. The fear you have of going back to your old position could actually sabotage your new position and put you right back in that old position. In addition, maybe your emotions have sabotaged your old position. Maybe use one that you could be perfectly happy in. I am currently in a similar situation and contemplating the same issues.

Week 2 Reading Response to Janene Neal

Janene's Post:
How can I reinvent myself to be a better person? I think I try on a daily basis to be a better person. I treat others the way that I want to be treated. I work hard to make myself happy, as well as others that are around me. But when I read this week’s readings, I pondered if I am missing something. Is there more that I can offer to others around me? I think I do. But what can I contribute to my students…my friends…my family? How can I provide more possibilities? Or be apart of other possibilities?

I think in order for me to step outside the box, I must list contributions that I can offer to others. I feel that I have a lot to offer others. Not only my work ethics, but I also provide love and compassion. Sometimes, I feel that I might be a little burned out with teaching. But on a daily basis, I still love my students. Of course I want them to learn as much as possible, and sometimes forget about their feelings and how their home life can really affect their school life.

For instance, last week, one of my fourth grade students needed shoes, clothes, underclothes, and toiletries, due to insufficient funds at home. Through a county non-profit organization, I was able to provide these necessary items for this student and his sibling. He was so thankful, and appreciative to receive these items. He didn’t care if the items were name brand, or the latest fashion. He was just happy to have clothes with no holes, and shoes that weren’t falling apart. With his overwhelming response of gratitude, I was able to reconnect with the emotional aspect of being a teacher, as well as looking at how fortunate that I am able to provide for my own family. Still, this kid showed me to appreciate the little things in life.

I think with caring and love, the possibilities are endless. Having a positive outlook in life will provide an abundance of opportunities. Educators are kind, warm hearted human beings that not only teach lessons to others, but also provide love to their students.

So yes, I think that I do have something to offer to my students, LOVE. Sometimes it’s tucked away, pushed aside, or misplaced, but for some reason, my students help me find it.

What I really liked about the reading this week, and what I want to use is giving A’s. The author provided his students with A’s at the beginning of the semester. This way, the students will set their own standards high. It is similar to FSO grading the GPS assignment at the beginning of the class. I know I want to keep this 100%, and will make an effort to not have any points deducted.

One sentence stood out from all the reading…..”Hard Work and Reward…what can be better?”

My Response:
I completely identified with your story of how helping someone else reminded you of love. Moments like these bring us to our central selves. It reminds me of the days following 9/11. Remember how everyone was more caring, even in traffic? This dissipated after a couple of days it still, after a couple of days, we were reminded of what's really important and we noticed it. I think the key to this idea is to constantly remind us of the big picture.

Wk4 Publishing/Leadership project part 2 of 2: Online Gaming and Simulations

I am choosing not to publish. When I did my literature review, I did not find research out there that directly related to my project. I was somewhat venturing into new territory. One could say that this is a perfect reason to publish. My project needs to be modified and I would get more information from my study group. I think that the work I did on this project could be worthy of publication if it was connected to a second study with the changes needed.

Kriegh Leland PubLeadProject

Week 4 Publishing/Leadership Project

I am choosing not to publish. When I did my literature review, I did not find research out there that directly related to my project. I was somewhat venturing into new territory. One could say that this is a perfect reason to publish. My project needs to be modified and I would get more information from my study group. I think that the work I did on this project could be worthy of publication if it was connected to a second study with the changes needed.

Week 4 Response to Thomas Turner

Thomas Turner’s post:

The one thing that stood out to me in this week's reading has to come from Chapter 11 "Creating Frameworks for Possibility." The reading revealed three main areas for a person to create the frameworks needed to make change happen.
1. Making a new distinction to help reframe the current one.
2. Become a part of the framework around you.
3. Distinguish what is part of being off-track, while remaining on-track.
This chapter describes the very reason I became an educator. I usually get laughed at when I refer to teaching as being an art form. It truly takes a special being to become one. It's become open season lately on teachers. Yet despite all the pounding we take, we trudge on because we know what is at stake
Each day we walk on campus we MUST check our egos at the door because something more important is at stake. I strive everyday to instill the desire in my students to look introspectively and make decisions that will positively impact their lives. Unfortunately, success is not 100% and I'm not naive to think that I will ever be 100%. It's like I hear football coaches being interviewed on television saying that they put their players in the best possible position to win. Very few football coaches are successful at accomplishing this, as history has shown, this has only happened once. This fact does not stop me from trying my hardest every day though.

This endeavor goes hand in hand with the third area. Part of making or reframing the current possibilities of life involves distinguishing between right and wrong. I, like the example given in the text about the orchestra in Sao Paolo, Brazil, was faced with something similar when I was playing high school baseball. We took a trip to New Orleans for a tournament. Our last instructions were to NOT go down to the quarter. When 16 to 18 year old young men are faced with being told not to do something, we chose to do the exact opposite. Our coach took a similar tact as the orchestra leader. We did not get the beat down reaming that we all probably deserved. Although we did not win the tournament, we went on to play some of the best baseball we had played up to that part of the season. Rather than playing for someone who we resented, we were playing someone who we felt we understood.

My response:
Your comments spoke to me. Not all teachers speak of their craft as an art form. Lets tie passion as an asset you have that goes hand in hand with with your teaching framework. Because you continue to "trudge on," you have a passion for what you do.

I was going to say that you passion helps you overcome obstacles and challenges. I guess we should identify those things as possibilities. As you profess your teaching as an art form, you make a difference in those who hear it. By making a positive impact with your students, you are influencing the dialogue in public education. Going back a few chapters, we do not know if the rhetoric on teachers is good or bad. It is. It may seem bad right now but we cannot see what is going to happen in the future and how the current dialogue will play into it. By keeping our passion, we can only believe that things will work out perfectly.

Week 4 Response to Jason Reed

Jason Reed’s Post:

Reading response from chapters 5 through 8 of The Art of Possibility, by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.

I first have to say that every time I pick up and read this book, it relates to things that are happening in my life. Chapter 5 discusses how to lead from any chair, and more specifically it refers to experiences being a conductor. It talks about the power that an orchestral conductor has in the music world and how conductors can often be dominating. I can attest that these traits can still be seen today because of the many conductors that I know or have worked with.

I direct 6 different choirs at the middle school level and never really gave much thought as to how my students view me. I often do what I need to do to get the results that are needed. After reflecting on my teaching and classroom management I realized that what makes my teaching so effective is that I build a family environment. Everyone feels safe in the classroom and I often encourage student ideas, which gives them a sense of ownership.

I really enjoyed reading about the effectiveness of the “white sheets” where students can write down their criticisms and observations during rehearsals. I am going to start trying to use this in my rehearsals to see what my students are thinking and find out how I can better serve their needs. It will also be a great way to have more personal feedback about my teaching and conducting.

The other chapters (6-8) had many great ideas as well to offer. Chapter 6 talks about the Rule Number 6, which basically means to lighten up. I find that I already do this in my classroom by adding humor to my lessons. I often use humor to effectively get my points across rather then coming off demanding and authoritative. I have found better success in the over all sound of my choirs by lightening up and this principle is one that everyone should follow.

Chapter 7 talks about the practice of the way things are. This chapter discusses how we should accept reality the way it is and work with reality to created more positive experiences. There are some things that we cannot change and it is our goal to be happy and positive. There are always positive ways to look at every situation and it is important for us to focus on the positivity to ensure our own happiness and the happiness of others around us.

Chapter 8 discusses the practice of giving way to passion. This was another chapter that really spoke to me. Most people view me as a passionate individual who is driven for success. I often use my passion for helping others and success to inspire and motivate myself. Sometimes I do set up barriers on myself and releasing these barriers is something that I need to first work on. I found that this chapter was more about channeling ones energy to help convert passion into action. This practice is not an easy thing to accomplish however once we can tap into our inner passion and drive we can accomplish anything.

My response:
I wanted to comment on yours because of the passion I know you have for your endeavors. I am glad that you spoke of passion. I would believe that your passion is also what drives your classroom management. Your students assessed you the first time they were with you. Think of the times you were in a class or even a workshop/seminar session. You assessed the presenter and immediately decided if this was going to be a valuable experience. I am sure your students saw that fire inside of you and were drawn towards it like the little moths they are. They want to be there and they want to share in the experience. Congratulations!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Week 4 Reading, The Art of Possibility

I loved this book. In fact, I purchased the audio version so that I could hear the authors tell the story. The final chapters continued the theme of the book. The most important theme of this book was to get rid of your ego. By doing so, we are able to overcome our selfishness and calculating selves. When we open ourselves to the world, we are able to see how wonderful it can be.

Every chapter, every story from this book could have been read from the pulpit at my Episcopalian church. They could have also been spoken by a Buddhist monk. The authors are Jewish.  The ideas the authors outlined core ideas that almost all world religions strive to promote.  It is the human experience versus reptilian tendencies.  What is great about this book is that we often feel off balance and upset.  We don't always have ideas on how to change things.  This book gives a fine illustration.

I love the idea of defining yourself as the board.  This opens one up to seeing how we all interact.  I know we can play the roles of victim, prosecutor, fixer, etc.  By defining ourselves as the board, we open ourselves up to seeing a much bigger picture and how we interact.  As curious beings, we love possibility.  Unfortunately, our ego and/or our role as a player blinds us from seeing possibility when we inevitably encounter another human being.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 3 Reading Response to Brian Thomas

What I’ve observed from the readings this week (especially from Chapter 6) is that many of Ben’s philosophies about putting others first and living your life in a positive way have been in the Bible for thousands of years. The problem is, most people (including me) have not been so good about reading these principles and applying them to our lives. I believe that if we all spent more time reading and applying THAT guidebook that we would be able to show much more love and genuine concern for each other.
That aside, I particularly liked the discussions in the book on opening up your thinking to possibilities and using the word “and” instead of “but” to describe our current situation. I think it’s this type of positive thinking that can really help make or break your day and your outlook on your current situation. I also liked the discussion of leading from any chair. I think this idea is especially important to share with a classroom of students that might have confidence issues (which, for most teens, is almost a given). To understand that your contributions are valued no matter what your role is, is a very important concept to get across to a class and I appreciated the authors insights and stories about this idea.

My response:

I agree that many of the principals in the book have been in the bible and, for that matter, components to most world religions.  They are about as close to universal "truths" as it comes.  Like you, I often fall short.  That is where religion and philosophy come in to guide us.

Your comments about leading from any chair made me think of the idea in a new way.  As educators, we promote a community of learning where we are all seeking knowledge.  What better way than for the teacher to physically put him/herself in the seats with the students and let the student become the teacher and treat them as an authority in the field.  How powerful!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 3 Reading Response to Thomas Turner

The first thing that I thought of when I saw the title of Chapter 6 in "The Art of Possibility" was a saying on a t-shirt that my wife owned when we first met. After all these years it has stuck with me. The slogan was "Life's a Journey, Not a Guided Tour."

This slogan is right in line with the theme of Chapter 6 and its suggestion that we all need to "lighten up" (Zander & Zander, p. 80). As I walk around campus I encounter teacher after teacher who is stressed out. Stressed out because of poor student performance on standardized tests. Stressed out because of mandates passed down from administrators. Stressed out because of what seems to be a lack of support by a government that doesn't really understand what teaching is all about, yet continues to try to reform it.

I myself subscribe to the "Life's a Journey, Not a Guided Tour" mentality. Life's way too short to get worked up over stuff that I have no control over. I've resigned myself to the fact that the state legislature is not going to be calling me for my opinion any time soon with regards to education reform. That doesn't mean I won't do what is necessary to try to exact change.

I also subscribe to the premise that part of my job is to provide a little levity to my campus. It is my belief that a happy and jovial workplace is a very good place to work. All too often people get too wrapped up in what they are doing and forget to see that their stresses can be relieved with a joke and a smile. I know the students that I taught were always appreciative that I ran my classroom in a way that learning was peppered with humor.

The other thing that I thought about wen reading Chapter 6 was CBS show "NCIS". I know, it seems a little silly. One has little to do with another. But as a NCIS junkie I've taken to living my life by some of Gibb's Rules. Many of the rules revealed through various episodes of the show have no bearing to real life. It seems a bit funny that the Gibbs Rule that I subscribe to the most is also #6: Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness.  The way I interpret this particular rule is to live my life with no regrets. The decisions I make in life I need to stand behind with confidence.

Leland Kriegh's Response:
Please come to Phoenix and follow me around for a day or two cracking jokes. I needed. Stressed. When I read this in the book and when I read your post there is a part of me that wants to say, “yes, but…” I want to argue and let whomever is listening know how important my concerns are. Maybe all of our concerns are important but do we have to take them seriously? Are we more effective than we employee Rule #6 then when we take ourselves so damn seriously? I think I just answered the question myself. I still think it would be really great if you came to Phoenix to hang out and crack jokes. 

Week 3 Reading - The Art of Possibility

This book has triggered a lot of contemplation. There are so many things going on in my life that I reflect upon as I read this book. I am struggling between the ideas presented in The Art of Possibility with my own predicament. My career is something that I love but I am working at a place that I do not love. In fact, I would characterize it as toxic. I do not expect to fully understand the principles in this book, at least at this time. Maybe if I did better understand and was able to employ the principles in this book, the passion and possibility would flow out of me and would cause those around me to fart sunshine. Right now, I don't have it in me.
I specially related to comparison of the comparative self and the central self. I'm not so sure if I agree as to how people develop their comparative self, but I do believe that the comparative self as described in the book not only exists, but is encouraged in our culture. This is where religion and philosophy comes in. The central self describes my view of Christianity quite well. I realize that when I “stray,” I behave more as the comparative self. Good stuff.
The saying, “It is what it is,” is overused; however, the idea is a starting point for Chapter 7. Years ago, I read a series of books by Thích Nhất Hạnh and I took these ideas to heart. I know on a few occasions, I have annoyed others when after what they thought they told me was bad news, I responded, “is it?” Things may seem one way at first but we must have patience and the ability to view a broader picture to better understand (or not) events which unfold in our lives.
BTFI. Damn, I love this part. I know those times in my life where I have gone beyond the FI. In fact, I've done it several times in this program. It does feel good. I am looking forward to getting to a place professionally where I want to strive BTFI.

Week 2 Wimba Session

The Wimba session did not present very much new information; however, the information was very valuable and the discussions helped clarify a very muddy issue. The session clarified Fair Use in the classroom for me. I used to think that as long as it was for educational purposes, it was Fair Use. The stipulation that that piece of media and only that piece of media was necessary for the lesson was new information for me. I really liked how Joe likened the current situation with copyright laws to the prohibition. The current copyright laws do not work just like prohibition did not work. The laws, through legislative action in the courts, need to catch up.
On a side note, one of the things I miss the most when I miss a Wimba session is the banter and witty comments from my classmates. Michael George's definition of the backward C as "copyleft" made me snicker more than it should have. It just goes to show that I am a nerd up to my knees in copyright issues.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 1 Wimba Session

I have already listened to both week one and week two Wimba sessions on archive. I attended week three. On a technical note, I can say that the audio quality from week one is by far the best. The audio quality on weeks two and three can be challenging at times. With that said, week one Wimba session was pretty cut and dry. It mostly went over information that is found in the course syllabus and calendar. It was helpful to get some background information on the process of bringing this program to an end. I also picked up the information for submitting our literature review.

Wk1 Publishing_Leadership Project Part 1 of 2: To Publish or Present

I am still disappointed with my Action Research Project. My argument was not supported with my work. However, I learned a lot. I also know that there is not much research in this area. I am therefore not planning on publishing my project.
As far as the medium for delivery, at this point, I need to do it in the most time effective way possible. I got a late start to this class due to illness and have much to do in a very short amount of time. I believe I will submit written work.
Even though I am somewhat disappointed with my Action Research Project, I am not disappointed in this program. The two are not linked. Even the knowledge I gained through my Action Research Project is not linked to the fact that my work did not support my argument. How fascinating!

Wk 1 Response #2 to Janene Neal

At the beginning of the Full Sail EMDT program, our instructors drilled into our heads to not use copyrighted material. Most classes required comments and snippets of someone else’s work (movies, images, or music) in our media project/assignment. All through this program I kept thinking that I was infringing on copyrighted material, and at times would even question the instructor. I was wondering how we were able to get away without infringing on copyright laws. Then when I viewed Fair Use Fairytale, the answer was right in front of me.

Viewing all of the EDM613 Media Asset Creation videos really provided an eye opener on copyright laws. Good Copy Bad Copy was an informative video about piracy around the globe. It’s a shame that filmmakers, musicians, and artists are the ones that are hit the hardest because of these issues. I am shocked that European countries do not have the same outlook about copyright/piracy as the American government. I am also saddened that the US does not have a better grip on finding these thieves that steal other artists’ work.

How can these problems be fixed? Yes, fines can be placed. Yes, those pirates can be held accountable for stealing. But, these methods appear to not work, since these issues increase every year.

The Fair Use Fairytale video is a clever example, especially using Disney material representing how fair use policies can be implemented in multimedia projects. I know using the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use will be something I will use in future media projects. I am glad that this document is easy to assessable. When I googled fair use best practices, the first website listed appears to be a beneficial site for media users.
http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/best-practices has a code of best practices for fair use for just about any media topic.

Creative Commons has been extremely useful in my educational and professional life. Not only have I utilized Creative Commons for the EMDT graduate program, but I have also provided Creative Commons lessons to my upper grade level students. In the past, my fourth, fifth, and sixth grade learners have been taught to collect images using the standard Google site. When I was introduced to Creative Commons and copyright infringement, I tweaked my multimedia projects for students to include copyright free images. Fortunately, students learned from this lesson. My district holds a Digital Media Awards ceremony once a year, showcasing students’ technology projects. This benefit mimics the Golden Globes, and also has strict rules for project submission. When students from other classes were informed of the contest rules, many could not submit their projects, due to copyright laws. My students on the other hand included copyright free images provided from Creative Commons. Guess what? Out of four hundred submissions, two of my third grade students, and two fifth grade students placed second and third. One sixth grade student placed first in her multimedia category. Having students learn the importance of copyright rules really did pay off.

Leland's Response
Like you, I was “scared straight” at the beginning of this program regards to copyright laws. I will use that verbiage with my students to make the point. I'm so proud of your leadership with your students. It does not surprise me that your students did so well in the media awards. Once students understand the “rules” their creativity can blossom.

Wk 1 Response #1 to Josh Tolar

I was really blown away by the video on Martin Luther King and Fair Use.   The fact that the documentary, “Eyes on the Prize”, is unavailable to so many people because of the expired copyright licenses just seems so unreal.  Since I started at Full Sail I have been getting into documentary film making and learning more about Fair Use from this weeks reading helps me put things into perspective.  Before starting the development on my action research there was a film I wanted to use in my project, but I didn’t have the permission.  It was a documentary about Buddhism that aired on PBS and had Richard Gere as the narrator.  I was immediately intimated by the mere thought of using the documentary in any way so I decided to forget about it.  I finally contacted PBS about using the documentary and 2 months later they said I could use it as long as I was using it to teach Buddhism.  Of course I had already developed my own media and the response came too late, but I did become aware of Fair Use during this time.

I’m amazed at all the videos I have seen so far on copyright and how important it is in our lives today.  For so many years I have written music from the inspiration of many commercial artists and I have never used samples from anyone, like in the documentary “Good Copy/Bad Copy”, but its amazing how other cultures around the world are using those samples.  I have used samples before, but they have always been recordings of ambient sounds like traffic or construction sites and those samples were then imported into a sequencer for manipulation.

Apart from the documentaries on Fair use and Copyright, the Ted Talk with Larry Lessig was nothing short of brilliant.  Taking away from his talk, I am reminded about my professional environment and the restrictions on using Creative Commons.  It is important to start embracing this type of licensed material, but there is a belief in my professional environment that the owner of a certain license might decide to change the license at any given time and ultimately restricting the use of media that is already being used.  I’m not sure if this is possible and I understand the concern, but if individuals are intimated by Creative Commons, it only limits our creative abilities.  In developing content for my action research, I used a lot of creative commons material and doing so dramatically increased my ability to produce a rich educational product.

My knowledge of copyright was limited before viewing the videos this week.  I found the content to be exhilarating and sometimes emotional, especially the video about Fair Use with the documentary on Martin Luther King.  We live in a network of social media and intertwined within that media are the creative minds willing to express their very being.  The opportunity to create something to teach people and to enrich their lives is truly a wonderful experience and being able to tap into the massive amounts of media that already exists only increases our ability to create and flourish in the vast social network.

Leland's Reponse:
I wanted to comment on your post because I know you well enough to know how creative and prolific you are. You create. Probably more than most, you are immersed in media. I think the argument can be made that none of us have a 100% original idea. It is not possible. We are all inspired and moved by our experiences which traces of which can be found in our own works. We both agree that Creative Commons is in court and so that creative expression is not limited. I especially appreciated the comments from Peter Jaszi from American University. The laws were designed to further arts and sciences. Too much protection stifles creativity. You are one I would hate to see stifled.

W1_Readings- Copyright Issues

I am constantly confronted with copyright issues. Most of my students are from poor, Mexican immigrant families. Copyright laws are not a blip on their radar. Students are constantly asking me to copy music for them or copy their music for someone else. When I talk about intellectual rights, I can tell by the glazed look on their faces it means absolutely nothing to them. Their view is that the artists have plenty of money and that they have little so it is only just and right for them to have intellectual property free of charge.

My colleagues’ view is not much different. With such little resources and such great need, it is easy to justify “breaking the rules.” In other words, the end can justify the means. As the school librarian, part of my job is to remind my colleagues and principal of copyright laws. If I was held responsible for the school’s compliance with copyright laws, I would be in big trouble.

I am embarrassed to say that I have not used a document to guide my use of copyrighted material. After viewing the videos, I looked up the center for social media and went to their website (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/best-practices/media-literacy).

I have not taken Fair Use and copyright laws as seriously as I should. Knowing that the laws can be gray and that they are changing, the last few years I have used the attitude, “best guess and reasonable.” Sure, I have over 600 student contacts a week and am responsible for teaching the technology standards for seven different grade levels. Knowing I wouldn't be perfect even if I tried, I chose to take this attitude for mere survival. The good news is, I have been pretty close to what I have learned from these videos and the reading. The fact of the matter is that it is not black and white and that our laws still need to catch up.  The information gathered here will definitely help streamline and clarify and help my colleagues do a better job of following the law the best they can.

Wk1_Topic #2_ Technology in my Workplace

I teach technology in an elementary school. My first year in this position, the computer lab was made up of 10 year old G3 iMacs. Consequently, I did very little teaching and mostly ran around troubleshooting computers. My district is completely Mac and is fairly progressive in the area of technology. When the district purchases new computers, they purchase them for the high schools. The high schools then hand their old computers to the middle schools. The middle schools then and their old computers to the elementary schools. By the time the elementary schools get new computers, they are typically 7 to 8 years old. My computers were 11 years old. In addition, my students come from families in a very low socioeconomic bracket. Most of them do not have access to a computer at home. Through lobbying, cooperation, coercion, and old fashioned arm-twisting, and a couple of years I have been able to secure the latest flat-panel iMacs for my students.
My students are now able to create multimedia projects with iMovie, GarageBand, and the rest of the Apple suite of programs. They are using a learning management system and experiencing online simulations and media rich games.

Wk 1 Topic #1 - Difficulties with Technology

I can think of several times when technology did not cooperate for a presentation. My MO is that if I do not immediately know what is wrong and can fix it within a few seconds, I scrap the technology altogether. If there is a glitch, the audience’s attention is immediately strained. If one fiddles with the technology for a time, my feelings are that they will lose the audience altogether. Therefore, if I have to ditch the technology, I share a laugh with the audience (we have all been there), and use the power of my voice and storytelling.
It is also important to note that preparation and setup is of vital importance. If one commits the time to properly set up and test equipment, the likelihood of a technological glitch is minimized.