Useful links

  • Europeana 1914-1918 – Explore stories It is a treasure trove of unique sources for anyone interested in WWI. Timely with the 100th anniversary upon us. The site offers access to digitized films from the period, institutional cultural heritage and official records alongside thousands of stories shared by the general public, illustrated with digital images of objects, letters, personal diaries, photographs, and other items from the period of the First World War.
  • Teacher Resources for Learning about Copyright and Fair Use ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning  Post from Ed tech and Mobile Learning Blog. “It is important we teach our students to be good digital citizens. They need to understand how to properly credit sources and documents they grab from Internet, and it is not always straightforward. The University of Texas offers a course entitled “Copyright Crash Course” that outlines in a very clear and eloquent language the different things we all need to know about copyright.” Links are given to a few important sections.
  • Legendary Lands: Umberto Eco on the Greatest Maps of Imaginary Places and Why They Appeal to Us | Brain Pickings “Celebrated Italian novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary critic, and list-lover Umberto Eco has had a long fascination with the symbolic and the metaphorical, extending all the way back to his vintage semiotic children’s books. Half a century later, he revisits the mesmerism of the metaphorical and the symbolic in The Book of Legendary Lands (public library) — an illustrated voyage into history’s greatest imaginary places, with all their fanciful inhabitants and odd customs, on scales as large as the mythic continent Atlantis and as small as the fictional location of Sherlock Holmes’s apartment.
  • Inside The Most Interesting Man In The World’s Personal Library [31 Photos] | The Roosevelts  ” Jay Walker made a lot of money starting Priceline.com. He spent his money collecting. The collection, dubbed the Library of Human Imagination, has grown into something epic that rivals any museum on Earth. the 3,600 square foot, three story facility features multilevel tiers, “floating” platforms, connecting stairways, glass-paneled bridges, dynamic lighting and is bursting at the seams with artifacts of all types. A truly amazing collection that celebrates human endeavour and preserves it for future generations.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Free music for student projects now on YouTube

I have been trying to teach the students good digital behaviours. When students are trying to create multimedia presentation we remind them about Creative Commons licences. When shown where to find images, sounds, videos that are allowed to be used they are more than happy to do the right thing. There are many times our students are looking for sounds or, more often, music to put the final polish on their multimedia project. There are a few I put onto a list available via our school intranet and linked to the sites. I often have to remind the boys about these sites so I was very pleased to learn the other day that YouTube is now offering music through their YouTube Audio Library. It is not a comprehensive library at the moment with about 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks people can use for free, indefinitely but it is a good start and on a site/platform that many students are very familiar with.

AudioLibrary-YouTube

The music embedded in the YouTube Audio Library is music that you can download to use in projects both online and offline. You can search the library of music according to:

  • Genre – Some of the genres you can choose from include: Alternative & Punk, Classical music, Country & Folk, Hip Hop & Rap, Jazz & Blues, Pop, Reggae and Rock.
  • Mood – Students are often interested in finding music for mood. Some of the moods represented musically include angry, bright, calm, dark, funky, happy, inspirational, romantic,and sad.
  • Instrument – Allows you to search for music according to the instrument being played in it. These include: Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Strings, Synth and Trumpet
  • Duration – Where you can search for clips ranging from 1to 25 minutes

You can listen to the tracks before downloading them as MP3 files. To download any tune you click on the arrow pointing downwards put on the line that has the title. You can also click on the star button next to it to add the tune to your favourite list. It really is very easy to use. I look forward to sharing it with our students next term.

AudioLibrary-Mood-download

There is also an opportunity to have a look at the most popular hits that people have downloaded by using the favourites list.

Useful links

Creative Commons – teaching teachers

I sometimes forget that the terms/language I use may not be understood by other teachers. I have been talking to students for quite  a few years but did not really stop to think, or ask, whether or not the teachers were really listening as well. We have a page explaining CC and listing place to find CC resources on our website (and a copy on a wiki). The CC site and the  CC Australia site is are good resources. We show students how to find CC images even when using Google as well and the CC search page.  The last blog post I wrote about CC was last year after I talked about a tool  that you can use when choosing a license for work that you have created.

Today I was asked to explain what “Creative Commons” means by a colleague. After I explained it I thought that I had better put up a few more visuals to assist everyone in trying to understand the concept.

I have a few posters but I like this one as a starting point. It is very simple and so a good place to start.

Bibliographies and CC – what are we teaching and why?

I have been in a lot of classes lately working with students. We have been focusing on using CC licensed material and acknowledging the sources used in assignments/research by attaching bibliographies.

The whole idea that whilst being safe – which has been a focus of the school this year – is paramount there are other considerations. One of these considerations means that anyone using internet resources is required to deal with the work of others fairly.

The students here have a very highly developed interest in what is fair and in fair play.  So tapping into the idea of fairness that we worked on improving their understanding of what they can use in their own work and how they should attribute what they have used.

After looking at sites that offers CC licensed material they were surprised that they can even use the Google search tool to find appropriately licensed material. As always it is very gratifying to see them all happily using the CC images options once they went ahead with their work.

This was followed up with how they should be noting the references they use and writing appropriate bibliographies. We have always taught them how to include bibliographies (but only occasionally and in a few classes) with various levels of success.

This year we have again been going through the steps of where they go to find the information they need and then how to cite the materials.

In the past, once they leave that particular class, they have often forgotten a few things and, if they are not reminded by the teachers, not being sure of the right way,  they often just leave out the something that might be a bit more difficult to work out. This seems to be preferred that rather than try to cite it and get it wrong, they don’t cite it at all.

So this time we have spent just as long looking at the online citation tools. These are becoming easier to use and they make citing references very easy. I have had a few conversations with some teachers who seem to think that it is cheating to use these tools but what is the reason for a student bibliography? In our school it is supposed to simply be a list of sources the students have used to inform themselves about a topic. The bibliographies expected in subject assignments have never been an end in themselves. The fact that many times the students are not marked down for having anything more than Google listed in the bibliography seems to defeat the purpose of even asking for one. Some of the arguments seem to be made along the lines of “it was difficult/painful for me to do one so the current students should also suffer as I did”. Anyway getting past this has been useful and the students in year 7 ands 8 seem to have chosen bibme as their tools of choice and there seems to be a surge in longer bibliographies. The teachers also think that  now that the students find adding bibliographies easier, they will in some cases ask the boys to use the annotation option to indicate why and/or how each source was useful to them.

The seniors have been learning about the option of using the citation part of word. We are trying to teach them about using it as they take notes, even before they start their final document. A longer process this one I believe. I created a tutorial and then partly to have a go at some e-publishing tools I used the word document, saved as a PDF and uploaded it to make a Yudu document. I also tried creating another using the  SimpleBooklet tool. The Yudu doc is quicker to make from an already created document but to get the layout right you need to make it a PDF. The SimpleBooklet tool is probably almost more easy to use when you type directly into it.

To have a look, here are the links to my attempts.

The Simple booklet doc is here: 

or here:How to create your bibliography using Word

Click to view the full digital publication online
The Yudu Doc which was created first has a few things I must edit. I did this one on Friday afternoon and missed a few mistakes so I will replace it later this week ut the 1st edition is here: Read How to add citations and create a bibliography using Word
Publishing Software from YUDU

There is also a good video tutorial below.

My next task is to create a few such tutorials for our students to access at school.

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