Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
The NZTA is running a fantastic competition for secondary schools encouraging evidence of engagement with a remix that students have created to encourage road safety.
Students are invited to create infographics, creative remixes and even a literature remix based on the works of Shakespeare and prizes include $10,000 worth of vouchers.
We’re trying to make it really easy for teachers and librarians to support students in finding remixable content so as well as the Free to Mix guide we have also created a collection of links in a Prezi that gives search tips and hints for various search tools. This Prezi can be embedded into your school’s online environment and used as a teaching tool to enhance the learning experience.
In our Primary Sources gallery, we have created a collection of some great Road Safety images that might inspire some interesting and thought provoking remixes. Many of these images are remixable themselves.
From sound advice to shock statistics to hilarious videos, road safety campaigns have been around for a long time now and we’re looking forward to seeing how some of this is translated by teens of today.
Our daily lives are now connected in more ways than we ever dreamed would be possible. Digital technologies have revolutionised the way creative content is made, accessed and distributed. However, with this connectedness comes complexity around access to content and the way it can be used. While access to creative content is increasing every minute, our legal systems are hugely complex and make it difficult to understand exactly what we are legally able to do with content we find and create.
The workshops were designed for educators and students who wanted to learn more about open education resources, copyright and creative commons licenses.
Day four of the course introduced the Creative Commons project which gives content creators the ability to refine the copyright restrictions or freedoms attached to their work by using six free licenses. The rest of this post will look at Creative Commons licenses, how they work and ways to introduce them to your students.
The Creative Commons project in New Zealand was initiated Te Whainga Aronui - The Council for the Humanities, and is now administered by The Royal Society of New Zealand. Creative Commons was founded in 2001 to help content creators and users alike by creating a series of attribution licenses that provide a range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators. These licenses or attributions are free of charge to the public and allow creators to convey which rights they reserve and which they waive in a flexible way.
Creative Commons licenses consist of four major licensing components which work together to allow creators greater flexibility around the re-use of their work. For more information on the licenses and how to apply them to your work please visit: www.creativecommons.org.nz. A video on the website explains this all in plain language that would be suitable for use in the classroom.
Students can practise searching for content labelled with Creative Commons licenses by using the advanced search functions in Google, Flickr and Vimeo. When students are searching for New Zealand content they can do so by using the filters on Digital New Zealand (note: you can search for content you can share, modify or use commercially, this will include a mixture of licensing not just Creative Commons).
For those of you looking to at ways to re-use digital material in the classroom, Services to Schools and Digital New Zealand have created a guide called Free to mix: An educator’s guide to reusing digital content.
The guide gives you information, activities and ideas to confidently create a remix from material you know you have the rights to reuse. It shows students why copyright and licensing exist, how they work, and how they can apply licences to their own work through simple information, suggestions for activities, and links to more resources. By using it, you and your students will be able to participate in the global remix community while demonstrating creativity and integrity.
By using Creative Commons licenses in the classroom you help your students to understand copyright; how it is used on the internet, the importance of licensing their own work and respecting the work of others in an online environment, ultimately making them a more prepared digital citizen.
We have created a poster for you to print and use in your classroom and library to help learners and teachers to use CC licences.
Recently I was given the fantastic opportunity to show educators Digital NZ and Mix and Mash at the annual ULearn conference in Rotorua.
I have presented these topics before and I am always amazed that there are some teachers who haven’t used Digital NZ before. Amazed and excited actually, because I know that I am about to show them something hugely useful and relevant that they will take away and be able to implement with their classes immediately. At Services to Schools, we discuss the skills students need to follow an inquiry process, like finding information from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats. This lends authenticity and credibility to the information and when using it to make something new, different sources provide multiple perspectives and a deeper layering and understanding of a story. Digital NZ, of course, makes this easy.
We have been very keen to encourage student entries into the Mix and Mash competition as it is such a great outlet for creative use of New Zealand digital content and ties in beautifully to many aspects of the curriculum. To increase confidence in teachers this year, we created Free to Mix; An educator’s guide to reusing digital content where we provide a whole heap of tips and ideas and links that will enable teachers and librarians to help students understand, find and use New Zealand digital content. We discuss copyright and Creative Commons, the best places to find material for reuse, what to do to enter the competition and a whole lot more that will keep a school’s creative remix community buzzing well beyond the six weeks of the competition.
One of the things that the teachers at the ULearn breakout enjoyed seeing was the achievability of some of the entries. When they saw A Grand Mother they realised that you don’t need advanced technical skills when you have a great narrative. Year 12 student Casey Carsel’s entries showed history, heritage and humour and a huge variety of well attributed resources. Our favourite primary school entry from Pt England School embodies the spirit of the competition and just looks like a whole heap of fun. Another entry reflected work that was completed for NCEA credits and also eligible for entry, and others showed learning that started in class and was extended beyond that.
In lots of different ways, the teachers at the session felt positive and empowered and challenged with a variety of actions. One of the participants, a school librarian, was going to create a Digital NZ custom search related to the school wide topic in Term 4 and put it on her library blog. Another participant was going to show the whole staff the digital stories that were entered this year and use them to inspire digital storytelling work in all the classes in his school. One teacher found an image of some students in her school of about 100 years ago; this is going to be a centrepiece in their jubilee work.
Even as I was delivering the workshop, one teacher was uploading links to her Learning Management System. Her students were easily able to find links to Creative Commons, Digital NZ and inspirational digital stories in their own learning environment before she’d even left the room. These things are easy to do for educators but hugely empowering for the students who will learn about the rich resources in New Zealand’s digital collections, who will make their own heritage materials and become an active part of global creative communities.
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