Thursday, September 27, 2007

Attribution Update

A more recent post in Flickr in the discussion on how to properly attribute creative commons photos offers the following advice:

First, look in the description of the photo to see if the photographer has mentioned anything there. Then look at the profile page for the photographer and see if anything is mentioned there.

If no mention of attribution, then it seems to be commonly accepted that the attribution would be a link back to the photo page on Flickr with a credit to the person's Flickr name.

And the people at Behold have been working to fix the problem of the changing CC status of some photos. Life is good.

Presentation Play

Lisa's Report Just a quick post created to show a visitor the wonders of Google Presentations.

Clear as Mud

I notice that students have trouble figuring out how to correctly attribute photos they find on sites like flickr which have Creative Commons licenses. Are there any clear standards? I posted a question in the flickr forum and got some very interesting replies including one from a person who works on developing the flickr search tool Behold. This is a copy of the conversation in that forum over the past few hours:

Attribution for kids

bookminder (That's me) says:

I work with high school students and find that they are very confused about how to attribute correctly. Have the people at flickr ever considered posting a simple page with specific examples so that kids can easily tell how they should attribute photos they use?

Posted at 3:56PM, 26 September 2007 PDT ( permalink | edit )

Reply #1:

Erm, if people are using photos from flickr, they need to contact the respective photo-owners to find out how they want to be attributed.
Posted 17 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #2:

This is not a simple task, since attribution depends on the kind of copyright or creative commons license and the use of the image (is it journalistic fair use for example).
Posted 17 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #3:

There isn't a standard way. Each photographer may have there own requirements. For myself one can simply use my user name on flickr as that is the name that they are posted under. Others may want to be attributed by their real name. In the case of CC images you can look here for some guidance.

NOTE the CC clause of making clear the terms of the license.
Posted 17 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #4:

If it's a CC-license, there's no need to directly contact a photographer (That's the point of the CC license). However if the photographer leaves no specific instructions for how they wish to be attributed, then the CC license terms require simply doing the best you can. Flickr handle, name if it's available, etc.

It's the photographer's responsibility to spell that out if they choose such a license,
Posted 14 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #5:

In case you want to know how to contact Flickr still, there's a "Help by email" link in the foot of every page of the site.

But Flickr will tell you the same that all these people above :-)
Posted 13 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #6:

Have the people at flickr ever considered posting a simple page with specific examples so that kids can easily tell how they should attribute photos they use?

I like the way Scott Beale handles it at Laughing Squid:
Posted 12 hours ago. ( permalink )

bookminder says:

Thanks for all the great replies. This gives me a much better idea of how to advise students. They will, of course, only be using Creative Commons works. I am showing them how to use the new photo search Behold and click on the "and are free to use box".
Posted 10 hours ago. ( permalink | edit )

Reply #7:

Well I just did a search on Behold for all pictures tagged Glasgow, and found All Rights Reserved photographs. Even when I click the "commercially" button. That doesn't seem right to me.
Posted 9 hours ago. ( permalink )


Hi, bookminder and werewegian, thanks for the feedback on Behold. I work on this search engine. werewegian, i checked the photographs you mention against my index, it appears that quite a few people have changed from creative commons back to all rights reserved. Behold updates its index every so often and these changes have not all been reflected. Thanks for pointing this out! I will fix this with more frequent updates shortly.

P.S. I do wonder what the implications are of releasing something as creative commons and then re-licensing it as all rights reserved.
Posted 7 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #9:

If a photo is Creative Commons, and someone then uses it under that license, then the license cannot be revoked for that usage. But future uses are no longer covered by the license.
Posted 7 hours ago. ( permalink )

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Adding to the Trap Lines

Here's an interesting blog by a Canadian called The Teacher List. Author Pete MacKay publishes a link every week day for teachers interested in technology education.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Education Journals

AERA SIG has published a page of links to Open Access Journals in the Field of Education. They have sourced out journals from all over the world and the list includes "only links to electronic journals that are scholarly, peer-reviewed, full text and accessible without cost."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Better Searching

In his Bookmark Meme post Patrick Higgins pointed out Behold a search engine that searches Flickr. One of the things I like about Behold is that you can ask it to give you only images that are free to use. It also allows you to search for images tagged with (your choice) that Look Like some specific thing.

Another of Patick's choices led me to Kristen Hokanson's Connected Classroom wiki where she lists some great tips for searching the deep web.

Image: (michelle)'s photos

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Value Added

Today I was asked what online dictionaries I might recommend for a class using the library. This reminded of how I approach all requests for materials. The over-riding question for me is always what can I teach the students about using the Internet/library that they might not already know.
So here's what I recommended:

* have a look at the Internet Public Library site. On the left hand side-bar there is a heading titled "Ready Reference" and a sub-heading "Dictionaries". The dictionaries page offers a smorgasbord of choices with annotated links to sites with various thesauri, rhyming dictionaries, phrase finder and other more conventional dictionaries. I like Merriam Webster online as it gives auditory pronunciations for each entry as well the etymology.

* teach students about Google's definition search. Enter "define:cantaloupe" or whatever your word is.

* Visit the Librarian's Internet Index. This will give students experience in using a directory. lii showcases the wonderful variety of dictionaries available in many fields.

* If you subscribe to World Book Online it has a very easy to use dictionary.

* Can't remember a word but have the meaning? Try OneLook Reverse Dictionary. It also generates lists of related concepts or terms, finds crossword puzzle answers and answers basic identification questions such as "What is the capital of Canada?"

When I received the question I immediately emailed my group of fellow teacher librarians to see what ideas they had. So my clients have the benefit of several brains working on their query in addition to whatever lessons I can build in around the resources available.


Last night I spent some time reading back over my blog posts since I began this journey in March. It became clear that my focus has shifted over time. What I originally intended as a blog which students would read has become more of a resource for educators. I have used the blog to:

* showcase and think about new Web 2.0 applications
* ponder trends in technology and education
* write about projects I have been working on
* learn about myself and my teaching style
* pass on ideas
* keep a record of what I am reading
* house links I use often

I have progressed beyond wondering if anyone else would read this blog to installing a tracking application. I see that about 1/3 of people who view the blog return for another look.

I have been pleased and surprised when other blog writers quote me or refer to this blog.

It's been an interesting trip.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Good enough?

David Warlick posed an interesting question in his 2 cents worth blog A Conversation about Wikipedia "What happens if it’s wrong?" He was considering the validity of using Wikipedia as a source.

When a class comes in to the library to do research I always spend time at the beginning reviewing resources with them. Yesterday with a Gr. 11 class I looked at a Google search for material on the Great Depression. The first hit was Wikipedia. When I asked the students what they thought about this source a torrent of opinions came flooding out. There were two valid comments:
- anyone can edit it
- it’s good for keywords

After some discussion they concluded that the Wikipedia article would be good to use as a starting point as long as it wasn’t their only source.

We went on to look at the rest of the Google hits and discussed which ones might be worth a closer look based on their URLs. AND we looked at the print resources the library had to offer.

Kids don’t want to fail. When they are given choice and an opportunity to learn why certain sources are better than others they listen. They start to become more discerning users of information.

In my job as a teacher librarian I ask myself the “Is this information good enough?” question all the time. Is the activity, or skill the student is practicing more important than the validity of the actual data they are using? When I think about it we are always dealing with misinformation. One only has to look at the number of times studies in the health field contradict each other. Coffee is bad for us. Coffee is good for us.

In addition, everything we read has come through two or more filters. First the writer gives us his or her perception of events. Then, as readers, we bring our own interpretations to what we read.

The real question should be "Are we giving our students the skills to become discerning, ethical users of information?" Is what we are teaching them good enough?

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Wired World

Yesterday my library joined the 21t century. No longer will we bear the scorn of our colleagues in the wired world. The hardware to complete our conversion to an automated system has been installed and it's all systems go. Well almost. We cannot sign books out to students as central office has not loaded their accounts into the system. We can sign materials out to staff who were here last year but not to new staff. As with many things technology related it seems to be two steps forward and one step back. We now have an online catalogue which works, most of the time.
Fortunately most of our books still have cards and pockets so we are able to use old technology until the new system works.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Reading Rants Improved

Jennifer Hubert's popular teen book review site Reading Rants has been transformed into an interactive blog. Teens can respond to Jen's reviews or write their own. There is an extensive list of Book Review websites and blogs for teens as well as kid and teen lit. blogs for grown-ups. Expect the extraordinary!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Passing on the Good Stuff

Thanks to Carolyn Foote for the two lovely Math Blogs she sent in her comment. I have been thinking about how to convince my staff to read the blogs I pass on to them. Here's what I have so far:

You read a blog because
* You discover great ideas to enhance your practice
* You find like-minded teachers to empathize with
* You uncover unique solutions to common problems
* You laugh
* You might just be inspired to start a blog of your own

I'm hoping at least some of them will give it a try.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

On the Eve of Instruction

With school opening on Tuesday I came to the sad realization that I will be losing the luxury of spending an hour each morning reading my RSS feeds and gleaning wonderful, insightful new ideas.
This morning one of those gems came from Carolyn Foote in her Not So Distant Future blog. She writes about Collaborative Research: Rethinking the Model and includes some practical ideas for encouraging student networking in school.
One of my hopes for this year is to get each of my staff reading at least one curriculum specific blog. I will be recommending Nick Senger's Teen Literacy Tips to the English teachers but am still on the lookout for similar blogs science, math, socials and French. Any ideas?