Archive for the ‘using videos in teaching’ Category

Fair Use, Smair Use….If It’s on the Web or Digital, It’s Free, Especially to Educators, Isn’t It?!

In Education, technology, using videos in teaching on April 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Information on the web is free for anyone to use. That’s what I’ve heard students say from time to time. It is relatively easy to debunk that myth by discussing creator’s rights under copyright law.

What’s more challenging is helping faculty identify that same principle: we know there’s a a copyright law. We know there’s an exception to that law called fair use. What is more difficult is to determine whether our conduct fits within the definition of fair use.In the article Have College Professors Become Digital Pirates?, Andrew Chow, J.D., discusses this very issue. Universities and faculty have been sued for including copyrighted material in e-reserves, for copying videos from film to digital format (UCLA won that one) and for digitizing books. As the article notes, there are several factors courts consider in determining whether a use constitutes fair use, including the purpose and  type of use,  the amount of use and the potential impact copying would have on the market. Many Universities devote websites to assisting faculty (and students) determine fair use (see e.g. the Copyright Clearance Center’s Checklist).

This does raise a question I’ve raised before: shouldn’t copyright law be changed to address the new ways information is made available? Shouldn’t videos, as digital information, be priced differently? Should copyright law be changed to make it easier for educators to use copyrighted information in the interests of furthering knowledge? I consider it a great compliment if someone uses what I’ve created (it’s still a rare occurrence, though!). I would like acknowledgement, so others can find and use it, but feel no obligation to chase after someone who used what I created.

Would I feel differently if that someone was not an educator, but a corporation that made money from my work? Probably-I’d Giantexpect that corporation to provide me some compensation, that way we could both share in the profit made. More importantly, though, my work, my words, what I’ve developed, has not been developed in isolation. I have stood on the shoulders of giants to get where I am today. So, I am happy to share and help others learn.


Lecture Fail? Long Live the Lecture!

In how people learn, teaching, teaching with technology, using videos in teaching on March 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

I love a good lecture!

Lecturers can be humorous, thought-provoking, information-filled, interesting and inspirational ways to stimulate the mind. 

Haven’t you attended a lecture and left laughing? Or thinking that you’d love to learn more about that topic? Or been impressed with the presentation style of the lecturer? I have, many times.

Lectures have served valuable purposes in higher education. It’s how I learned much of what I now know. I still listen to lectures available on Ted Talks to gain different perspectives and to find presentations that I use to stimulate students’ reflection on and critical evaluation of a myriad of topics. Lectures can make you say “I knew that!” and thus confirm what you know or “I had no idea!” to wake you up to a different viewpoint.

[I also love reading good books. StudyI now read most of them electronically. I can become immersed in a good book. I find it quite exciting to purchase a book about which I’ve heard interesting things, or to purchase a book by my favorite author, then set aside time to read and think about the book. Some of the books are for work, some are for pure pleasure but either way, it’s an exciting journey to select and read a new book. My excitement is palpable…but I digress.]

So before we declare the death of the lecture, we should consider how it can be used:

  • To convey information (now available through Wikipedia or a Google search?)
  • To model a way of thinking (which now can be recorded for students to review; which may now be available through video resources created by others)
  • To integrate diverse perspectives and views into a relatively short presentation (Now available through mashups that can integrate vocal, photography, video, text and other delivery methods)
  • Others?

Although there are other ways to present information, lectures can and continue to be one valuable tool in the in an educator’s toolbox.

I have also attended boring, uninspired, lectures presented by some who seem to drone on forever, either making the same point in exactly the same way multiple times, who read from lecture notes only, who are not engaged with the audience [or even, it seems, aware of the audience!]. So students have a valuable point when they talk about boring lectures.

I’ve explained how I can enjoy (and learn from) a good lecture. I’ve also explained how some lectures can be boring.  But not everyone learns in exactly the same way. And I must admit, I learn better, sometimes, when I work with something. Haven’t you been working on a lesson and realized that you learned it much better now that you’re teaching it?

And I frequently learn better when I have to manipulate, say, objects on a map, or draw a diagram. So, although I enjoy (and I hope sometimes deliver) good lectures, I know that listening to lectures is not the only way to learn. It may not even be the best way to learn. And it is not the only way to teach. Look at my initial success using Twitter.

There has been a great deal of research on learning since educators first began using lectures extensively. I will refer to that research in this blog-I referred to some of that research in another post. That research should help drive instruction in higher education.

Teaching (and learning) are great challenges!

Fair Use, Videos, UCLA and Educational Filmmakers

In innovation in teaching, teaching with technology, using videos in teaching on December 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm

The Association for Information and Media Equipment has announced that it has sued UCLA because it allows students access to streaming video that UCLA has made available to its students. This lawsuit is the result of an ongoing battle between UCLA and this organization of whether UCLA’s decision to permit student access via streaming video is consistent with the fair use exception to the U.S. Copyright law.

It is ironic that this lawsuit was filed the week after I lead a discussion of Web 2.0 and Plagiarism at the DET/CHE conference last week. One of the discussants mentioned the dispute between UCLA and AIME and noted that AIME’s purpose (creating educational video for sale and use) was negated if educational institutions would be permitted to stream the video. Pricing models for video were traditionally based on hoVHS Tapew many copies of the video were purchased and if only one was purchased, then would not be profitable to make (and sell) the video.

This dispute is reminiscent of the issue faced by music manufacturers after digital music was available. After peer-to-peer sharing networks were created, music manufacturers could not longer force customers to purchase an entire album of music to obtain a song or two that they liked. iTunes and others recognized that there was a market in selling songs individually and as albums. Although the iTunes model did not solve all the problems of illegal downloads, it was certainly a practical alternative for those customers who wanted to obtain the music legally and did not want to purchase an entire album.

So perhaps the pricing model should change. In the article Who’s Right on Video Copyright, the author suggested that videos should be sold by the use (e.g. so that students pay each time they watch the streaming video). Another model might be to encourage institutions to collaborate to help pay for the video (through mini-grants, for example) and those institutions would have access to the streaming video. Another might be to commission institutions who have media majors to create professional videos and compensate students and others to create those videos. A combination of these and other approaches might result in educator access to videos and profits for the video producers. Reliance on the traditional pricing model when technology has changed the way institutions and individuals gain access to videos seems misplaced.

Making Videos Accessible

In accessibility, universal design for learning, using videos in teaching on December 9, 2010 at 7:34 am

Collaboration can be used in multiple ways to help increase accessibility of educational resources. This fits with concepts of Universal Design for Learning that make educational information as accessible as possible for others.

In the article Making Videos Accessible with Universal Subtitles, George Williams explains how the website Universal Subtitles is encouraging people to collaborate to write subtitles through posting and editing transcripts of posted videos. You can upload a video to ask for subtitling and you can volunteer to subtitle.

I’m going to try something similar in my classes (although students will not be volunteers, but will probably get some sort of credit for it). I’m going to ask students to develop transcripts of narrated PowerPoints and videos that I develop or use for the class. I’ll let you know in a future post how (or whether) that works when I implement it in the Spring 2011 semester.

Written Contracts

In teaching contracts, using videos in teaching on November 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Great blog post on how to make the point that contracts should be in writing rather than oral.

Useful for making that point when teaching contract law.


In how people learn, teaching with technology, using videos in teaching on July 29, 2010 at 10:49 pm

According to the author of Learning to Teach Through Video we cannot process 3 different instructional mediums at the same time. Thus, a screen cast needs narration and picture or text and a picture, but not narration, text and a picture.

How does that affect our accessibility push? I guess it means that one section should be a base and the other sections should be optional. In other words, the picture (for example) would be the base and individuals can choose between narration and text.