Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 1 Leadership post: Documenting my flipped classroom

For my leadership project, I will complete an article for publication in a journal. My decision to complete an article as opposed to a presentation came down mostly to two factors: my own strengths as a writer, and a lack of formal research on the flipped classroom model.

I have a good amount of experience reading and writing research-based papers, both in academic and scientific settings. Although I’ve never had the opportunity to publish my work before, I believe that my skill set lends itself well to writing a strong and cohesive article about my research project. As a classroom science teacher, I do my fair share of presenting to audiences—three to four times a day!—and I am confident that, after having the experience of writing a detailed article about my AR project, I would have no problem converting the paper into a presentation that I might give at a workshop or conference. Thus, at this point, I feel that the journal article would be a better choice for me. In addition, as I gathered research for my literature review, I was struck by the scarcity of peer-reviewed articles about the flipped classroom. This wasn’t entirely surprising, given the relative novelty of the model, but it did make me eager to contribute to this growing body of literature, still in its infancy!

Week 1 Reading post: Demystifying copyright

Honestly, in most of the teacher technology courses that I myself have taught, I glossed over issues of copyright, simply because I did not know the information. I also considered it to be too large an issue to research on my own. So, I was excited to hear that our first week in MAC would explore copyright. It will be nice to be able to say something about copyright and permissions in my upcoming workshops, other than to argue that all teachers fall under the umbrella defense provided by “Fair Use!”

I enjoyed Good Copy/Bad Copy—although I should have paid closer attention to the warning about disturbing images, and watched from home, rather than at work! The juxtaposition that the filmmakers set up, between Girl Talk the music-mixer who argues that copyright laws “interfere” with his creativity and the MPAA attorney who claims that the entertainment industry loses $6 billion each year to copyright infringement, was compelling. Although I might not always demonstrate this perfectly by the way that I use images and other media in my lectures for students, I am actually a very strong believer that individuals and corporations should be fairly compensated for the work that they do—and the media that they produce. Profit is a powerful motivator, and not inherently a bad one. (What can I say? My parents gave me a copy of Atlas Shrugged when I was in junior high!)

The digital age has brought so many issues of copyright, permissions and usage to the forefront. I think that Lawrence Lessig’s point that, while U.S. copyright laws serve a valuable purpose, they are simply outdated. His licensing platform, Creative Commons, offers a valuable tool for codifying permissions. I’m really looking forward to sharing information about the various types of CC licenses with my colleagues and students.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MAC Wimba week 1

The archive for MAC’s first Wimba session cleared up a lot of my questions about the course and upcoming assignments. (This was in spite of the sound issues, which obscured about five minutes of Professor Bustillos’s narration!) I now have a much clearer vision of the abstract that I will post on my AR website presentation page, and also of the upcoming long-term leadership project. I was also very relieved to hear about the alternative to attending the week three Wimba session. Because I work on the west coast, I am generally still at work during the times when Wimba sessions take place; it was good to hear that I will be able to complete the presentation sharing requirement even if work prevents me from attending the live session. I think that I have already identified other students in similar situations who will be able to review my leadership presentation outside of Wimba. Thanks to all at the live session who kept Wimba interesting and informative this week!