Genies Out Of Bottles

One of the neat things about spreading the word about blogging is when your advice and suggestions are acted upon. Often after conducting a PD or similar I’ve wondered whether or how the participants will use the information we have discussed. Over the last couple of days then it’s been really neat to discover how some folks are actioning the information.

Flipping through a Twitter stream I came across reference to a post on using blogs as the vehicle for a Book Crossing type exercise. The post sounded just like an idea I trialled a few years back so I left a Comment on the blog. All the while the name of the blog author sounded oddly familiar as did the avatar image. I was quite chuffed then to find this morning an email from Helen to say that she was actually a participant in one of the PD sessions I had conducted last year when she first learnt about blogs. Neat, (and top blog too).

Having checked out Helen I decided to look in at the blogs that I assisted the seven teachers last week to set up. To be expected, we are just coming off the Easter hols, six out of seven were just as we left them last week. One teacher has however been in and begun to model it ready for next term. A little bit of a worry though, (especially given the recent blog-images problems), was that two of the test blogs still carried, (though admittedly only thumbnails), images of a student and a fellow teacher. I had stressed during the PD that images were potential problems however the teachers attention was obviously, (and understandably given the amount of information we were churning through), focussed elsewhere at the time.

Earlier on I had received an email from a colleague who has a really neat blog running for his class called The Goss. Two to three times a week one of his students is given five minutes to do a vocal presentation to the class around a teacher nominated topic. The student’s vocal is recorded and added to the blog alongside the written text. In addition students can add images to add further interest to the post. Last year I had suggested Flickr as a great place to head to. To assist I made a couple of TeacherTube videos showing how to access and credit Creative Commons images from Flickr. Unfortunately it seems Mr KT had missed the part about sourcing Creative Commons as the other day he received the following comment.

Comment:
Your article is interesting BUT you do not have my permission to use my photo. I want you to remove my photo removed immediately. Have you ever read the All Right Reserved on every page of my flickr site? Stop stealing photos. I am sure you can go out and photograph one yourself. STOP being a thief!

Mr KT has taken the pic down and now has a better understanding of Creative Commons :).

At the end of term one of the students at my old school where still I work one day a week came over to me to say he had a new blog to exhibit flash animations that he and a couple of fellow students were making. Of course I had to have a look. Now it’s really professionally gratifying when you see students spontaneously working with the tools you have introduced them to for their own personal growth entirely independent of schools. (Each of the students involved were in my class 2 years back when I introduced them to both Flash and blogging.)  My only concern is whether eleven year old students administering their own blogs, including the responsibility for moderating comments albeit entirely disconnected from their school, is not fraught with the potential for problems.

All of these cases bring into question whether I still carry some, if not primary, responsibility for any of these online activities? How far back does liability stretch?

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2 Responses to Genies Out Of Bottles

  1. Helen Otway says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for making reference to my blog. This is a great post that raises awareness of some of the things that can go wrong when first starting out with a new blog. As more and more teachers are encouraged to take on these online learning technologies it will be interesting how much support will need to be available to them.
    Lots of good questions here to consider.

    Helen

  2. Great story about the teacher who got the blunt comment about stealing photos.

    CC is a really important fart of the new media landscape and one that the almost completely overlooked by most teachers. Good on you for pushing it, and a great lesson for that teacher involved.

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