What’s New in Tools?

Here are a couple of new tools available.

Pinterest is an online pin board where you can pin photos of particular topics or search the pin board for the topic and pin to your board. This board has many applications… gathering ideas for writing, visual prompts for tasks, sorting activities. If you search education or educational you will find that there are already teachers taking advantage of this interesting tool.

Photoscape is a free downloadable program that allows you to edit photographs.

Check it out and see what you think!


Digital Citizenship

As a teacher I think it is one of my most important duties to teach children about being good digital citizens. This can also be a rather difficult task. I’m sure most teachers have been in a situation where their students have broken copyright or plagarised work from the internet in assignments. What is difficult about this is that students often have no idea what they are doing is illegal or they are aware of doing something illegal but are not worried about getting caught. As a primary school teacher I try to model correct behaviours on the internet to students. I use my own photos or images or I go to somewhere like Creative Commons or Creative Common Australia.

Students need to understand that they are responsible for using internet resources responsibly and the only way to do this is to teach them. I generally start a lesson on this topic by sharing a powerpoint where great swathes of information are copied from the internet, not reference, music from a CD and photos are randomly taken from an image search on an open search site. Then ask the question ‘What is wrong with this powerpoint?’ Other than the obvious points that there is too much information on the slides and the layout isn’t interesting, I’ve found that the students don’t notice the lack of referencing and particularly plagarism and copyright breach. I then show another short slide show with referencing, but still using images, text and audio which is illegal. The question that follows here is ‘What is the difference between the two slide shows?’ They can usually point out the referencing. I then show them yet another short powerpoint using referencing, original text and Creative Commons acquired images and music. They then have them complete a comparison chart. This lesson then leads into lessons on websites where they can legal download images and audio for use in their assignments. I also deliver lessons on plagarism and how to reference material properly.

A recent webinar with Australia E-Series was an excellent refresh of how to reference images and audio from the internet properly.

So this brings us to website where students can legally obtain images and audio for their work.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons Australia

Flickr Creative Commons (or Flickr CC)

Jamendo (for music)

Open Clip Art Library

ccMixter (for music)

And for those who didn’t know Google will search for free license items but you need to go to the Advanced Search section and find ‘usage rights’ down the bottom.Google is a favourite of many students and if they want to use this search engine they should be taught about this advanced search option.


Creative Commons… copyright free images, videos and audio

Creative Commons is an international non-profit organisation which allows users to use images, text, video and audio to legally in personal work (but remember you must attrubite the use to the person who developed it). This site is easy to use and has only six things you need to remember… their licenses are clearly layed out and easy to understand.You must remember this is an international website so you need to know something about your country’s laws before using the images.

This is an important tool for teaching students about copyright law and the use of images legally.

There is a Creative Commons Australia page which is specifically for Australian users and follows Australian law.

When you are attributing work from Creative Commons you need to attribute the person or creator, the title of the work, the URL and the Creative Commons license it is issued under.

For Further information see the Creative Commons Session by Simon Pankhurst from the Australia E-Series

Australia E-Series

I’ve been learning so much from my new Personal Learning Network (PLN). The people involved in Australia E-Series are talented, knowledgeable and so helpful! The blog is really useful. This blog contains links to upcoming and archived sessions focusing on ICt and web 2.0 tools. One of the best professional learning experiences I’ve found!

Join in and see what you learn!