I Blame You All

I was asked to co-present to our staff tomorrow during institute day. An Introduction to Web 2.0.

The Academic Technology Coordinator and I met last week and decided to start slowly. We’re not making the Kool-Aid. Baby steps. We decided to show them just a few sites, to talk about how they can use these sites for themselves. We aren’t asking anyone to dive into classroom use. I was supposed to be there to talk about how these things have helped me. Ideas I’ve gotten from reading blogs. How I use del.icio.us. I was okay with that. Then she sent me her PowerPoint. A year ago I would have thought is was fine. When I opened it four days ago, I cringed. The content was fine. The design? Not so much. Too many words per slide. Clipart – there was clipart. In a Web 2.0 presentation. *sigh*1

I’ve spent about 10 hours reworking the whole thing. Less words, more images. Searching flickr. Looking at what others have done on SlideShare.2 Asking for sites on Twitter. Thinking about the goal of each slide. Getting feedback (and borrowing ideas from) my student aide.3

10 hours. Probably another 4 to go. And I still won’t be happy with the final result. *grumble* darn people teaching me about design4 .

1 She is a wonderful ATC. We are very lucky to have her in our building.

2Thanks to Graham for permission to borrow ideas. Yay for sharing!

3Apparently I can no longer write a complete sentence. Or one that is over 140 characters. For this I blame Twitter. I take no personal responsibility.

4 This rant has been brought to you by a frustrated, tired, overwhelmed first-year teacher. In reality, I really do value all that I have learned from the edu-blogo-twitter-verse-sphere-whatever-you-we-are. Thank you. Now I’m going to get more coffee. This may not be a good idea.

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16 Responses to I Blame You All

  1. Jackie says:

    So, apparently I typed “Kook-Aid” instead of “Kool-Aid”. Hmm… interesting.

  2. eyeingtenure says:

    Couldn’t you just show any of the wonderful Web 2.0 videos out there?

  3. Jackie says:


    Well, we are showing this one. However, would you really just “show a video” for a class? Without considering the goal of the lesson? Without considering what prior knowledge they bring? Without customizing it to your audience?

    This is why I find it difficult to just “use” materials created by other teachers. I need to go through it to determine my goals. Dunno. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired.

  4. eyeingtenure says:

    Integrate the video with the slideshow smartly. Use screen captures of the video in your slideshow if you’re spending any time covering the same ground that the video does.

    That’s what I mean by just using a video.

    Work smarter, not harder.

  5. Jackie says:

    Yep. Movie is embedded as it has the message I was trying to get across.

    I’m just not so sure that smarter necessarily means less work. I think Dan has talked about this. One of the ratios, no?

    What’s taking all of the time is trying to find the perfect image, considering the use of color, providing information without textual overload(textual? Is this a word?). I may be over-thinking it. Then again, it may stink. We’ll see.

  6. mathmom says:

    Apparently, I still live in Web 1.something because I still use clipart. 😉 Do you have sources for better images that are free of copyright, or have some kind of creative commons licensing available?

  7. eyeingtenure says:

    Get through it roughly. Find an okay picture for each of your slides before you panic. Finish it, then mercilessly edit it.

    If you don’t find the perfect picture by the time you need to present, whatever. At least you have it done.

  8. Jackie says:


    Well, I’m still in the beta version of Web 2.0 🙂 flickr has an advanced search feature that allows one to search for images available under a CC. This is another option.


    That’s the route I went.

  9. mathmom says:

    Thanks for those pointers, Jackie!

  10. CdnMathTeacher says:

    Jackie, I’m in the same place. It takes me forever to make a PPT for class now.
    eyeingtenure – what a great idea about the screen shots.

  11. Jackie says:

    I just had a thought about the screen shots: make sure derivations are allowed under the CC license.

  12. eyeingtenure says:

    Doesn’t the CC provide for non-profit educational purposes?

  13. Andy says:

    eyeingtenure: It does, but perhaps not how you’d think. Non-profit educational purposes are lumped in with all the other non-commercial uses. (That is, the uses that aren’t profit-making, as defined by CC, which (from memory, check before actually trusting this in something important) are mostly limited to actually selling the work or using it to promote a product.) Basically, all the CC licenses allow non-commercial uses. The licenses that limit derivative works still apply to all use (including educational), but if you’re not actually marking up or otherwise modifying the work, it’s generally okay to use (see the “Collective Work” definition in such licenses: Collective Works that include several works are explicitly allowed under the -nd licenses, as long as the original work isn’t modified).

    So, basically, there aren’t any exceptions for non-profit educational purposes in CC licenses, but there really don’t need to be. (That is: According to what I’ve read of the licenses, I’m a HS student, not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, etc.)

  14. Jackie says:

    Thanks for the info Andy!

  15. eyeingtenure says:

    I’d think that the “Fair Use” clause of the copyright laws would supercede the CC licenses.

  16. Andy says:

    eyeingtenure: Yep, it always does. But fair use isn’t a catch-all for educational purposes. Just because it’s educational doesn’t mean you can feel free to break copyright laws. That said, there are certainly things that are okay. For example, using a logo in a description of a company/product is generally considered okay, as long as you don’t claim to be (or be sponsored by) that product. Of course, there are plenty of other things surrounding fair use, but it, too, generally doesn’t differ between educational and non-educational fair use either.

    If you’re talking about fair use of screenshots, generally there’s not a problem, though. (If, however, you meant pictures, that could be slightly more of an issue, depending on how you used them.)

    Fair use is something I tend to look up pretty much every time I need to rely on it, though, as it’s a relatively complicated thing. Anything I’ve said above (or all of it, for that matter) could be completely wrong. You may well know better than I do. (But, to answer your statement, yes, fair use will always supersede pretty much any license.)

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