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One of the most enjoyable and inspiring books I have read this year has been Sir Ken Robinson's "Out of our Minds"  and my ref...

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Creative Commons Remix assignment

I'm about at the half-way point in the Creative Commons Accreditation course I am doing this summer. The video above is a submission for this task:

 Create a remix in any medium (e.g., photo, video, audio) for use in a course you teach. If you aren't currently teaching a course, create a remix for use in a future offering of the CC Certification course. Your remix must meet the following criteria:
  • be comprised of at least five (5) pre-existing CC licensed works,
  • contain appropriate attribution for each component work (remember to think TASL!), and
  • be a legal remix (that is, the licenses of all component works must be compatible).
You are welcome to include your own original work in the remix but this is not required. Be sure to create a remix and not merely a collection.
For inspiration, see Montgomery College’s Open Pedegogy Assignments (click on one of the links under Assignments on the left): https://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/mc-open/unesco-sdg/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Post your remix online. License it with a Creative Commons license (be careful that the license you choose is acceptable given the terms of the component works included in your remix!). 

I will use this remix as part of my new module LN306 Developing Teaching in Languages. This year will be the second iteration of this course and I found from feedback last year that my students, although they appreciated open education as "a good thing",  it wasn't very clear to them what it meant for their practice. The student group are linguists who have worked in schools abroad and/or worked as tutors and are considering entering a career in teaching when they complete their degree. I wanted the remix to demonstrate what can be achieved and why it matters to engage with open practice. 
The remix (originally created as a contribution to video in education project ViLTE)  includes sections taken from RIP A Remix Manifesto (already a remix of many other works, licenced CC BY 3.0 and my own additions including an image from Flickr which uses a licence which prevents derivatives. It exemplifies the discussion I co-wrote about the issues faced by language educators when using contemporary cultural artefacts as produsage in their courses. I have messaged the poster of this image to see if he is OK with its use in this context. I have used the image without any changes but this licence would prevent me applying a CC BY licence on the finished work so I need the permission of the owner in order to include it. If nothing is forthcoming I will have to replace it with another image. Update: the video above is a remix again as no response came from the ship image creator. (UPDATE 2: The original image creator responded to me via Flickr messaging to ask a few further questions about the purpose I wanted to put the image to. Although I had already removed the image, it was good to see that contacting an owner through the community on Flickr could work). This serves as a good reminder of the detailed level of understanding of Creative Commons licencing needed by educators in order to operate in the digital domain. Real scholarship is required to work confidently online. 
Once the remix was ready to share I uploaded it to my YouTube channel. Another problem: YouTube do not have a full selection of CC licences available, just CC BY. This is my preferred licensing option in any case and (provided the Flickr image owner gives me permission) is fine for this remix. 
I am submitting my assignment within a blog post (my blog is CC BY) as I think the context and issues for remixing are as important as completing the assignment. Here are the questions that arise during the remixing process:
  • when remixing using content which explicitly allows remixing (eg CC BY) where do you attribute? In the video itself? In the description on the streaming site? Is a link within the blog post enough to provide the TASL requirements?
  • If the licence on an image (for example) is too restrictive for inclusion, can this be ignored if the owner gives his/her permission for your use?
  • What if the sharing site used (eg. You Tube) does not support the full suite of CC licences? How can we influence site providers to offer better display of licensing options?
Finally I decided to create a further remix of my own resources around open educational practice:

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Video in language teaching

The video above is a remix which uses extracts from RIP: A remix manifesto in order to convey the importance of copyright knowledge to the teaching profession and to explain how Creative Commons licencing can support a creative, sustainable learning environment online through open educational practice. I created it as a contribution to the ViLTE project, funded by the British Council.

Further detail about the importance of creativity in the digital domain and its relevance to language teaching in particular is explained in this jointly authored article on Produsage  published in the education policy analysis archives journal. 

I was also involved in the EU project Video for All where lots of teaching resources were shared for language teachers to help them cope with the complex landscape of digital media production in their teaching. Unfortunately for us the site (hosted by a pain project manager) has been taken down at the project's end of life as the budget has run out. I find that outrageous and I am trying to bring it to the notice of the funders. The resources were created as open educational resources and  need ongoing support. The Wordpress site which was the host for our work would not be expensive but I do not have any say in budget, I am just a teacher. Does seem strange to me though that tech companies and even project managers of EU projects proclaim their interest in education but often do little to support the real needs of educators or to maintain resources we need. It bears witness to the fact that some are clearly only in it for the money. 

The key word in all of this work is the word open. Kaltura have worked hard to support open standards in video, as a practitioner I work in the open because I believe everyone should have access to education and I also believe that through an open web I can network and learn from other educators. If you get the chance to watch the whole of the RIP video on Vimeo you will see that openness (open data, open education, open source, open access, open practice etc) are key to making headway in solving big problems. Problems we should no longer assume will be solved by politicians - that ship has sailed and we can be clear that they also by and large are busy protecting their own interests. We need to ask ourselves what really matters.  I have of course kept a copy of my video, added it to my YouTube channel and Kaltura gallery and shared widely as well as passing the file to the ViLTE project to help ensure its existence as an OER beyond the confines of a project. 

Update: March 2019 - Kaltura have now closed my free open gallery - so just as well I maintain other ways to share my work!