Sunday, August 15, 2010

K-12 Copyright fear --- we don't want that here!

Any advice on how to help public school districts extricate themselves from the clutches of "copyright infringement fear?" Some of our work at my high school has been less effective because the district has blocked such information sites as Netflix, YouTube or

One challenge for us has been access to Netflix. Colleagues of mine had used the streaming feature for instructional use and critique in arts, humanities and science classes --- but the Philadelphia School District (PSD) blocked Netflix last year. The explanation was that they didn't want to infringe on copyrights.

Another challenge has been the blanketed blocking of YouTube. There are some fantastic educational videos of protein synthesis, for example, that we cannot access because PSD has blocked YouTube content. We had originally wanted students to create their own video animations and were referencing some wonderful material on the web for context. For a high school that emphasizes responsible use of computers in a 1:1 environment, it's been pretty frustrating.

In 2008-2009, our students of African American history made 30-second "commercials" about civil rights. By the time we had uploaded and indexed them on on, and then linked them on Wikispaces ( [now is dead]), we learned that PSD blocked when in the PSD network. Forget about in-school cross-curricular reflection and collaboration. (We use TeacherTube now.)

Why not coach students on smart use of educational technology?!?

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