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Hello Cory,

There have definitely been times when I need a picture or two to illustrate a point when I write a blog post. And this is one of those times…

But where do I go to find one?

This photo, "Scratched red question mark" is copyright (c) unknown by takomabibelot and made available under a Attribution license

Personally I like to look for images on the Creative Commons area on Flickr. But first, what is Creative Commons? In a nutshell it is a non-profit organization started by this guy (Larry Lessig):

Here is a video called “Shared Culture” that explains the concept of Creative Commons:

A Shared Culture

Creative Commons License

A Shared Culture by Jesse Dylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) license.

So why would arts teachers want to know about Creative Commons? In an age where it is easy to “grab” a picture for a blog post, it is important to know who owns the rights to the image. Creative Commons licenses allow the owner of an image or other media artifact to share under with all of us under certain specifications. See FAQ for other Creative Commons questions. For more information on Creative Commons licenses, go here. As you can see on the Creative Commons area on Flickr, you can search for images based on the different types of attribution licenses.

Of course every arts educator is concerned with teaching students how to properly cite media on blogs and wikis. This is one resource that is good for every arts teacher to use and model for his/her students: See example 5 for a citing all the information for the image that you use from the Creative Commons area on Flickr. Here is an example of an image that I researched and cited:

This photo, "Scratched red question mark" is copyright (c) unknown by takomabibelot and made available under a Attribution license

So I am looking for an image online…. My rule of thumb is that If I don’t know who owns the rights to an image online or it is unclear whether or not it is Copyrighted, then I don’t use it. The Creative Commons area on Flickr provides one place where creators of images don’t mind sharing as long as we follow the guidelines for attributions for their work. ; )

Another area for finding other media such as videos and music is in the search area on Creative Commons. There are many items for use in blogs (providing that appropriate attribution information is included.

I hope that arts teachers will teach students this skill and talk with students about the ethics of researching and posting pictures with appropriate citations. This is part of teaching digital media literacy research skills. This also goes with the territory when pictures are posted on a blog. Otherwise students (and teachers) may have to spend years responding to emails from media owners saying, “please remove my copyrighted image from your site” or worse yet respond to threats of legal action.

Hope to see you in Creative Commons land!



It’s me again.   Ok first I bet you want to know what that picture is all about.  Read on Macbeth!

The wheels have been turning.  Dangerous I know.  I  just read an article today about teaching students how to deliver a monologue.  It stressed the importance of remembering that even a monologue is a  conversation.  That person is talking to someone – the other person just hasn’t had a chance to speak yet.

Monologues should actually feel like a dialogue.  Share ah ha moments, tell a story, capture interest, open the door to conversation enough so that the audience should be looking over their shoulders to see who is going to answer.

Wonder if blogs should be that way too?  A conversation as if you are talking to someone and expecting an answer.  That would mean I would have to imagine who I was talking to, what might get them interested in answering me, and why I wanted to talk to them in the first place.

And just like when I teach acting I always say that every bit of dialogue has to do with the character’s main issue or through line- blog posts kinda have to do with our main issue, the inquiry.  Right?

And like in any good play, I guess I would also have to make sure that I fill in the back story a little bit- give enough information so that they understand why that picture is important to the inquiry for example.

Wow-  Shakespeare was right- all the world’s a stage! So what do you think?   Am I just a crazy actor or could I be on to something?


I blogged today about RSS feed and how it made my life Really Simpler… Then I looked at the post and immediately had to get to my Dashboard and “Edit”  because I forgot to use categories and tags.

So, first off, my bad!!

Secondly- thanks loads for setting up the Technology category.  Now I can easily keep track of our blog conversations and scope out the latest links you share.

Thirdly – did I tag it correctly?  Can you check?  What was your vision for tags to help us sort information?

I process about 75 emails a day, and on a good day have a backlog of 150+.  So why would I want to get yet one more email? To keep up with what Arts Educator 2.0 folks are blogging, of course. I signed up for email notifications from our blog and I am so glad I did!

Here is just a random sampling of some of the things I’ve learned.  Check out inquiry to compare and contrast Romeo & Juliet with West Side Story.

Or strange and wonderful places to exhibit art works, such as art on their ceiling tiles or in student lockers.

Want to know about the value and challenges of letting students drive the learning? Check out the story of Rodeo,  or the blog post about some data surprises.  (reminds me of the science experiment with the goldfish who kept dying.. but that’s another story) – data driven decision making and inquiry- gotta love it!

And if that is not enough how about ideas like using blogs and wikis with students  convincing your students of the value of practice  (note to students:  be careful what you wish for! unless it is a magical world of course).

These are just some random samplings from the over 140 gems on this blog!

… so much to view.. so little time!! The email notifications I receive are great!   But….remember those 150 emails in my backlog.  Talk about GUILT!

What to do?  What to do?  I know!!!  RSS Feed to the rescue!   I just clicked on this:

and Voila!  WordPress will now send this blog to my Google Reader account.  Now I just check Google Reader every day to keep up with the latest gems from Arts Educator!  I can also get it to go to my desktop whenever I open Google- like MSN News but special :0)  Now that’s Really Simple!!! (RSS- Get it?)  Anybody else game to try?  Give a shout out if you need help!

I just found a great article with ideas and apps for assessments.

The new 9 weeks is looming ahead and I can’t wait to start with a new group. My goal is to start off on the right foot. Last 9 weeks, my substitute had to get things rolling and it made it difficult to switch them into the student inquiry mode. I’ve decided to take a proactive approach to an age old problem. My social studies classes always have to do presentations on a memorial in Washington DC. Historically, the low students and the students who are shy don’t want to participate. They would rather get a failing grade than research a topic and present it to the class. I’ve decided to take a few days to show them some alternate ways to present (not reading a report or building the Washington Monument). I’m going to ask a few of the kids to show the others their favorite apps. If they don’t know any, they will get a couple of days to try them out. Hopefully they will come up with something that ignites their motivational spirit!


Check out Kathy’s  guide to Everything! I’ve copied the page relating to iPads in the classroom, but she really has everything you could possibly need to get started on anything here.

So, Are They Really Learning?

So, I think they are learning, but how do we evaluate this? I’m really looking for understanding of plot, character, setting, and literary devises. How about comparing Romeo and Juliet to a more modern take off? I decided to have them view West Side Story. While watching, they fill out a comparison analysis sheet. It is very simple, lists of the characters of Romeo and Juliet, the setting, and main plot ideas. All they have to do is put the comparison down next to it. Example – Romeo is now Tony. Verona is now the streets of New York City. Now the Independent learning part – They are heading up the discussion during the movie – they are arguing about who is who and why they should believe them. They are providing the proof from plot ideas, character analysis! Oh, yeah! They even started discussing the slang used in the 60’s like the difficult language of Shakespeare and what it means today. Of course, there are still a couple of stars that don’t want to play with us, but the rest are finally ignoring them and pushing on with what they want to do. Now, to push the independent learning further – what next for these last couple of weeks of the 9 weeks???

Do You See the Light?

Well, I think I do see the light at the end of this very long tunnel! Acting out Romeo and Juliet was pretty traumatic for some of the students. Of course it is difficult to read, especially if you have a hard time reading on grade level. But, we pushed on with my 4 stars refusing to shine. Once we read through it once, and I was sure they understood the plot, we moved on to video. This gave the students who refused to participate so far a chance to actually do something. I offered to let them do the taping. I purchased a new ipad tripod mount and this let more students see what was actually being taped.

As we continued, I added the green screen technology with the Kromath3 app. Now the kids were dying to see how they looked in the camera. I was getting more and more participation.  We would review the “daily’s” and the students would self evaluate – and discuss how things could improve.   More actors were giving it some character and increased volume. They were beginning to come up with ideas for new backgrounds for the green screen! Yeah – they cared about learning!

Did you know that most people don’t take time to scroll to the bottom of a blog post? This has implications for how many pictures, media elements and amount of text we include in our posts.

For example, while pictures can be important elements to include in a blog post, it is important that pictures don’t create the “never ending scrolling down the page” effect. This is particularly true if there isn’t any supporting text (which is can be very important to include in picture captions BTW). In many cases, it is more effective to include a couple pictures with accompanying descriptions (and citations where necessary).

Too much text can have the same effect… It can be an interesting challenge to write a blog entry that no one has to scroll through to get to the bottom. In fact, people probably read more when they don’t have to work too hard to scroll down the page. What do you think?

March 2012
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