Thursday, July 9, 2020

Pathfinder: Copyright and Creative Commons for School Librarians and Teachers

Because teachers have started creating and producing learning modules and materials for flexible learning, discussions on ethical considerations on the use of content, media and technology in social media abound. Educators, lawyers and information professionals have organised webinars on intellectual property and copyright issues. When I was a guest in empowerED last Saturday July 4, 2020, Jim Tuscano, teacher and host of the online panel, asked me about copyright since we were knee deep into talking about creating and developing learning materials.

I remember giving broad and generalised statements about it. So, to extend and expand our collective knowledge on the issue, here is a Pathfinder on Copyright and Creative Commons. Putting this resources and websites together is but a beginning to what can develop and grow into an online collection for teachers and school librarians especially.

Pathfinder: Copyright and Creative Commons for School Librarians and Teachers
Keywords: copyright, intellectual property, academic honesty, creative commons

Philippine Copyright and the Intellectual Property Rights

Copyright and the Intellectual Property Rights in the Philippines - an easy to understand infographic with a link to the Plazo & Associates Law website where Republic Act 8293 - The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines can be read entirely. 

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO) - this is the official website of the IPO and its contents vary from the easy to understand to the more complex legal speak of RA 8293. It also has web portals for researchers, artists, authors and content creators, entreprenuers, inventors and industrial designers to guide them through registration, documentation and coding of their works. This is a government website, so there are materials that are free for use and downloads. It has an array of interesting articles too that highlight the creativity and ingenuity of the Filipino. 

COPYTALK: Copyright in the Academe, in Libraries and the Language of the Law - a webinar by the Central Philippines University that you can watch over at YouTube. It is three hour long. You might need a snack and a break in between. It has very informative content and helpful for librarians to know as they scale these principles according to the context of their learning communities.

For copyright licensing and registration, visit the FILCOLS and the National Library of the Philippines' Copyright Registration Office. The former is an organization of lawyers, artists, creatives and educators who are assisting the industry to promote and observe the implementation of RA 8293. The later is where artists and creators go to have their works, especially books, registered with an international book number. It makes the work and its creators legit.

To know more about Creative Commons, visit the website for detailed explanation of the different licenses, how sharing and collaboration of content can happen with respect and responsibility between parties. For teachers and school librarians, Kathleen Morris has an article with free posters on copyright and creative commons for downloads.

These are all for now. Visit the blog for more updates!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The 2019 NCBD Keynote of Bro. Armin Luistro FSC

Here is a throwback post to last year's National Children's Book Day celebration and awarding ceremony at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This is Bro. Armin Luistro's keynote speech anchored on the theme, Mundong Payapa Para sa Kabataang Malaya. The full transcript of the speech can be read in the PBBY website.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Infographics on Philippine Copyright

Inspired by the empowerEd discussion from last Saturday, here are infographics on Copyright that I researched on. I have taken these infographics from the website of Plazo and Associates Law where the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (RA No, 8293) can be read in its entirety.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

empowerEd Live: Breathing Life Into Texts: Developing Effective Text-Based Learning Resources for Distance Learning

Once again, I had the pleasure of guesting in Francis Jim Tuscano's empowerED LIVE last Saturday, July 4, 2020. This episode is in part an opening salvo to the celebration of National Children's Book Day (NCBD) 2020. Many thanks to Jim Tuscano for this partnership made possible with the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY). I along with Mr. Eric Perez of the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) and Ms. Liza Flores of Ang Illustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK) had an interesting discussion on the development of text based learning materials as hosted and facilitated by Jim Tuscano himself. 

If you missed the live telecast over at Facebook or YouTube yesterday, you can still view it through these links:

Previous to the live telecast, I made some notes. Posting them here in the blog since the discussion online covered a variety of topics and concerns. My notes focus on the writing of content and texts.

1. Texts can be expository, factual or informational and fiction. Each is written in a different way, approach and tone. What ever form of text or literature you are writing, researching on topics you are writing about is important. Research is part of pre-writing. Having said this, the writing of texts, stories and literature involves a process.

There are four basic steps in writing namely, pre-writing, writing the draft, revision and editing, and publishing and sharing. This means, you can schedule your writing of text based learning materials and that, you need a reader to give you feedback on your work. From there, you can revise, make changes and edit your materials. In some cases, a kid-test is called for, especially if the material developed consists of complex steps. In my experience as a children's writer, the Mother Tongue Based learning materials we published in 2017 proved valuable to students in Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod because our writing team got feedback from the teachers based in those provinces and comments from selected students in the selected schools.

Now here is a caveat. In writing, as a general principle, nothing is craved in stone. Texts and literary pieces all undergo changes, revisions and improvements as dictated by needs and developments of readers and communities who engage with the materials.

2. Know what form of text or genre of literature you are writing. It is helpful that you read samples and exemplars of the text and the literature you want to write. You can do your own searching and documentation but asking for help and seeking assistance from allies in the profession lessens the burden. Besides, writing is not done in isolation.

3. Of primary importance in the effective use of learning materials is the child reader or the learner who will encounter and engage in the text and its contents. Know who you are writing for. The child reader's developmental stages is at the front, back and center of the creation of the module or the learning material. Pedagogy and curriculum, as well as principles in the discipline of educational technology all come into play. In the midst of it all is the child or the learner.

4. Work closely with the illustrator, designer, technology specialist and editor of the learning materials. The logistics and operational work flows can be set early on but a shared vision binds the team together. Collaboration is key.

5. Observe academic honesty. For this topic, I will have another blog post that will tackle issues in plagiarism, intellectual property and copyright. These are all for now. Do visit the blog for updates on topics we care about, school librarianship, children's literature, reading and literacy, teaching and learning and even the simplest act of creation and reflection. Happy National Children's Book Day!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Teacher on Center Stage: Francis Jim Tuscano (2 of 2)

Here is part 2 of the interview with Francis Jim Tuscano. He has five tips for teachers and school leaders who are moving into the new normal in the field of education.

2. There seems to be a mad scramble to get things in order, to be ready and to transition to Blended Learning. What are five important key concepts that school leaders and teachers need to be aware of when applying the BL approach?

So, to answer this, I just want to make a clarification. Blended learning approach can be understood in two ways: first, as an instructional approach where there is a combination of face-to-face learning and independent use of technology in the classroom (physical); and second as a modality to deliver remote learning, which means that there are certain days when students and teachers are in the physical classroom and the rest of the days of the week are meant for home-based (online or print-based) distance learning. 

I certainly believe that blended learning might be the new normal. We think of this as when teachers and students are now flexible enough and possess adaptability skills to switch from one mode of learning to another, especially when new waves of pandemic arise that can cause prolonged school closures. To enable this, I have the following main principles for blended learning:

a. Ensure equitable access to learning devices and Internet among students and teachers. Adoption of Edtech should always be anchored on the idea of equity so that everyone gets to enjoy and reap the benefits of tech integration. To do this, understand the context of students and teachers, whether they have learning devices or reliable internet connection at home. 

b. Prepare the students and teachers. Teachers will need to learn new digital skills to teach with technology. There should be relevant and meaningful professional development to ensure that they are well equipped to design, implement, and sustain a class with Edtech integration. We also need to make sure that the student are equipped with enough digital skills to navigate an online learning environment. Orienting them as well as teaching them with the needed ICT skills can greatly help. For parents of young students, involving parents is important so that they can extend guidance and support for their children in using technology tools

c. Sound pedagogy before technology as the main principle in designing learning experiences. Teachers should anchor pedagogy on student-centered or student-driven learning. The use of technology should enable or support the achievement of the learning goals. Educators should not design a learning experience around a technology. 

d. Digital citizenship matters more that ever because students are now moving in an online learning environment. Students must be taught how to safeguard themselves from digital threats such as cyberbullying, digital identity theft, and many more. Moreover digital citizenship also reminds students to practice self-discipline and control as they balance the use of technology for studying, leisure, entertainment, or even family connection. Schools must always ensure that there is a digital citizenship program that teachers and students can implement and follow.

3. What should classroom teachers look out for on the first day of school under the the ”new normal”?

Before starting any academic activity or learning experience, I would recommend that teachers get to know their students first so that they can start building an online community. Build a sense of trust and belonging with students. Build class routines and “rituals” that would make students feel comfortable and familiar with one another. It really matters that teachers understand the context of their students even before starting their class. 

4. What keeps Jim Tuscano awake at night? 

Right now, I will not deny that I am undergoing and experiencing episodes of anxiety due to the pandemic. I think of work to be done while at home, but I also fear for my safety and of my family’s well-being, too. So, it is challenging to focus but I try to acknowledge these challenges so that I can better face them. I take time breath and rest so I can also recharge myself. But I am also excited to see how things would unravel in the are of education as well as think of how I can continue contributing to the bigger education system. 

Jim Tuscano is the host of empowerED, an online show that talks about matters pertaining to teaching and learning in this day and age. To quote from the FB Page, empowerED seeks to elevate the teaching profession, celebrate the Filipino teacher, and guide teachers to become agents of change. More specifically, empowerED aims to: Provide relevant professional learning opportunities that focus on teaching skill development and well-being Share inspiring stories of the most innovative and dedicated teacher to the world Guide teachers in designing sustainable education projects for the school, community, and society. 

To know more about empowerED, go here:

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Teacher on Center Stage: Francis Jim Tuscano (1 of 2)

Francis Jim Tuscano is an EdTech advocate too!
The blog is glad to have this interview with Global Teacher and Distinguished Apple Educator, Francis Jim Tuscano. He talks about technology in education, makes a distinction on Blended Learning as approach and modality, and shares strategies for teachers who will be teaching remotely in this coming school year.

1. All of a sudden, Educational Technology and Instructional Design are thrown into the forefront of education. What do you think of this phenomenon given the circumstances and how is PH education responding to the change and challenges in teaching and instruction?

What’s happening right now is definitely and undeniably accelerating the adoption of technology in teaching and learning. Before the pandemic, a lot of schools did not see Edtech as a priority because we have never imagined the possibility of school closures that will not allow face to face teaching and learning. It was a very remote scenario that a lot of us never considered in our wildest dreams. But unfortunately, we are in a public health emergency right now and distance education or remote learning is the only viable option to continue learning and teaching, aside from homeschooling. The accelerated adoption is so obvious right now as seen in the rapid adoption and purchase of learning management systems and the rise of webinar workshops or talks on technology integration. 

Personally, I am excited with this because people now realise the importance of technology, its possibilities in elevating or raising the bar of learning. For now, my fear is that schools and educators overlook their core reason for adoption. I mean, right now, the core reason is to answer the negative effects of the pandemic but that can be very short-sighted. I hope that despite the quick transition that is happening in many schools right now, they see, invest, and hope to sustain with a long-term vision. It is not something that you invest now and then terminate once the pandemic ends. The investment on infrastructures, devices, and professional development of teachers cost much, so it is important that school leaders are able envision technology and embed it naturally in their vision and mission as a school community. They should have a bigger why that will guide their tech adoption even beyond the pandemic. 

In terms of its adoption then, the current situation in the Philippine education system show us the haves and have nots, the digital divide which has been present before. The pandemic has just made it more obvious and this is the case in a lot of countries. So, we are again playing catch up, accelerating things, racing against time to put more devices in the hands of teachers, partnering with local government units for donations of devices to students who do not have access, and training teachers to learn more ICT skills. There was a big misconception that online learning was the way to go and I would like to temper this. 

Despite being an advocate for Edtech, I always cautioned educators and school leaders to be more careful in making decisions regarding Edtech or online learning adoption. While we want to push the agenda for better ICT access and infrastructure in the country, such quick decisions right now puts families, parents, and students in a very difficult situation. Context of the learner should always be considered. If there is inequitable access, then do not at all adopt online distance learning. ICT or Edtech should always be a tools to bridge the gap in education, as envisioned by UNESCO. But, reality has shown us that it is a two-edge sword. It can bridge and widen the gap at the same time. In the end, we do not want Edtech adoption especially in school communities with equity issues to be the wall that bars students from accessing education. 
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