Okay, I spoke to a teacher yesterday that had a great excuse for NOT taking her kids to the computer lab:

"It takes 7 minutes to get there. If it takes seven minutes in both directions, that is 14 minutes out of the day. Too much time wasted!"

So, that leads to today's contest:

What is the best excuse you have ever heard from a teahcer NOT to use technology?

(Posts will also be mirrored on my blog site: tinyurl.com/vp9ta)

Tags: and, excuses, learning, teaching, technology

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There are many variations of the "it takes too much time" defense, and many seem to based on the myth that technology is complicated and therefore takes a lot of time.

We are thinking about creating a library of film clips for Social Studies teachers by ripping DVD's to a video server. Wouldn't it be great to have the first five minutes of Saving Private Ryan or Mr Smith's speech in Washington available in the classroom, ready to go at any time? A library of 20 or 30 of the best scenes in historical films can be created by a few teachers spending the time to rip them off the DVDs to the server. Instead of fast forwarding through tapes or trolling through DVD menu's you can show the scenes as fast and as easy as a point and click.

The problem is that teachers who thinking nothing of spending hours cutting out newspaper and magazine articles and trying to copy them onto paper for handouts suddenly think that copying scenes off DVDs take more time.

Because technology is unfamiliar to most people, it is put to a different standard. No one asked if worksheets can harm scores on standardized tests, but they often ask that of blogs wikis and forums.

Our challenge is making something new seem normal.
Steve,
My understanding is that that is a copyright violation. You may want to talk about that with your library media specialists. I have read different articles about copyright infringement and education and that is cited as an example of what not to do.
And yet, they are ripped and uploaded to youtube all the time.

You might look here, at AmericanRhetoric.com, they have Movies Speeches. Also, Historical Voices.
Yes, but youTube has themselves covered in the "Terms", and recent cases interpreting the digital copyright legislation. Unless you have "fair use" coverage, I agree that you have to be careful. Disney sued a teacher in our area and she had to pay real money. The district was off the hook as it was clearly not authorized, and the union also gave her no help as it was clearly not something she was supposed to be doing.

Gotta be a little careful. I am very careful on my website and always mention what is not mine. I use royalty free everything in my podcast production, or I spend a dollar and buy it from istock photo.

Sue P
Educators have a great deal of flexibility on using copyrighted material. Here is a brief summary:

Fair use explicitly allows use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Rather than listing exact limits of fair use, copyright law provides four standards for determination of the fair use exemption:

1 - Purpose of use: Copying and using selected parts of copyrighted works for specific educational purposes qualifies as fair use, especially if the copies are made spontaneously, are used temporarily, and are not part of an anthology.
2 - Nature of the work: For copying paragraphs from a copyrighted source, fair use easily applies. For copying a chapter, fair use may be questionable.
3 - Proportion/extent of the material used: Duplicating excerpts that are short in relation to the entire copyrighted work or segments that do not reflect the "essence" of the work is usually considered fair use.
4 -The effect on marketability: If there will be no reduction in sales because of copying or distribution, the fair use exemption is likely to apply.

Using a clip of Saving Private Ryan is definitely okay but watching the movie on a Friday instead of teaching is a no-no. (How many times have you seen teachers show movies in a classroom? This is such a terrible misuse of copyrighted material but it's a shame it's allowed by so many school administrators.)
Thanks James, we also feel this falls within fair use. Neither purpose, proportion shown nor effect on marketability trigger a violation

We are only using clips from DVDs that we own, we're only transferring them into another format to show portions of them.

For all of the discussion of copyright, I have yet to find actual cases. Are there any precedents we can use?
What you state here is exactly how I interpret copyright in a class I am taking. Copies for educational purposes are different, but they do have some limits also. Here is the US copyright web site
http://www.copyright.gov
One of the most common excuses I hear is "all of these web 2.0 tools will be out of fashion next year." My answer is always simple: that might be true of a lot of them but what isn't going away is the educational importance of connecting with other students on a consistent basis. The learning the process has to involve a method for stuents to read write connect and create.
"Because they will never learn how to write cursive if we let them use the computer for all their writing."
And, to go along with it, "they will never learn to spell if they have access to spell check"
good grief, how twisted has the education world gotten when we place more value on learning to write cursive than we do on meaningful, collaborative learning about actual subject matter.
"Technology will replace teachers in the classroom. We'll all be out of a job - you just put on a video or direct them to a website instead of having a teacher explain it." (I'm not making this up or exaggerating!)

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