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Innocently, We Are All Law Breakers: Copyrighting is Cramping Creativity.

10 Dec

After watching the documentary, RIP: A Remix Manifesto by Gaylor, and “Laws that Choke Creativity” by Lessig, it is clear that many of us have committed copyright infringement. According to copyright.gov, “copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner” (copyright.gov).

Have you downloaded music for free? Made a presentation with a song playing in the background? Video recorded your favorite musician at a live concert and uploaded it onto youtube? You may have committed copyright infringement. Many situations can be considered “fair use” but many can also be considered copyright infringement. According to copyright.gov, “The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined” (copyright.gov). There is a bit of a gray area when it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong.

The whole purpose of having the internet is to share. So why must copyright laws continue to cramp creativity? Disc Jockey’s are known for mashing up music. They put a spin on the old to make it exciting, catchy, and new. So yes maybe they are using songs from other artists, but they are making it their own with new beats, new transitions, and remixes. We take ideas from others on a daily basis. We read works of others and spread their ideas and mix them with our own. Yes, we have to properly cite our sources so we aren’t committing plagiarism, but I have a feeling, overtime, these copyright laws and plagiarism rules are going to have to give.

With the world revolving around the internet, we are constantly collaborating, sharing, taking, giving, and spreading ideas, news, facts, thoughts, images, video’s, and songs for the world to see. Our ideas are all intertwined with each other’s, it’s hard to say where they actually come from. Copyright infringement is happening constantly, and people are and will continue to get away with it. I can’t help but to think that we are only a few decades away from  many of the copyright laws, and plagiarism rules to disperse. Unless someone comes up with a crazy technology that automatically scans all work uploaded to the internet to catch for plagiarism and copyright infringement. A system like turnitin.com but much bigger and scanning more than just text. Now that will really be scary!

Personally, I think as long as someone else’s work is used respectively, share away!

 

 

 

 

Texting, Typing, and Carpal Tunnel, Oh My!

6 Dec

After watching, “As Real as Your Life” by M. Highland, it really made me think of all the people I know who are addicted to video games, my brother being one of them. Not only did it make me think of video game addicts, it made me think of how many of us are addicted to pretty much anything with a screen; TV, computers, cell phones, iPads, iPods, Nintendo DS, GPS, etc. Maybe “addicted” is a strong word, but we have a sense of dependency for these items, and at this point, we don’t know what it is like to be without them. The other day I left home without my cell phone. I began to think, what if I get lost and need my GPS? How will I check my emails throughout the day? My mom, dad, boyfriend, and best friend are going to think I fell of the face of the earth, have been kidnaped, or go into a car accident and died! Even though I was already 20 minutes away, the feeling of being without this piece of technology overwhelmed me, so I had to turn around. It is pathetic if you think about it, but it is the world we live in.

As much as technology has to offer, The more I type and text, I can’t help but to think it is going to have physical implications. The dependency and addictions teens and even adults have for cell phones and computers can have a negative effect. I am on my computer at least 3 hours a day for school purposes, I send at least 30 texts everyday day (which is very low compared to teens these days), and I Facebook, tweet, surf the web, and send e-mails from my phone. Over the past year, I have noticed that my pinky finger on my right hand is always curled up and I have a very hard time straightening it. When I type and text, it doesn’t reach the keys or play a part in the texting, so it does not serve a purpose, it just curls and cramps up. When ever I am typing for long periods of time, I get a bad cramping pain in my pinky finger. I am worried it could be an early sign of carpal tunnel. I googled carpal tunnel and technology and I found out that I am not alone. Teens have already been experiencing this issue due to the mass amount of texting. I read this article, “New Technology Causing Increased Risk for Carpal Tunnel”, and Dr. Sivia was quoted saying, “The repetitiveness of using a computer for typing as well as using text on your phone, that combination can increase your risk for stress issues or carpal tunnel syndrome.” (wpsdlocal6.com).

Carpal tunnel from texting! YIKES!

Carpal tunnel from texting! YIKES!

 

My awkward pinky! I should probably get that checked out!

My awkward pinky! I should probably get that checked out!

I am not suggesting that we boycott texting and typing, but I do think we need to be aware of these implications and make sure we are not using these technologies to an access. In the mean time, I am going to end this blog so I can stretch out my curled up pinky finger before it feels like it is going to fall off!

 

Do You Have an Overabundance of Ambient Awareness?

3 Dec

     This world of social networking (blogging, tweeting, facebooking) has me partially freaked out but also partially intrigued. I think these social networking sites can be powerful, insightful, and a way to build a sense of awareness by making connections that never existed before. These sites can be used in so many different ways, by so many different people, for various purposes. These social networking sites can be used for news, business, education, dating, events, fundraising, advertising, family, and let’s face it, stalking. It has its positives, but also produces negatives. The positives for me are keeping in touch with family and friends that live far away, watching my baby cousins grow from crawling babies, to walking and talking toddlers, to hip teenyboppers. It gives me this “ambient awareness” that Johnson talks about in his article, “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live.” But the negative part of this for me is that I find I have an overabundance of ambient awareness.

I notice this overabundance of ambient awareness when I see someone, face-to-face, that I haven’t seen in years. If this occurred in the past, prior to the existence of social networking, conversations would be flowing, news would be spilling, and congratulations or condolences would be spoken. Now, because of these social networking sites, the news is already known. The conversations quickly run stale. I already know “she” got engaged to her new “rock star” boyfriend from the picture of her 10 carat, princess cut diamond ring that effortlessly appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. I already know that she didn’t just gain weight, and in fact she is expecting her first child because of the 3D ultrasound picture she posted on twitter. I already know: her dog ran away from seeing her Facebook status, she is now vegetarian from clicking on the hyperlink to her nutritional blog, her grandfather died from seeing the date and time of his mass on her tweet, and the reason she is wearing a cast on her left foot is because she broke 3 metatarsals when her horse, Dolly, accidently stomped on her from seeing the picture she posted on Facebook. Although my rant is a bit exaggerated, these scenarios tend to be very true. I miss the genuine, “How are you?”, “What is new?”, “How is the family?” There is nothing left for verbal discussion. But who is to blame? People are going to continue facebooking, tweeting, and blogging, and yet we will still be curious to read what they have to share. So are we all nosey stalkers? Or are we all intellectual sponges eager to absorb information with a profound fondness for reading and writing?

Regardless of our reasons for sharing ourselves and information to the public, whether it is ”thick or thin”, “Let’s just say it’s communication, and communication is something human beings like to do.” (Attwood).  This new world of social networking may be changing the way we verbalize face-to-face, but communication is occurring more than ever, just in a different way, in a new writing space, which #connects us to each other like never before.

Blogs have Refashioned the Idea of Writing: Now Refashion Your Classroom by Incorporating Blogs!

21 Nov

After reading Bolter’s, “Introduction:Writing in the Late Age of Print”, it is clear that all new writing technologies refashion its predecessor. I am new to the world of blogging and I wanted to explore my own question on how blog’s refashion past writing technologies and how they can be incorporated into the classroom. My writing tools have evolved from pencil onto paper and then to the keyboard onto word processor and now my words spill out onto blogs. Blogging offers something different than other writing technologies; it offers collaboration which could be a monumental tool for the classroom.

Blogs are a collaboration of words, images, video, audio, and links which really give the reader an insight into what the writer is trying to share. Even though I once handwrote words onto paper along with hand drawn pictures (mainly crappy looking stick figures) and I still type into word processor and occasionally copy and paste a still image, blogging offers a much different experience. Rettberg explains this difference very well, “In most forms of print publishing, such as newspaper articles, novels, or poetry, the author is not in charge of the way the text will look. The text is written in a word processor (or on a typewriter, or by hand) and submitted to an editor who, usually with a staff of designers, determines the layout. Bloggers, on the other hand, choose their own template and often spend considerable time adjusting the way their blogs look and work.” (Rettberg’s, 4). Blogging gives authors more ownership over their meanings and intentions of style. It puts the author in more than just the role of the writer; the writer also becomes the designer.

What I like most about blogging is the social interaction. Blogging is like a healthy virus. It spreads all over. It “links” writer’s in so many ways. Research articles may reference an idea of another author through quotes or paraphrasing, but how often do we search for that other author? The author shares an idea of another author, but the connection stops there. I have never put a paper article down to search for works of that referenced author that the article mentioned, simply because the work of that author is not readily available. But when reading blogs with hyperlinks, it’s too tempting not to click on the link to see where it will take me. “Student blogging is powerful and stimulating and enriching. The online capacity to link-reference makes for a punchy way to write interconnectedly.” (www.guardian.co.uk). I don’t even think twice about clicking on wherever that writer is wanting to take me and when I click, I am introduced to a whole other site I probably would have never came across my own. The connection of ideas is genius. I think of blogging as a selfless act. The authors of blogs give credit to other authors, web designers, and a variety of other creators so effortlessly. It brings the idea of collaboration to its fullest capacity. Blogs have totally refashioned the static website.

In my future classroom, if I am teaching a higher level of elementary, I will definitely have a classroom blog for my students to participate and collaborate with me and their fellow classmates. I believe it makes the idea of writing and learning much more interesting and engaging for the students.  I think reluctant writers will become more involved and eager to write. The blogs can be used for many different purposes in the classroom; free writing, storytelling, researching, interactive lessons, informative videos, student collaboration with responding to other students, group projects, study tools, etc. It is also a great way to get the parents involved. Parents can view the collaborative classroom blog to see what their child is learning. It forms a learning community which is one of my goals as an educator; for everyone to have a sense of involvement and importance in the learning process. The student’s can become the designers not just the authors of their ideas. To combine words, images, audio, and visual for a well-rounded learning environment. Students learn in many different ways, some students are more visual learners whereas other students are more auditory learners. Blogs can help to differentiate the instruction for the many different types of learners.