Making Sense of Copyright – Collections III

I decided to do something a little different for this assignment (and may have bit off a little more than I was ready to chew). I struggled with how to make a timeline interesting. Then, it hit me; I wanted to try to make an animated video (kind of like the ones I watch on CrashCourse). I found a website called Animaker that offered a free version of their program. I thought it looked pretty cool, and I decided to give it a try.

I spent a very long time making this video. What made it even more difficult was that the free version only allows two minute videos. So, I knew fitting all the information in my head into this little video was going to be difficult.

I decided to focus on the historical events that I believe had the greatest importance and to focus on an audience that is looking for a brief introduction to copyright history (with a slight emphasis on the United States).

In the video, I mention the following events:

1557- The Stationers’ Charter I included this event because it was the first legal account of any form of copyright that I found. I also thought it was important to include because it had censorship origins.

1710- The Statute of Anne I included this because it was the first time a copyright was in the hands of the author, which is a pretty revolutionary change. If you read the wiki page, it also includes some information regarding the publishers’ involvement in passing this statute.

1783- An Act for the Encouragement of Literature and Genius  This was the first time copyright law had been passed in the U.S.

1787- The U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 This phrase is seen on many copyright websites. I thought it was important to include because this meant that copyrights were recognized by the U.S. as a whole.

1887- The Berne Convention I thought this event had importance because copyrights were being recognized internationally, which would have bigger implications for creators.

Today- I added a blurp about how laws have changed in attempts to keep up with modern technology. I thought that was important to include so someone new to the subject would understand that lawmakers have tried to take into account the changes in technology that has occurred between 1557 and 2017. 🙂

*When I viewed the video on Youtube via my computer, it was really jerky. I’m not sure if it exported poorly or if my computer/internet is on the fritz. I swear, all the transitions are super smooth when I view it on Animaker.

References and Resources


IP, Friend or Foe? – Collections III

Grappling with the idea of intellectual property was difficult. After reading the required readings, I realized intellectual property was much more complex than I thought it could be. I turned to CrashCourse for guidance. I watched all the videos in their Intellectual Property series in order to gain a deeper understanding of what intellectual property is.

After I started to understand intellectual property, I was able to form opinions on it and was able to see some pros and cons to various intellectual property laws such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

An obvious pro to intellectual property laws is that the inventors get revenue for their work, and monetary incentives are in place for innovation. Relationships between economics and intellectual property laws can be seen in the infographic below. Some also argue that works of the mind should be protected. If you are in agreement with this thought, then intellectual property laws protect the mind’s work. Another, not so obvious pro to intellectual property laws is that, in the case of trademarks, the consumer is protected. By using trademarks, consumers know what product they are buying and who they are buying it from—although, trademarks are usually less controversial than copyrights and patents. Lastly, patents clearly depict how an object is constructed, which can help individuals in the future.

One of the biggest concerns of intellectual property is that it creates a monopoly. These government enforced monopolies can last many decades, even surpassing the life of the inventor.  Many argue that this can hamper development and innovation. In addition, many inventors do not keep up with their copyrights and patents, leading to orphan works. These orphan works can lead to patent thickets that stifle innovation. Additionally, copyrights and patents can be awarded to works that are not revolutionary—instead being rewarded to works that are, at times, only slightly different than other works. This leads to a plethora of legal issues, and intellectual property laws have led to many lawsuits—with an average of 2,700 patent-infringement lawsuits per year.

Weighing the pros and cons, I believe intellectual property laws have an important role. I would agree that intellectual property laws give extrinsic motivation that could speed up innovation; of course, this is an opinion because finding numbers to back up or refute this claim are virtually impossible to accurately obtain. Personally, I believe the inventors/creators of the work should have monetary compensation for their work because they thought of the idea and made the effort to produce the work, instead of keeping it in their head. In this sense, I would agree that works of the mind (as long as they are tangibly produced) do deserve some legal protection. A portion of the current intellectual property laws that I disagree with is the length of copyrights. Having a copyright last 70 years past the death of the inventor seems excessive to me. At that point, I believe the monetary gain that the inventor (or their decedents) would be gaining may not justify the hamper that the copyright/patent may impose on future inventors. I believe it would be better if the inventors would have to reapply for renewal every X number of years in order to reduce the amount of orphan works, occurrences of patent thickets, and amount of time and money spent on lawsuits. I understand that in a way, I contradicted myself because I stated that I believe works of the mind could be property, and we wouldn’t take away someone’s physical property (such as a house) just because they’ve had it for X number of years. My point of view is difficult to explain because I do contradict myself. However, in cases like this (ones that effect a very large population), I believe a middle ground should exist, which often creates some contradictions.

I also think providing legal protection to works that vary only slightly from other works could create hampering conditions for future inventors. However, judging a work for its uniqueness and contribution to the world is difficult to do and would be up to the biased opinions of a few individuals—which is not ideal. Overall, intellectual property laws are a complex subject, and I do not believe there will ever be a perfect solution. However, I think reducing the length of current copyrights and patents, and requiring renewals, could help ease some of the common issues that individuals have with the current system.

References and Resources

Collections II

Digital Citizenship as I Know Now – Collections II

Exploring Digital Citizenship – Collections II

Bling Yer Blog – Collections II

Who to Follow – Collections II

Work Out Loud – Collections II

Make and Share I – Collections II

Make and Share II – Collections II

Think About Your Thinking I – Collections II

Think About Your Thinking II – Collections II

Search and Research – Collections II

Chapter 1 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 2 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 3 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 4 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 5 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 6 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 7 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 8 Reflection – Collections 2

Chapter 9 Reflection – Collections 2


Chapter 9 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 9: Conclusion” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies.

Excerpts and Reflections

“I’m encouraging you to take the ideas and the text of this book and to remix it. Apply this work to your own context!79

I have done this throughout my chapter reflections. I have applied Belshaw’s ideas to my past experiences and current situations. The chapter reflections have helped me apply this book and lock it into my memory. Some of the ideas that stand out are that texts can be many more things than just writings, the term digital literacy has many potential definitions/descriptions and the author should explain which form of digital literacy they are referring to, coding is writing and reading a machine language, and that creativity can involve using others’ work as a basis for your own.

“Memes are important because, although often short-lived, they evolve and express things that it may otherwise be difficult to say.”

I’m not sure if they necessarily say things that are difficult to say, but I think they present them in a way that is humorous and memorable. I also think they are important because they can shape our culture, instead of just being a reflection of it. For example, many people ‘talk in memes’ as I call it. They may respond to a situation by quoting memes. By doing this, they are incorporating memes into everyday conversations and blurring the line between online and offline culture.

Other Thoughts

At the beginning of this books, I wrote that I was concerned about the authors writing style. Luckily, the embellishment of the first chapter was not the norm. I feel like this book has helped me better understand a couple of the situations that I was having difficulties with. Mainly, it helped me understand that there is no one definition for digital literacy. I think that was the biggest thing I’ll take away from this reading.

Additional Resources

Chapter 8 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 8: Coding and the web” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies.

Excerpts and Reflections

“Coding means the ability to read and write a machine language.” “Coding means the ability to think computationally.”

I really like how simply Belshaw described coding. He worded it in simple terms that most people would find helpful, and I will probably use this description in the future.

“While I’d struggle to tell you how I learn best, there is one question that I’d always be able to answer enthusiastically: What would you like to learn next? The barrier between knowing what you want to learn and how to go about learning has, I would suggest, three main barriers:

Curriculum – the series of activities that build towards a learning goal
Credentials – the ability to show what you know
Community – the cohort of peers you feel you are part of, along with access to ‘experts’”

The only coding experience I have was from two courses I took in high school: web design and advanced web design. In those classes, we wrote in HTML to create websites. I thought it was a lot of fun and pretty easy, but I realize there’s many more ways to code nowadays and many things you can do with coding that I was never exposed to. Because I am planning on teaching a STEM course, I would really like to teach myself some coding, but I have been finding it difficult to know where to start. In other words, the major barrier that I am experiencing is the curriculum barrier. Sure, I could enroll in a college class and learn about it, but that option isn’t what I am looking for. I’m looking for an at-home teach-yourself option. While I’m here, I might as well say that if anyone has any suggestions for what I should learn or how to go about learning it, please leave a comment. J

“Many, if not most, ideas are improved by thinking in a cross-disciplinary way.”

I remember being a freshman and sophomore in college and complaining about having to take general education classes. As a science major, I remember thinking “Why do I have to take art, sociology, and history; it’s a total waste of my time.”  It wasn’t until my junior year that I started to realize why we need these out-of-discipline classes: it teaches us to think about things differently. It teaches us to approach situations from a new lens and become well-rounded. Although it is true that I have never used anything I learned from art or sociology in my biology related work, I have used that knowledge outside of work and school, such as when I visit art museums or reflect on my relationships with others. When you have a wider array of experiences, you can bring ideas and thoughts from those experiences to help solve a problem or create something new.

“Just as one has to learn how to ‘do school’, so we need to learn how to learn online before we can actually do so.”

I feel like this is a really good point. Online courses (I’m talking about the pre-packaged ones) usually consist of reading a passage, clinking on answers, taking an quiz, and moving on to the next section. Many students taking online classes such as these have told me outright that they don’t learn anything. I know one kid that was doing a math online class, and he told me he doesn’t know why he’s progressing because he’s not really learning anything; he went on to tell me that my “two-minute math lessons” (as he described them) helped him more than anything he’s doing on the computer. With experiences like these, it doesn’t give me much faith in pre-packaged online courses, but Belshaw raises a good point: we haven’t had them for that long. Because of their newness, we must learn how to best design and implement an online course, and that takes time and trial and error.

Additional Resources

Chapter 7 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 7: Remix: the heart of digital literacies” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies.

Excerpts and Reflections

“We’ve had hundreds of years to get to used to the analogue way of interacting with one another through texts. This is why we find it difficult to get used to the affordances of the digital realm; we attempt to use analogue metaphors for digital practices. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan used to say, “We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”53 Our default analogue approaches and ways of reasoning don’t translate very well.”

I think in some cases, our ‘default analogue approach’ would translate decently well. For example, ebooks are very similar to traditional print books. Yes, you may turn the page differently or read the words by different means (such as a Kindle), but you are essentially interacting with the ebook in a very similar way. I also think it’s human nature to relate new knowledge and experiences with previous ones. I think relating material to previous knowledge is an important stepping stone in understanding and cataloging information in your mind. There’s a reason why education classes tell you to relate the material to the students’ interests and previous experiences; there’s a reason why textbooks are full of metaphors and analogies—because the human mind looks for pattern and recognizes similarities and differences. It’s a valuable tool for learning a new skill or concept.

“If the digital world is fundamentally different to the analogue, then the skills, competencies, literacies, behaviours and attitudes required must differ too. We cannot just take those we learned offline and expect them to translate well online. Interacting within a social network offline, for example, is different from interacting with one online. There are different norms, behaviours, methods of expression and suchlike that those who are new to the network must learn and abide by if they are to be ‘successful’ in their interactions.”

I completely agree that offline interactions and online interactions can have drastically different expectations and norms. Something that I’ve noticed is that many students write as if they are sending a text (e.g. writing ur instead of your). Similarly, I have been in online situations where other individuals were using the text messaging shorthand, but I was still typing everything out fully. On a similar note, you may express an opinion or feeling at home that you would not express on an online social network. Learning these differences is important, and I feel like today’s youth could benefit from strengthening their skills in this area.

“Remixing, re-appropriation and riffing off other people’s work just seems to be part of what we do as human beings. Instead of that being hidden, as to some extent it was previously, this has been foregrounded as a positive thing in the web era.”

Before reading this chapter, I usually thought of creativity as having to be original. However, after reading Belshaw’s description of creativity, it makes sense that you don’t have to be completely original to be creative. I feel like I have never described myself as creative because I never felt like I truly made anything original because I was always influenced by others’ work. However, after considering Belshaw’s description, I feel like I have made some creative items throughout my life—an oddly profound thought.

Additional Resources

Chapter 6 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 6: Curiosity created the LOLcat” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies.

Excerpts and Reflections

“I want to argue that if we understand ‘writing’ as ‘creating’ then we should understand a ‘text’ as not just meaning the written word but any artefact created for the purposes of communication. This would make memes (quite rightly, in my opinion) legitimate texts to study and deconstruct.”

A previous chapter mentioned that a text can be much more than written words; it can be audio, a picture, or a video. Based on the previous chapter, a meme would easily fall into the text category. It is interesting to think that they are worthy of study—just because they aren’t anything like the typical literatures or works of art that are typically studied in a formal education setting. However, I have thought to myself before that memes really encapsulate a viewpoint or a normalized cultural reaction. Comparing memes throughout time and between cultures could reveal a lot about how a culture changes. Thinking of some of the first memes I saw back in my first year of high school (before anyone called them memes), they have changed a lot, but some still carry similar features.

“It expresses an emotion in a humorous way.”

My parents don’t quite understand memes. They have laughed at them plenty, but when I first introduced them to memes, they asked me what it was for, and I couldn’t think of an answer besides “it’s funny.” I like how simple and to the point this explanation of a meme is. I wish I could have been exposed to this description, or articulated my thoughts more eloquently, when they had asked me all those years ago.

“Interest in the Success Kid meme is slowly declining since its peak in February 2012, as evidenced by this Google Trends32 graph”

I had to include this expert because it never occurred to me that there would be trend graphs for things like Success Kid. Once I have a little more free time on the internet (my usage is extremely limited at the moment), I will have to explore trend graphs on Google more. They could be useful for determining the popularity of topics that are being talked about in the classroom and, of course, to look up fun stuff like Success Kid.

Additional Resources

Chapter 5 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 5: The essential elements of digital literacies” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. 

Excerpts and Reflections

“In a similar way that learning a new language can give individuals a new ‘lens’ to view the world, so having an understanding of various digital cultures and contexts can give people different lenses through which to navigate new and familiar spaces.”

When you understand how certain aspects of the world are made or function, you start to see the world in a new way. You start to see how the pieces fit together and interact with each other. Just like learning a new skill or trade, you are able to see the applications of that knowledge on a regular basis. Learning about new subjects and concepts can open your eyes to new views and ways of approaching the world as well. I wrote about this in a previous reflection, but it’s similar to broadening your understanding by taking a variety of general education classes instead of only taking classes in your discipline.

“As alluded to at the end of the previous section, having more tools (or ‘lenses’) allows individuals to enjoy and comprehend a greater slice of the digital world.”

This makes sense because when you understand how the pieces work, and you become familiar with how the whole functions. This allows you to operate new systems or navigate unfamiliar spaces because you understand how their pieces work. This would require a fairly high level of understanding, or mastery, of the pieces. However, once that is achieved, you would be able to use the digital world more efficiently and even create within the digital world.

“One example of the importance of the Cognitive element of digital literacies comes from the ubiquitous ‘software menu’. This is a concept that relies on branching logic, something that I’m fairly certain doesn’t exist in nature. You choose one option which leads to a series of sub- options. If you don’t want any of those options then you need to back-up to the previous menu.”

I have always been an organizer. I love to categorize and subdivide items and ideas. Maybe this is why menu systems have always made sense to me. Now that I’m thinking about it, my whole computer is organized similar to a menu system. I have two main folders that house items that are grouped together based on shared characteristics. For example, if I wanted to access the word document that I am writing this on, I would choose School>College and Cont. Education>Grad>Masters Classes>Summer 2017>ED 654 Digital Citizenship>Collections II>Book Assignments>Chapter Reflections>Reflections of Chapter 5. If I wanted to access the directions for this assignment, I would have to back up to the Chapter Reflections folder, which houses the directions for the reflections.

I’ve noticed that a lot of individuals (of various ages) have a difficult time navigating menus and grouping things into categories. As a teacher, perhaps teaching my students how to organize their binders or having them practice navigating through a classroom website that is organized very systematically could help improve their menu navigation skills.

“Hyperlinks allow documents to be non-linear. They allow the reader to be in control of the structure of what they read.”

This reminds me of a type of book that I used to read when I was in elementary school. Throughout the book, there were points where the reader could choose which option a character would take. An example of the choices given in the book could be something like the following: Charlie chooses to go with his mom to the store, turn to page 32, and Charlie chooses to stay home, turn to pay 34. I remember loving these types of books because it gave me some control over the story. I also loved to go back and see what would have happened if I chose the other option.

“In addition, multimedia objects such as videos can be texts. Audio can be a text. Anything that encodes experiences in a way that is packaged up and communicated to another can be a ‘text’.”

I’m glad the author said this because up to this point, a lot of the descriptions of digital literacies mentioned texts, and all that came to mind was writings—which made it difficult to understand the definitions of digital literacy. With this new, broader description of text, I believe I am starting to better understand the parallels and differences between ideas of traditional literacy and current ideas of digital literacy. To relate it to an excerpt above, I am starting to understand the pieces of digital literacy, perhaps one day, I’ll fully understand digital literacy.

Additional Resources

Chapter 4 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 4: Why existing models of digital literacy don’t work” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies.

Excerpts and Reflections

“In other words, the best way of learning hard skills (vocabulary, syntax, pronunciation) is constant practice within a relevant context.”

This statement really made sense to me. During my time student teaching, my mentor teacher and I noticed that the majority of students were having a very difficult time with the material (biology). We knew something wasn’t working. So, we decided to teach our class more like a language class.  We gave vocabulary assignments where students had to define words and provide examples of how those terms would relate to things they already knew. We gave weekly vocabulary quizzes that incorporated words that they had previously learned (so the students still had to remember all the previous words they had learned). During class, we would constantly use the correct terms and require the students to use the correct terms when answering questions or doing labs. Because students were constantly exposed to the vocabulary of the material (jargon), they were better able to understand the material which is naturally jargon heavy. By changing the style of the class, in this case changing the language that was used though out the class, students started getting better scores and gaining a deeper understanding.

“I think that the difference between sequentially-encoded and progressively-encoded images serves as a useful metaphor for learning digital literacies. Our tendency in education in general is to package-up blocks of learning on a linear pathway. The learner literally does not see the ‘big picture’ of learning — only what comes next. On the other hand, letting the learner roam, whilst providing just-in-time support, can lead to a much richer and more enjoyable experience. They can see how it all fits together, even if they haven’t got all of the detail and nuance just yet.”

Using his analogies, I think teaching sequentially is beneficial in some cases, but I also think teaching progressively has a time and place. For example, letting students see the big picture of some math courses and letting them explore until they need help probably isn’t the best way to go about a math class. However, there are some classes that can be naturally more explorative—such as a poetry class.

Overall, I think many classes could be more progressively sequenced, but the fact is that there are national and district standards that must be met and class sizes are often fairly large. Letting a class of 30+ teenagers ‘roam’ probably isn’t the best way to conduct the majority of classes. If class sizes were smaller and students were interested in the subject matter, I believe the progressive model would work quite well. However, in most public school systems, I think it would be difficult to implement totally. I think a more realistic way to incorporate explorative learning would be to pick a topic or two where the students had freedom to create a project of their choosing.

“As individuals can abstract from specific contexts they become more literate. So, in the digital domain, being able to navigate a menu system when it’s presented to you — even if you haven’t come across that exact example before — is a part of digital literacy.”

This was interesting because, so often, literacy is referred to as the ability to do a specific task or understand a specific topic. This statement says literacy is the ability to perform and apply skills/concepts into unfamiliar situations. This takes the old definition a step further and raises the level of thinking and processing that is required. This explanation of literacy, I feel, is much more fitting.

I think the ability to be able to abstract something from a specific context only really starts to happen after an individual has become extremely familiar with the specific skill/concept within a context or a few context areas. Making the leap from basic skill to applying that skill in a variety of contexts is a huge leap. I believe exposing an individual to a specific skill/concept in as many ways as possible, and as often as possible, is the only way to have a typical individual become literate with a skill/concept.

“What is often missing is the recognition of the multiple literacies needed to not only turn desire into action, but even to know what is obtainable.”

After reading the last excerpt, having multiple literacies, in a way, means having multiple masteries.

This statement reminds me of my organic chemistry class. Anyone who has taken general chemistry and organic chemistry knows that the two are quite different. In essence, you’re learning a whole different set of skills and thought processes in organic chemistry. As is typical of a college course, there’s a lot of material thrown at you in a very short amount of time. There’s a lot to process and try to remember. I know many have had the same experience as I did while sitting in o-chem lecture: not even knowing what questions I should ask when the teacher asks if there’s any questions. I was so unfamiliar with the concepts that I didn’t even know what was obtainable; I didn’t even know what I could ask. It takes a certain level of understanding (or mastery) to even ask questions. I wasn’t literate enough in o-chem to know what I could obtain, let alone put anything into action. First, I needed to gain understanding (literacy) in various concepts within o-chem.

Additional Resources

Chapter 3 Reflection – Collections 2

Reflection of “Chapter 3: Everything is ambiguous” of Doug Belshaw’s The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies.

Excerpts and Reflections

“It was 2009, and I was struggling to get to grips with the literature around digital literacy. It seemed somewhat disparate and not at all cohesive, despite authors using similar terminology. What one author meant by ‘digital’ wasn’t what another meant by the same term.”

When I read this, I felt like this is exactly the problem that I have been having. I’ve mentioned this in previous reflections—I was really hoping that the author would give a definition of the term because every time I read about digital literacy, it seemed like I wasn’t sure what the author was referring to. Thinking that the term may be ambiguous and have different meanings depending on the writing made a lot of sense. However, that means that as an author writing about digital literacy, you should give a background in order for the reader to understand their meaning of digital literacy—something that I haven’t come across too often while reading up on the subject.

“My breakthrough came when I gave up trying to come up with one overarching definition of a single ‘digital literacy’.”

 Reading this made me feel like this is probably what I need to do, too. If the term is that ambiguous, then I need to rely on context as much as I can in order to derive meaning from the texts that I read. It just becomes difficult when the author doesn’t really describe what they mean by the term. At least I’m not the only one that has these thoughts. Clearly, Belshaw struggled with the same issues that I am struggling with.

“I will argue in subsequent chapters that definitions of digital literacies are plural, context-dependent and need to be co-constructed to have power.”

Again, Belshaw is saying that the term is ambiguous and context driven—leaving the author to clarify what they are meaning when they use the term digital literacy. Even though Belshaw is claiming that it is the author’s responsibility to construct meaning of the term, I’m still hoping Belshaw provides some examples of what digital literacy could mean. Maybe it’s just my boxed-in thinking, but I would think that despite being ambiguous, there would still be a handful or so of common definitions used for digital literacy, and it would be nice if Belshaw would describe those common meanings. That way, when the reader encounters them in other text, it would be easier to use the context clues to derive meaning from the term.

Additional Resources