The whirlwind and very eventful trip to London with our Performing Arts department is over. This is a little bittersweet, it is my final trip with one my favorite people at H-W. I am so grateful that for the past 10 years, I have been able to help my friends as they take their students to perform all over the world now. Anaheim, Chicago, San Francisco, and now, London. My friends, the instructors of the musical and vocal ensembles, and their students, are truly some of the most talented and inspiring individuals I have been lucky enough to know. I have never been so amazed and in awe of a wonderful group of people. This trip in particular, students and teachers, dug deep and just pushed themselves and just showed their commitment to the opportunity to perform in London. For example. after taking 2 days to get to London, our vocal ensembles, had to perform for the adjudicators cold. Everyone was in their plane clothes. They were standing on stage in Cadogan Hall in their sweatshirts and sweatpants, just giving it their all without ever stepping in the building and not having any real time to warm up and tired and dehydrated from the flight. Who does that? Well, our performing arts department and their students do! It was truly incredible. I heard the kids talking about how they felt they sounded awful but honestly, they are pros! I don't think the audience could really tell. I am so glad I was a part of what will be a very memorable trip.
Last weekend marked the end of another FTC season for my school. One of my team's was able to advance to the LA/SoCal Regionals, which is the 2nd time in our 3 years participating in the First Tech Challenge. I am so proud of my teams. They do not meet as often as other teams, they do not have a lot of mentors aside from Keith and my self and they do all the work from outreach to build to programming.
The challenge with having my students taking the lead is that sometimes, they forget their poster or other things. But, having them take responsibility for what needs to happen to prepare is better for them in the long run. Students look for leadership roles in their community and being a team captain for a non-athletic team is one option. It gives them
Copyright and fair use are topics that interest librarians. We are the people that teachers and students go to better understand the topic. In the last few years, as people share more and more content online in a variety of media forms, the issues of copyright and fair use has grown exponentially. When I started teaching and became a school librarian, the lines were more easily defined because nothing was really shared online. Students and teachers did not have blogs, there were not that many multimedia projects, and most teachers and students felt the concern over copyright only applied to print materials and research papers. (Of course, if a student worked in film, audio and other creative fields, there was more of an awareness of how copyright for creative works...)
However, things are not so clear now that we are in a sharing culture and we strive to teach students and teachers digital literacy skills.
Over the past few years, I wondered about how our school did not have a copyright policy in place. There were some mentions in the handbook but nothing really addressing the changing nature of educational projects and public access to those projects. I spoke with my boss and we started delving deeper into the topic, surveying other schools, researching online, and starting the conversation.
This year, we were able to include a copyright policy in next year's Faculty/Student handbook. For the handbook, we do not delve into detail about specific situations but having guidelines in place is important because it demonstrates that as a community we are striving to address the slippery slope that is copyright and fair use. It also emphasizes that the community should be aware of the issue and that copying and using content from others should be approached with care. In this process, we are building a libguide to address specific situations, similar to the UK's Copyright and Schools website. ( On a side note: There really needs to be a site like this for the United States. )