Sunday, February 10, 2013

Where Can I Find Legal Music for Videos?

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by craigCloutier
As many of you already know, I am fan of Flickr's Creative Commons for finding images to use in blogs, websites, wikis, and other online spaces. I blogged about this resource earlier, "Need Photos for Your Blogs Posts."

Now, what about music? One locator is Creative Commons Legal Music for Videos. Of the sites Creative Commons lists, which have you used? What are your recommendations for locating music to use legally in videos?

Involving Parents in a Class Blog and Going Global

One of my favorite teacher bloggers, Kathleen Morris, a primary teacher in Victoria, Australia, created a blog post with advice on how to engage parents in a classroom blog.

For those of you thinking of creating a classroom blog to interact with parents, head over to Kathleen's post, A Guide to Involving Parents in A Classroom Blog. Hopefully, her advice will not only motivate you to get started, but also lead you down the path. Kathleen is an experienced blogging, so don't expect to follow all of her advice right away, but let us know which tips of hers you find most useful for a teacher just getting started with a classroom blog.

If you want to see Kathleen's class blog, you'll find it at: 4KM and 4KJ @ Leopold Primary School. There are plenty of blog posts, pictures, and links to explore and get ideas for your own class blog.  Kathleen loves comments, so feel free to leave some on one of her posts. Note this class blog is really the collaborative effort of two teachers, Mrs. Morris and Miss Jordan, both 4th grade teachers, and, of course, their students.

On the sidebar of 4KM and 4KJ @ Leopold Primary School. you'll find links to class blogs and individual student blogs. The students have made made global friends through blogging.

Mrs. Morris' and Miss Jordan's class have been participants in the QuadBlogging Project. Definitely look into the culmination of one of their Quad projects, The Tale Trail Project. In this project, the Australian students in the two classes collaborated with students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, BC Canada, and New Zealand to write a sequential story, which they illustrated, and then combined into one oral reading.

Image at The Tale Trail 

Amazing: Hearing Impaired and Deaf Students Connecting Globally

This morning, procrastinating about shoveling snow, I checked email, and saw an incoming tweet from a Connecticut teacher (Joyce Blum) who tweeted 80% of schools closed in Connecticut for Monday.

To verify the identity of this person, who tweeted a response to another teacher, whom I had already tweeted, which put my Twitter name in Joyce Blum's tweet out, I wanted to ensure the tweet was coming from someone in "the know."

Well, once I got to Joyce Blum's Twitter profile, I saw she was a high school teacher of English for the deaf and hard of hearing.

In her tweet stream, I found a link to a blog. Curious about the blog, I checked the link, and there I found myself exploring a neighborhood of blog posts from students around the world, all apparently hearing impaired or deaf. Not only are these students afforded an opportunity to communicate with the written word, which makes sense, but they are also making connections with peers globally and learning about these peers from all corners of the world. This exploration opened my mind once again to the power of blogging as an amazing tool for communication for a variety of purposes.

I invite you to take a few moments, or linger longer if you like, to see how this blog is unfolding. I am wondering what your reactions will be. The blog is at Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year. The number of schools throughout the world who have joined and the students who have contributed speak to the power of blogging to connect students in ways not easily possible just a decade ago. As I tweeted back to Joyce,

I also learned that she is using Edmodo as another communication tool.

She calls herself a "rookie," but she is already doing amazing things with technology tools to help her students express themselves and expand their literacy skills and global understandings. 

Well, back to shoveling, but blogging surely can draw us in, as we explore the world through the comforts of our own home. I am just amazed at how this teacher has used the medium of blogging to enhance students' literacy skills: including reading, writing, visualizing, connecting, and gaining world views. For students who cannot hear or have limited hearing abilities, the opportunities to explore blogging as a communication medium seem amazing. What do you think? What is your reaction to Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year blog?