How to Haiku!

Presentations that work

I was recently asked to run a workshop on how to develop effective presentations. I had run this workshop last year, but of course, last year’s work needed updating, as so much changes so quickly that workshops from even last week seem out of date! Some things remain the same:

Of course, a lot of things have also changed; and one of the most important updates I made to my workshop was to introduce participants to Haiku Deck.

What is Haiku Deck?

Originally an iPad app, and now available on the web, with future plans for access on other platforms, Haiku Deck is a gorgeously simple slideshow creator, that enables the user to create presentations that easily meet all of the tips for presentations mentioned above.

The creators behind the app focus on three words: simple, beautiful and fun.

Click this image to view a simple Haiku Deck example.
Click this image to view a simple Haiku Deck example.

A ‘deck’ or presentation can be created in four easy steps, and the finished result can be shared on social media such as Twitter or Facebook, embedded on a blog, website or in a learning management system, emailed or opened in PowerPoint or Keynote for further editing (if necessary).

How to Haiku

The steps to create a deck are incredibly easy. The process described below is for the iPad app – but it is very similar using the web-based app, and extremely intuitive.

First, click the plus sign in the centre of the bottom of the screen to create a new deck.

Then, give your deck a name, and choose a theme. Don’t worry – if the theme doesn’t suit, you can always change it again at any time during the creation process.

The different themes run across the top of the iPad screen. Simply scroll through to choose your favourite.

2014-06-30_1109The deck creation process is determined by the four images you will see on the left hand side of the screen. These allow you to (from top to bottom) add text, add images, arrange your text and add notes.

Adding text is very simple, and the beauty of Haiku Deck is that it encourages you to keep the text to a minimum. Yes, they have made additions, to enable users to input dot points, or blocks of text, however the deck is most powerful when text is used sparingly.

One exception to this is using the block of text option  for quotes, which can be quite powerful when combined with the right image – see this example below:

quote eg

Choose from selected keywords, search with your own keywords or upload your own image!

Choose from selected keywords, search with your own keywords or upload your own image!

Choosing images is the fun part. Haiku deck cleverly identifies key words in the text on the slide, and automatically allows you to search a database of thousands of images using these words. You can also choose to search using your own key word, or upload your own image. The thing that really stands Haiku Deck apart from other presentation software is that if you choose a Creative Commons Licenced image (read more about this type of image here) it automatically includes the attribution on the slide – saving an enormous amount of time.

You can also choose from a range of pre-formatted charts, or choose a solid background colour (handy for those quote slides or for when you do need to include a lot of text). In addition, in the iPad app, you can purchase stock photography right from inside the app, with images costing $1.99 US.

Even if you are not wanting to create the entire slideshow in Haiku Deck this automatic attribution is powerful. Why not  create a deck of awesome pictures, complete with attribution in Haiku Deck, and then export the slides to PowerPoint or Keynote (say if you wanted to also embed movies, music or other features not currently a part of the Haiku Deck suite).

Choose to add a headline and subheading, or add dot points or a block of text.

Choose to add a headline and subheading, or add dot points or a block of text.

The third stage is to place the text. Here you have a number of options, which are useful for working around the image in order to best combine image and text. Although the options are somewhat limited (you can’t freely place text anywhere you wish on the slide, you must choose one of the set positions), this restriction actually frees the creator, as it enables the focus to be on simply word and image, and speeds the creation process.

The fourth step is optional, and is the addition of notes. You can make these notes either private, or you can publish them along with your slides, for sharing with others. This is a much valued addition to Haiku Deck, as it really enables the tool to be used for much longer or more complex presentations, and is a godsend for those of us who get nervous when speaking, and like to have a visual prompt!

When to Haiku

Haiku Deck has been designed to be used for any type of presentation, however it’s ease of use and the simplicity of the slide design lend itself particularly well to the following uses:

2014-07-01_12431. Prayer/Reflection/Meditation: when you want beautiful images and few words, nothing beats a Haiku Slide deck. Being based in Brisbane Catholic Education, many of our meetings and gatherings begin with a simple prayer or reflection; and often these are required at short notice. Even the most familiar prayer can be given new life when it is paired with amazing imagery.

2014-07-01_12422. Conference reviews: when you attend a conference, you hear many nuggets of wisdom. What better way to capture and share these, than by using Haiku Deck. When you return from the conference, and have an amazing looking presentation to share with colleagues, no one will know just how quick and easy it was to create!

There are so many other creative ways to use Haiku Deck; young students could easily create a deck for a show and tell item, use as a simple way of sharing visual instructions, create awesome looking flashcards to learn a foreign language, and then share the great holiday snaps upon return from said foreign location; the list is endless!

You can find many more exciting and wonderful applications for Haiku Deck on the Haiku Pinterest Page. Better still, share ways you have found to use this beautiful piece of technology in your classroom, library or beyond!

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Commons and Flickr – a solution found!

Flickr

I’ve written before about the amazing collection of Creative Commons images that are available on Flickr, which are perfect for students (and teachers!) to use when creating any sort of visual content.  It is so important that as educators we model the use of Creative Commons licenced materials, because even though we do have some flexibility in education due to various copyright exceptions, if students wish to publish their work publicly these exceptions do not apply.

You can read more about Creative Commons if you are new to this term on this previous post on the ResourceLink blog.

Unfortunately, the solution which is described in this earlier post, using Greasemonkey to access Creative Commons licence information came unstuck late last month, when Flickr updated their image pages, which ‘broke’ the script.

As Cory Doctorow writes in this article about this issue, having no easy access to this Creative Commons licence information is extremely frustrating; such a wonderful range of images, which are so very difficult to attribute puts users off, and certainly sent me off looking to other sources for images when I was putting together some presentations last week.

The solution Cory suggests, using the Attributr script available through Github is terrific, but not for the faint hearted. It isn’t easy to navigate Github and get the script working; in fact, after reading this Lifehackr article about Github, I decided to look elsewhere for a solution.

2014-04-14_1305_001

Thankfully, Alan Levine, the creator of the original Greasemonkey script that I blogged about earlier, has again come to the rescue! He also has used Github to create a bookmarklet, but the difference is he’s designed it in such a way that it is really easy to use.

Simply go to his page (click the screen grab image above to access it), click on the Bookmarklet button and drag it up to your bookmark toolbar.

Now, when you go to any page on Flickr which has a Creative Commons Licenced image on it, click on the bookmarklet button, and a window will pop up with all of the attribution information you need! Too easy!

It looks just like this:

This means once again it is so easy to attribute creative commons images found on Flickr – and this is thanks to the work of others sharing their scripts and work generously under a Creative Commons Licence which allows us all to benefit from their technical skills. So thank you Cory Dodt (even though I found your solution too complicated for me) and thank you Alan Levine (Work found at http://cogdogblog.com/flickr-cc-helper/ / CC BY-SA 3.0) and thank you also to all of the other creators who share their work via Open Source or under a Creative Commons licence; together we is bigger than me!


creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by opensourceway

Making Creative Commons Easier: Greasemonkey and Flickr Creative Commons Images

Update! The script is now working again thanks to the incredibly fast work of Alan Levine – thanks so much!

PLEASE NOTE!!

Yesterday Flickr changed their entire layout, and as a result this script does not work in Flickr’s current form. Alan Levine has told me that he needs to change this script again for this to work – I’ll keep you posted on progress…this article comments on the constantly changing nature of Web2.0.

Flickr has a huge collection of images which users have uploaded and shared under Creative Commons Licences. This means that the owners of the images have licenced the images to allow others to use them, as long as they follow the conditions of the licence. If you have never heard of Creative Commons, you can learn more about it here on our Copyright Copyleft wiki.

The easiest Creative Commons Licence to work with is Attribution,  which means that the image can be replicated, republished or remixed in any way, as long as the original creator is attributed as such. The Attribution licence looks like this:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

There are thousands of gorgeous images available on Flickr under this licence, and attributing images is fairly simple; Creative Commons explains the process in detail on their website.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by steren.giannini

Although the process is simple, in practise it requires quite a bit of flicking from one screen to another, copying and pasting information. Alan Levine, known for his CogDogBlog decided to do something about this – and created an amazing little Greasemonkey script that places all of the information you need to correctly attribute an image on the actual image page on Flickr – pretty cool, huh?

Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make changes to web page content.

Greasemonkey can be used for customizing page appearance, adding new functions to web pages (for example, embedding price comparisons within shopping sites), and numerous other purposes. In this case, we will be using a Greasemonkey script to alter the appearance of Flickr pages, so that the attribution information is available for each image.

Please note that this solution works most easily on the Firefox web browser. If you cannot use Firefox, it is possible to achieve similar results in other browsers, although the process is more complicated. For more information on this check out this PC World article.

A second caveat: if you try the process below on a school computer and it does not work, it may be that certain security settings have been established to block scripts from running. While some scripts are malicious, this script is not. Talk to your IT tech about making changes to allow this script to run. I have never run into this issue, however it may come up as each school sets up their security differently.

Below is a step by step process for installing Greasemonkey and the Flickr Creative Commons script onto your computer, for quick and easy Creative Commons attribution! Although the process seems long, you only need to do this once and it should continue to work forever. I’ve included the process as pdf to download, so that you can share it with others.

Download the PDF here

Once you’ve installed this script, each Flickr image page should have the following information available, ready for for you to either embed onto a web page, or to copy and paste wherever you use the image!

2013-05-14_0814
This is a closer look. These handy little windows of information will save you loads of time!
2013-05-14_0815

Creating Quality Presentations Part Two: Nuts and Bolts

 

nuts and bolts

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by Pot Noodle: http://flickr.com/photos/maggiew/6121970836/

Now the previous post has given you  an overview of the basics for creating a great presentation, the following information will focus on ‘how to’ actually produce it.

Choose your Tool

Your first decision when creating a presentation is deciding which tool best suits the purpose. The main players for presentations are PowerPoint (Windows), Keynote (Mac) and Prezi (Online).

PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi

There are also mobile apps that create presentations, which are useful if you are on the move.

PowerPoint is the best known application in this area. Superb presentations can be created using PowerPoint – Nancy Duarte has created an amazing example of just how far PowerPoint can be pushed, which can be viewed here. PowerPoint is easy to use, although it can sometimes be a little unreliable when embedding video, (more on this later) and many of its pre-designed themes and templates are less than appealing.

Keynote is only available to those operating on the Mac platform. It performs the same role as PowerPoint, however some argue its design is sleeker and it is known to be able to handle video and music files more capably than PowerPoint.

What is Prezi

Click the image to go to a Prezi presentation explaining Prezi in further detail.

Prezi is a relative newcomer, but it is growing in popularity. Prezi is online, and stores your presentations ‘in the cloud’, although for a modest subscription you can download a desktop editor, which allows you to work in an offline mode.

Prezi is not based on linear slides, but has an unlimited canvas, onto which you place your content. As you design your Prezi, you create a ‘path’ which directs the order in which this content is presented. Being a canvas, Prezi is terrific for creating non-linear presentations, as you can zoom in and out to view the big picture or focus on smaller details, and the design is not limited by slide size. A tutorial on getting started with Prezi  can be downloaded here. Click the image to view a brief Prezi on what Prezi is all about.

A beautiful mobile device presentation app is Haiku Deck. The focus of Haiku Deck is to create image based slides, with minimal text. Built into the app is a search of Creative Commons licenced images, and it automatically places the attribution onto the image, which is a huge time saver. If you have access to an iPad, it is worth exploring. Below is an example of a Haiku Deck slide.Haiku deck slide example

Start Creating

    • Slide Layout

Avoid using the standard templates, if at all possible. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, they are not original or memorable. As PowerPoint is used so commonly, the layouts will make your slides seem just like everyone else’s. Secondly, the templates provided encourage the creation of slideuments – encouraging headings and subheadings, dot points and even two columns of information on the one slide.

    • Colour Matters
Ishihara colour perception test

Example of an Ishihara color test plate. The numeral “74” should be clearly visible to viewers with normal color vision.

What looks amazing on the computer may not display as well when projected on a screen. The size and brightness of the room and strength of the projector can impact upon the colours, rendering some colour combinations unreadable. Another consideration is that approximately 8% of men suffer from colour-blindness (Victorian Department of Health and Safety,2013). Therefore the choice of background colour, text colour and the use of contrast are all important.

    • Finding Quality Images

The vast majority of images found through Google Images are copyrighted. When presenting to an audience, replicating images you do not have permission to use breaches copyright. Fortunately, there are a number of sources of images you can use, and these sources are growing.Creative Commons licenced images are an alternative to copyrighted images. Whereas copyright works on an all rights reserved model, Creative Commons licences allow the creator of the work to state which rights they choose to reserve (e.g. non-commercial indicates the creator reserves the right to prohibit commercial use of their creation). Images can also be labelled Public Domain, which means anyone is free to use them. These images are usually commonly used symbols, or images that have passed out of copyright.

A comprehensive explanation of Creative Commons, Public Domain and Copyright is available on the Copyright and Copyleft wiki.

If you have a budget for the presentation, you can purchase images from one of the many stock photo companies online. We have found iStockphoto to have an excellent range, and reasonably priced.

If you have no funds, don’t despair! There are many other excellent sources of creative commons licenced and free images and quality clipart.

Flickr Creative Commons – a huge range of photos all licenced to be used under various CC Licences.

Wikimedia Commons – a database of over 16 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

Clker  royalty free public domain clip art in vector format and in image PNG format. It also allows you to make simple edits to these images.

    • Inserting Video

Insert video optionsInserting video in PowerPoint can be problematic. PowerPoint offers three options for inserting video.

Inserting a video from file is essentially the same as inserting an image. You browse to where the file is located, and click insert. There are a number of caveats on this simple process.

a)   Keep the video file and the PowerPoint file in the same folder. The video is not embedded into the PowerPoint, it ‘links’ to it, so if you move the PowerPoint (say onto a data key to transport to the presentation location) and you don’t move the video file as well, the video will fail to load. Moving the entire folder with all linked files goes some way to resolving this (although it is good to test at the presentation location, as sometimes videos need to be ‘reinserted’).

b)  If you have a video stored as a file on your hard drive, you should either own this video or have permission to store it. Downloading YouTube videos without the permission of the creator is a breach of copyright.

Inserting a video from a website
can be problematic. There are multiple requests for assistance online from PowerPoint users for whom this process just simply doesn’t work. The process seems simple:

Step 1: Copy the embed code from the video you wish to include. Note you must choose the ‘old embed code’ option.
embedding YouTube: finding the embed code
Step 2: Paste into PowerPoint in the appropriate field under Insert Video from Website.

paste into powerpoint

This process has never worked successfully for us, on a range of different computers. The video appears as a black box that will not play, or there is an error which requires Adobe Flash to be updated (even when the latest version is installed).
Fortunately, there are two alternatives:

a) Hyperlink to the video

b) Use a third party plug-in such as AuthorStream

Hyperlinking to the video means you temporarily leave the presentation, and go to where the video is situated to view. This can be disruptive during a presentation, however it does mean you can link to any video on any website (YouTube, Vimeo, TeacherTube etc). You can also link to a video edited on SafeShare TV, so that all of the annoying ads are removed. A tutorial on how to hyperlink to Safeshare TV can be downloaded here.

A third party plug-in such as AuthorStream allows you to embed YouTube or Vimeo videos directly into the slideshow so that they can be seamlessly displayed as part of the presentation.

Download Authorstream and follow the directions to install. Once it is installed, in PowerPoint a new tab will appear on the ribbon at the top of the screen.

Embedding the video is simply a matter of pasting the video hyperlink (not the embed code) into the window, as below.

embedding video using AuthorStream

Please note that embedded videos require an internet connection to operate.

Embedding video from clipart is quite straight forward, however the limited range of videos available from clipart means this option is rarely chosen.        The videos available are generally classified as animations, and add little to formal presentations.

If you have many videos to embed, it may be easier to choose Prezi as your presentation tool. To embed video into Prezi, simply paste the link where you want the video to appear, and as long as you have an internet connection, the process is complete.

  • Fonts are important

Choice of font is essential if you wish to have readable slides. If at all possible, choose no more than two fonts; a headline font and a text font. Make use of bold and italic options if you need further differentiation.

Nancy Duarte explains font choice very well in her book, Slideology. Essentially, there are two types of fonts; serif and sans serif.
Serifs are the small strokes at the end of letters that aid readability – you can see them

example of serif font

Serif fonts are good for long chunks of text. San Serif fonts don’t have the serifs, and are

sans serif font example

Once you have selected the font, don’t make the mistake of keeping it too small. Even though it may be readable on the computer screen, once projected this may change. As a general rule, stick to 24pt and above, larger if you are presenting in a large room and some audience members may be seated far from the screen.

Choice of font does not have to be limited to those available in the application. There are several websites where you can download free fonts for maximum impact. Two excellent sites are

DaFont logofont squirrel logo

(click on the logos to go to the sites).

One thing to note if you are using downloaded fonts – they will only work on the computer where the fonts are installed. This is vital to know, as many presentations are created on one computer and transferred for presentation onto a different computer. If you know the presentation is going to be moved, it is best to stick to one of the pre-installed fonts, or save the presentation in PDF format, which will prevent the fonts from changing no matter what computer is being used.

Avoid the overuse of bullet points!

Slide19

Want to know more?

These two posts on creating presentations that work have drawn on the work of several experts in this area; Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds and Seth Godin. A full bibliography of references used is below for further reading and information.

5 Ways to Make PowerPoint Sing! (And Dance!). (n.d.). Duarte Blog. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://blog.duarte.com/2010/01/5-ways-to-make-powerpoint-sing-and-dance/

Department of Human Services, Victoria. (n.d.). Colour blindness. Better Health Channel. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Colour_blindness

Duarte, N. (2008). slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations (1st ed.). O’Reilly Media.

Godin, S. (2001, January 10). Really Bad PowerPoint: (and how to avoid it): Seth Godin: Amazon.com: Books. Do You Zoom Inc.

Hooker, D. (2012, March 25). Get Started with Prezi. Prezi Support. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from https://prezi.zendesk.com/entries/23448918-Get-Started-with-Prezi

Lessons from TED: 5 Simple Tweaks. (n.d.). Duarte Blog. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://blog.duarte.com/2009/02/lessons-from-ted-5-simple-tweaks/

Reynolds, G. (2011). Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (2nd ed.). New Riders.

Creating Quality Web Content – Tips and Strategies

Nowadays it is easy for everyone to publish to a world-wide audience. Blogs, wikis and simple drag and drop website creators  enable even the youngest students to have a voice online. This is a blessing and a curse!

When it comes to web content, students need to understand both sides of the coin – how to critically analyse and identify quality content, and also how to create and publish quality content. In addition, teachers are often encouraged to build a web presence – for professional development, as a means of communication with parents and community, or to share resources. Creating and publishing quality web content requires skills that don’t necessarily come naturally, and are not part of teacher training! Therefore this blog post aims to give a very simple introduction to basic tips and strategies for creating web content that is useable and accessible.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Paul Veugen

Design

Good design, driven by a clear purpose is key in successful web publishing. Design extends beyond visual design (although this is very important) and includes page layout, text design and accessibility (including navigation).

Visual design

Principles of Design

Used with permission from Paper Leaf Design

Web content that adheres to the elements of graphic design will always be more visually appealing and thus more likely to encourage users to spend more time on your site. This handy poster outlines the main principles of visual design (and you can download your own pdf or .eps copy free from the friendly designers at PaperLeaf.

Page Layout and Text Design

Page layout and text design work hand in hand. A clear page layout, with plenty of white space and well spaced text will enable users to find what they want quickly. Your most important information should be clearly visible and easily accessible. Any inclusion on a page should serve a purpose; in web design, as in fashion, it makes sense to follow Coco Chanel’s advice:

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

Users want to access your content to find information, to solve a problem or to connect with others. Anything that does not enhance or enable these actions is unnecessary and may even detract. This could be as simple as using too many fonts which confuses the reader.

A nice, simple article for further reading is Good Web Design is all About the User.

Accessibility

Accessibility is very important for all web content. It is the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities, as well as ensuring your web content renders correctly across all browsers and devices.  This includes making sure images have text equivalents so that people using text to speech readers know about the images, as well as having meaningfully named and highlighted links, and the ability to enlarge font sizes for readability. All of these considerations are important to enable access for all users. More information on accessibility is available on the World Wide Web Consortium pages.
This video is also a great summary:

Navigation

Navigation is how users find your all important content. Poor site design and navigation will frustrate users.  If users cannot find the page they are searching for, or get ‘lost’ and are unable to return easily to the home page, they may well never return.  Link titles should be brief, but descriptive, and take users where they expect to go. If a page does not contain the information that should logically be on that page, many people will just stop searching.

This terrific short video outlines key tips for effective navigation. Essentially, navigation should be:

  • compact
  • logical
  • clear
  • intuitive
  • fast
  • future proof and
  • compatible across devices and browsers

Communication

Of course, terrific design will only take you so far – users are accessing your site for the content. Janice (Ginny) Redish is a world renowned expert on writing content for the web. Letting go of the words by Ginny RedishShe sees communications on the web as a conversation – between the publisher and the user. Using this conversation analogy, the users strike up a conversation with you each time they come across your content. How do you communicate with them? Obviously in order to have a quality conversation, you need to know the who you are speaking with, and this is where knowing your audience is vital. Is your audience young or old? Are they technical, or are they more likely to be new to technology? What have they come to your site to obtain?

Meeting user’s needs is the number one goal, and the way you communicate your content is vitally important in this exchange. If the content is too complex, buried deeply within the site or is simply boring, users will quickly move on. Redish suggests using short, simple words wherever possible (readers are busy), keeping the tone ‘active’ (by using verbs) and conversational. Redish’s book, Letting Go of the Words, is a must read for anyone publishing to the web and wanting to improve their content. For employees of Brisbane Catholic Education, this title may be borrowed from the ResourceLink library. Some of her presentations are available on Slideshare.

Don’t Forget!

Copyright and Creative Commons

When you publish online, you are publishing to a world wide audience. Even if what you are publishing may be for educational purposes, you still need to be aware of copyright. Fortunately the number of images licenced under Creative Commons is growing exponentially, and it is also much easier in this digital age to contact owners of images to ask permission to use them. For example, the Principles of Design poster earlier in this post was not licenced under Creative Commons, but a quick message on Facebook requesting usage was responded to in a matter of days.

When using Creative Commons images, be sure to attribute the images correctly. It is best practice to place the attribution on the image or very close to it, so that users can immediately see how the image is licenced. You can find more easy to understand information about Copyright and Creative Commons on the ResourceLink wiki Copyright and Copyleft. You can also read how to attribute correctly on the Creative Commons website.

Sometimes, as in the case of YouTube videos and the infographic at the end of this post, an embed code is offered for those who wish to use the content on their own page. An embed code is like a more complex hyperlink – the content remains on the content-owner’s page, yet is also embedded and shows on your own site. Using embedded videos and graphics does not breach copyright, as the content is still residing on the owner’s site, and the code simply links to it. Embed codes are particularly useful when publishing to Learning Management Systems.

Creating web content is easy and fun. With planning and forethought, your web content can be highly useful, attractive and effective. The infographic below sums up everything you need to know.

Have fun creating!
What Makes Someone Leave A Website?
Source: What Makes Someone Leave A Website?

New addition to Copyright Copyleft Wiki

Many teachers and students have expressed their appreciation of the Copyright Copyleft wiki, as a ‘one stop shop’ for learning more about Copyright, Creative Commons, the Public Domain, Open Source, and how to find and access materials available for reuse online.

Recently we added an addition to this wiki, on the Acknowledging Creative Commons Materials page that we wanted to alert readers to.

Microsoft Office now has a plug in that allows users to automatically license their work in just one simple click.

The Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office enables you to embed a Creative Commons license into a document that you create using Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, or Microsoft Office Excel.  The add-in downloads the Creative Commons license you designate from the Creative Commons Web site and inserts it directly into your creative work.

In addition, there is  a very easy to follow how-to manual explaining how to download and install the plug-in, which you can  access here.

Once installed, the plug in simply appears as an additional tab on the Microsoft Office ‘ribbon’. When you click on the tab, the option to licence your work drops down. A connection to the internet is required in order to access the range of different licences, however once they have been selected, they are cached for future use.

Check it out on our Copyright Copyleft wiki today!

Copyright and Copyleft…read all about it!

The world of copyright can be a confusing and complex place…therefore ResourceLink has created a ‘one stop shop’ intended to provide educators and students with a simple to understand overview of Copyright, Creative Commons and other licences that exist, as well as resources to locate materials and information on how to correctly attribute these resources once they have been used.

The wiki is called Copyright and Copyleft.
Access it here, or by clicking on the image on the left hand side.

The site also provides access to printable posters, multimedia, learning objects and handouts collected from a variety of sources that can be reproduced (with correct attribution!) or used straight from the site.

The majority of the site has simply been curated from a wide variety of sites currently online – the aim of the site is to provide quick and easy access to the most useful materials.

The reason for this resource is clear; as technology continues to evolve at an ever-increasing pace, the area of copyright has moved into focus for all educators.

A ‘perfect storm’ has hit education – never before has it been so easy to reproduce images, music and text, and never before have students and teachers been able to publish to such a public audience – the entire world. Students and teachers can remix, reuse and repurpose materials in innumerable ways.

Whereas previously students may have displayed their work in the classroom,  they now publish to YouTube, to blogs, to their own websites…and therefore to audiences well beyond the classroom. Teachers also share their lessons and resources publicly, via their own blogs or through their personal learning networks on Twitter or Facebook.

This is  why education is in such an exciting space right now – however it also means that teachers and students need to be aware of the rights of the owners of works that they may be incorporating into their own works, and also need to know where they can access material that they are free to reuse and remix.

Using this resource, it is hoped that teachers and students will feel confident to navigate this area, empowered with knowledge that they can pass on to others.

If you wish to learn more about Copyright, Creative Commons or the Open Source and CopyLeft movements, the following websites will be of interest to you:

We hope you enjoy using this resource and find it useful – we’d love your feedback!