Reflections

My State of Create 2018

It’s the end of the year as we know it … and I feel fine.

Well, I feel pretty good, or I do now that I’ve spent some time wrapping up projects and a few tasks this last week. I have been thinking back to the goals, projects, and initiatives I’ve been working on personally and professionally in 2018. Last week, the #HEdigID chat offered a space for reflection and review of 2018 goals and things we still might need to work on in 2019.  Taking time to pause and take stock is important. I like to do this at the end of each academic semester (e.g. student grades/data, course evaluations, and my own feedback forms for learning), and also to figure out what has been my priority over the course of the year as well.

For 2018, I thought it would be fun to compile some of my statistics of things I have been making, producing, and creating — that may or may not “count” for what I’ve accomplished. I know that some websites and platforms offer insights into the number of posts, comments on blogs, image likes, and more – but I wanted to figure out what I have been working on in a variety of communities, digital spaces, and efforts across a variety of spaces and places (both online and offline). It can’t be all photo collages of inspiration, selfies, and achievements — per my #bestnine2018 of Instagram. There are so many other things that go beyond the typical data metric of a social media “like” or favorite, so I thought it was time I collected and reviewed this information as well. Here’s a slice of what I’ve been making and creating this year in this infographic:

I think some of the doodles, edits, revisions, and reads don’t always get noted in a typical performance review — but it helps to give me some perspective as to where I have been spending my time outside of my role, research projects, and design work to understand what has been my focus and priority this year for creativity. It was interesting to see what has been my focus and it gives me an idea of what I can look back at if I decide to reflect again on these items in 2019. How has 2018 been creative for you? What sort of maker stats would you collect to share your innovations, ideas, and initiatives that are more creative? Let me know!

Open Education

Getting Started with Copyright, Fair Use, The Public Domain, and Creative Commons

There are no shortages of articles, resources, videos, and ideas found online to support our educational planning.  With the vast amount of ways to create and disseminate learning materials, it is critical to appropriately share, curate, remix, and adapt educational content. In open education, it is important to understand how to attribute and identify copyright, fair use, and intellectual property.

Flickr image c/o Langwitches

In gathering resources for my courses and to encourage appropriate attribution as my students to create, this is a quick overview and definitions of copyright, fair use, the public domain, and the creative commons.

Copyright

The Basics of Copyright 

[Video; 6:19 minutes]This is an introductory video in copyright law, specifically about how to share copyrighted material at work while still respecting the rights of the content creators. Will you require permission before using materials? Do you ask permission before using protected content?

This is an introductory video in copyright law, specifically about how to share copyrighted material at work while still respecting the rights of the content creators. Will you require permission before using materials? Do you ask permission before using protected content?

  • Copyright law applies to all works, including print, media, and electronic mediums
  • Protected: Books, magazines, online articles, songs, screens plays, choreography, art,  software, work, software, podcasts, and photos
  • Not Protected: Ideas, facts & data; government items
  • Know the facts about copyright, not the myths
  • Get permission if required (when in doubt get permission)
  • Just because you found it online, & it is publically available does not mean it is free to use
  • Not sure? Just ASK! Legal counsel at your workplace or an information professional (in the College of Information) or at the UNT Library for advice.
  • UNT Copyright Resources https://copyright.unt.edu/
  • CLEAR Copyright Guide for Instructors http://clear.unt.edu/copyright
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation: Teaching Copyright Resources 

Flickr image c/o Horia Valarn

Fair Use

Fair Use from copyright.gov:

“Fair Use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Section 107 of the Copyright Act provides the statutory framework for determining whether something is a fair use and identifies certain types of uses—such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research—as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use.”

Specifically, there are four requirements for fair use of materials:

    1. The purpose is for nonprofit, noncommercial educational use (typical cases).
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work is consistent with the proposed use.
    3. The amount and substantiality of the original work involved some small uses can be considered an infringement, that is, a small portion involves the core idea in the copyrighted work.
    4. The effect of using the copyrighted work is not likely to deprive the copyright holder of sales or market interest.

Public Domain

The “public domain” relates to creative materials or works that are not protected by intellectual property laws, including copyright, trademark, or patent laws. These materials are owned by the public, not an individual author, artist, or creator.  Public domain materials and work may be used without obtaining any permission; however, no one is permitted to claim ownership for it. More information about the Public Domain, “Collective Works,” and when copyright expires can be found at the Copyright & Fair Use Website via Stanford University and Teaching Copyright via the EFF.

 Creative Commons  

Wanna Work Together? from Creative Commons on VimeoCreative Commons copyright licenses and tools allow for content to be shared beyond the traditional “all rights reserved” setting and decide on the best form of attribution for their work. The goal is to refine how copyright works and allows content creators to CHOOSE if they want to retain copyright while letting others copy, distribute, and make use of part of their work. You can decide what the copyright is and how others may use your photo, music, or works. Creative Commons licenses provide:

everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.

To enhance your learning, training, and/or presentation materials, you may want to find creative commons and public domain images, videosmusic, or media. Certain websites, such as Flickr Creative Commons, even offer users content with specific attribution for use. There is even a Creative Commons Search to aggregate even more content to share, use and remix, including media, images, video, audio, music, photography, and web resources. Besides Flickr, there are a number of other helpful sites to locate Public Domain or Creative Commons images. Additionally, there are ways to attribute and provide CC by licenses via other online accounts including YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Archive.org, and your blog or website.

Want to learn more about Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources (OERs)? Check out UNT CLEAR‘s Creative Commons Guide and the UBC’s OER Accessibility Toolkit.

Consulting

Research Shorts In Plain English: Time, Tone, and Value

I have always been a fan of the Common Craft “In Plain English” series of videos that explain concepts like Social Media (circa 2008) or Wikis. Often these videos demonstrate, outline, or explain a complex/novel idea. The concept of explaining ideas or video “how to’s” is not a novel idea, and these are perpetuated today as we see explainer videos on Personalized Learning and Augmented Reality for education.

In thinking about the research and scholarship we do, how often do we share our ideas openly and “in plain English” for others to digest? I have always been a fan of the lol my thesis; however, I am more impressed by those who can meet the Three Minute Thesis challenge or have contributed to the Research in Plain English blog posts in the #phdchat community. One reason I am a fan of all of the above is pure and simple – knowledge sharing. These acts/events require scholars to summarize the “so what” of their research and it requires scholars to engage with an unfamiliar audience, who might not read it in an academic publication. The sharing of research goes beyond the SPARC and open access rights (self/ paid publications) and open dissertations from our early career scholars (Thanks for the post, Bon). We also need to think about others beyond our discipline, research area, and ask — what are the practical applications of our research we need to outline from our journal articles or conference proceedings?

A couple of months ago George Veletsianos shared a Profhacker blog post about how we are Using Video and Audio to Share Our Scholarship with The Social Media and Digital Research Group. I think we are trying to provide access, share information, and put the word out about our findings and implications. How else can some of these evidence-based ideas get put into practice? Right? The issue is — some of this “beyond the academic publication” does take a bit of work.

videoscribe

As I have been tasked with developing a these “Research Shorts” on our YouTube channel, I thought I would share my experiences in what I have learned from scripting and visualizing publications. Also, I promised Ian a response to his comment [so sorry for the delay — it’s been a busy semester for me]:

Awesome post. Really a lot to think about! I have nothing to add in terms of interesting ideas on how to share the research – yours are really interesting and inspiring! However, I did start to wonder about time and tone.
In terms of time – how much does all this take you? And is it valued by your institution? For those of us more junior and precarious than yourself, it’s really hard to strike the balance between getting our research heard, and getting permanent jobs.
In terms of tone – your research fits animation wonderfully. I wonder how different type of research might manage to use video or audio styles, e.g. sociology that deals with sensitive issues. Then you’d need to be a master animator – or be able to pay someone who was – not to come across as crass.

Time: It does take some time. I am the dedicated person to put together most of the scripts for the videos you see on the YouTube Channel. This has been my task since June 2016.  Forget the time put in for data collection, coding/analysis, and academic writing for the journal publication, showcasing your work in this way does take a bit of effort. I do have a full-time faculty appointment and projects of my own beyond this task, so I did my best to fit in these 8 videos and another 4 “in editing” where I could. There are other things to consider — review of the script and edits, visualizations to collect (images, edits, and then some), waiting for audio narration by an author, and the final edits and uploads. Once in the groove of developing the scripts, getting the audio narration, and visualizing in the Audioscribe tool we use, the average time equation goes like this for one single video:

  • 1-2 hour for scripting (key points and findings for the article) +
  • 30-60 minutes for narration and setting up CC licensed music +
  • 5-6 hours putting the animations/drawings to the narration (this may vary) +
  • 1-2hour reviewing/editing +
  • 1-2hour rendering to YouTube & adding the closed captions from the script
  • = 12-15 hours total per article [May vary per article, i.e. if I helped to research/author]

Tone: Thanks for the compliments for the animation to audio — I appreciate it! (This is why this part takes the most time). This step varies by article topic. I used to draw storyboards at the beginning of this process, but once I became familiar with the VideoScribe platform functionality and repository of visuals — I just designed animations via the script. There are animations and images for different disciplines, including business, political science, journalism, natural sciences, etc. That being said, the free images are limited and you might have to search for other Creative Commons resources to add to the video. There are a number of drawings or animations available for free — no hiring of artist needed! It will require some solid search skills and a dash of creativity for “HOW” you want your audio narrative to be visualized.

Value: You asked about institutional value. Good question. The above does take some additional time and effort. I believe this dissemination of visualized research was actually written into a grant and/or our research project (George can verify). This premise is to widely share these research findings and evidence-based strategies to the scholarly community and practitioners in education. Sharing on YouTube offers additional optimization for reach, SEO, and tracking for views/shares + embedding into websites and blog posts. Also, the visual and narrated audio contextualizes the research, outlines the research questions, shares the study findings, and provides implications in a rich, multi-media format beyond the traditional text.

In drafting a short narrative for each academic journal article, I have put some thought into what goes into my script writing. Condensing a long-form publication into a 2-4 minute script is a fun and challenging task. It has forced me to think about my own research questions, identifying specific goals for implications, and to consider how I present “academic speak” or work to a broader audience. I want to make sure my research is understood, accessible and applied. This video/audio/scripting practice has made me think about my how I disseminate research while I’m in the thick of data collection, drafting articles, and sharing final products/findings.  I have used this summary format within my own research teams and I continue to support other early career scholars (in class or on a dissertation committee) about finding “the point” for empirical literature.

What would it take for you to offer a “research short” video, image, or snapshot of your scholarly work? If you are interested in animating your research, your project, or highlighting your work, please feel free to reach out to me to inquire. I have continued to support clients for the Research Shorts YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/researchshorts) and other colleagues. Thanks!