Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.3

Before we get too far along in the month, I'd like to explain where I got the idea for this project. Or at least trace back to some of the seed ideas that led to it.

When you put your ideas an opinions out there into the world several times a week for 7+ years, you think hard about the way you use others' work based on the ways you hope others are using yours.

Most every blogger who participates in Poetry Friday is very mindful about getting permission to share another poet's whole poems, or else they post a part of a poem and link to another site (or the book) where the rest can be found. I've never been turned down when I emailed a poet to ask for permission to use a poem on our blog. All were thrilledto be asked.

Teachers and librarians have made it crystal clear to students that copying others' work is very very bad. And it is. We don't want them to copy others' homework or others' answers on math tests. But children overgeneralize our adult finger-shaking and believe that if they put a red umbrella in their story, then any other child in the class who puts a red umbrella in their story is copying, which is very very bad. Parody feels to children like it, too, should be illegal. It seems too much like copying.

And yet I see my students (taught, sometimes, to do this by other teachers) dragging images to their computer desktop to use without attribution in their projects...without a second thought about copying. It seems like it's just easier to ban all kinds of copying than it is to explore the fine lines of sharing and remixing ideas and to take the time to ask for permission or cite attribution.

With this project, I want to
  • raise awareness of the resources that are available and freely offered for use/reuse
  • model attribution etiquette
  • promote the spirit of creative collaboration
The graphic I created as the logo for this project? I found the image by doing a Google search of "Creative Commons," then I narrowed my search by choosing "Images," and then (MOST IMPORTANT STEP) I went up to the OPTIONS icon (looks like a grey gear at the top right of the page) and chose "Advanced Search." From there, I scrolled clear to the bottom and chose "Usage Rights --> (drop down) Free to Use or Share." The image I selected for my logo is in the Public Domain. I inserted it into a Word document, repeatedly typed the title of the project so that it would wrap around the image, played around with the fonts until I got it to look the way I wanted, took a screen shot and voila! My logo was born! I made something new by combining my ideas with the freely shared ideas of others.

Today, I'm thinking about this quote

"Welcome to a new world 
where collaboration rules."

which came from this video on the Creative Commons website: Wanna Work Together? (Go watch the video. I'll wait...)


1. Share ideas.
2. Create with joy.
3. Work together.
4. Don't destroy.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2013

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