Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Piloting D2L's ePortfolio system

We are in the very early stages of piloting Desire2Learn's new ePortfolio system. The University of Wisconsin System will be running the pilot in 2009 (and possibly 2010) with many UW campuses including UW-Madison participating.

I saw a very early demo of this system in 2006 or 2007 and came away with the impression that D2L had done its homework regarding the need for ePortfolios to be flexible, support reflection and feedback, and support the publishing of modern-looking public versions of individual online portfolios.

Thankfully, there is a lot of diverse and expert knowledge on campus regarding portfolios in learning and career development. I'm not sure what we'll find in the end, but I'm looking forward to this new journey.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Temple University's Media Education Lab posted this informative and easy-to-read brochure/article (PDF), Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. It is titled a bit towards those using popular media for media literacy education, but after a quick scan, I think it would be helpful for consumption by faculty and instructional staff.

The publication interestingly explains the difference between media in education and media literacy education:

Teachers have always used texts, now including audiovisual and digital material, to convey facts and information. From time to time, the school is also a venue for entertainment, as when a film is screened to reward the class. These activities, however, are not media literacy education. Rather than transforming the media material in question, they use that content for essentially the same purposes for which it originally was intended— to instruct or to entertain. In many or even
most cases, of course, these uses of media will not have significant copyright implications, either because the content in question has been licensed or because it is covered by one of the specific exemptions for teachers in Sections 110(1) and (2) of the Copyright Act (for “face-to-face” in the classroom and equivalent distance practices in distance education).

Teachers involved in media literacy education may, of course, sometimes make use of
licensed materials or take advantage of the provisions of Section 110. But this guide
addresses another set of issues: the transformative uses of copyright materials in media literacy education that can flourish only with a robust understanding of fair use.

Perhaps this resource is a bit lengthier than I would like, but really, is there anyone who can break down the fair use doctrine of copyright law in less than a few pages?