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Tuesday Tech Tip: Copyright Friendly Music

It’s May and that means end-of-the-year projects and assemblies!  Students and teachers are creating multimedia projects to share in the classroom, in the school, and with the world.  I wanted to pass along some good resources for copyright friendly music and project creation tools that have soundtracks built in.

From the FAQ on Soundzabound (abridged):

Q: Someone once told me that we can legally use 30 seconds of copyrighted music for our school projects or presentations. Is this true?

A: You may use 10% of a copyrighted piece of music for face-to-face instruction directly related to your course content. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

Q: I purchased a song legally from iTunes. Can I not use it in my video at school?

A: No. You purchased the song for home and personal use, not for public or educational use. You do not own the rights to the music; the copyright holder(s) own the rights to the material.

Q: What about for educational use?

A: The Fair Use Guidelines for Education were written in 1997 and have become antiquated by the digital age. Technology is moving too quickly, and the guidelines have not been re-visited in all these years.  It is best that 10% of the material used is for related course content, and conducted face-to-face in a classroom setting. By synchronizing with video, PowerPoint, pod-casting, broadcasting, or putting on a website, you are subjecting yourself to a lawsuit.

So what are a teacher and student to do?  There are a growing number of resources available that come with their own library of licensed tunes.  Use the entire song, use them for public performances, use them for broadcasting online, use them freely—permission is already granted!

Animoto and Photostory have their own built in libraries with hundreds of choices.

Websites like freeplaymusic, Incompetech, and ccmixter have thousands of songs with various lengths, themes, and styles.

Soundzabound is another great resource.  It’s available through BadgerLink.  Because the state purchased a license so that teachers and students can download all the music, you need to access it through BadgerLink.  Just going to soundzabound.com isn’t going to tell them you’re from Wisconsin.  Here’s how to get there.

DeForest home page >> For Students >> Student Learning Links >> BadgerLink (toward the top of the page) >> Soundzabound (under ECB VideoLink)


This week’s winner is Bill Porter who completed the TED-Ed flipped video!


Tuesday Tech Tip– Links by Staff

Today I’d like to share with you the work of others.

Fifteen of your colleagues recently finished the Viterbo course, “Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works” and have cultivated over 200 resources for a wide variety of uses in the classroom.  They are all available from our district website.

Here’s how to get there:

Need some ideas for collaboration? science? notetaking?  Click on the tag and you’ll see a multitude of resources.

I haven’t offered a drawing lately, so here’s today’s… How many resources are tagged “Assessment”?  Find one you’d like to add to your toolbox.  Send me an email with the number and the name of a resource before Friday to be entered in the drawing.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Japan/Earthquake Resources

I want to share two timely tools with you today.

I imagine students and teachers in most classrooms, in some way, are talking about Japan.  It’s a teachable moment–earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear reactors, relief organizations, engineering, the stock market, charity, satellite imagery, and more.  Here are two resources for understanding the scope of what’s happened.

Drawing: To be entered this week, please send an example of student work you’d like to showcase on the LISD blog.  You’re doing great things in the classroom–please share!

And just a reminder:  What do teachers make? A difference. Thank you for all you do.


Geogebra is free open source award-winning software for teaching and learning.  It contains graphics for algebra, geometry and spreadsheet–along with lessons, tutorials, and support materials.

Here’s the Getting Started document which shows you what the tool can do.

Check the wiki for teaching materials, lessons, tutorials, and support.

There’s no need to download anything… just click the Applet Start on this page.  If you want to download the program to get the desktop icon, contact Christine.

Evaluating Moodle Activities & Resources

I came across Moodle Tool Guide yesterday via Twitter (via moodleman) and although I am still digesting it, I like it. Thanks to Joyce Seitzinger, its creator.

All the commonly used Moodle activities are categorized/evaluated for how well they get the job done in these areas:

  • Information Transfer
  • Assess Learning
  • Communication & Interaction
  • Co-create Content
  • Meet Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

Giving Your Students a Voice

Over the summer I was able to attend the National Conference on Differentiated Instruction in Las Vegas. One session that I attended was a “show and tell” with websites that could potentially be useful in the classroom. It was here that I first learned of Voicethread, an collaboration site used for sharing pictures, videos, and ideas.

The capabilities of Voicethread are endless. Not only can students create material to post to Voicethread, they can also search the vast library and use what they find as an inspiration for writing, language development, learning about cultures, etc. They are able to comment through text, through voice recording, or through drawing on the screen.

I used Voicethread with my 7th graders when we were studying classroom objects. As a Spanish teacher, I am always looking for ways to get them to speak in the target language. Voicethread allowed them to comment on other projects by recording themselves saying sentences in Spanish. Each student created their own classroom (we used Classroom Architect, Google Sketchup, and Inspiration) and then they saved their creation as a JPEG. I assigned each student a login and password for Voicethread, and they were able to go into the website and upload their classroom. Then they shared their Voicethread with four other people in their group, and commented on each project.

Voicethread allowed me to hear them speak and see their writing, and for them to show me they knew what they were talking about by circling it on the screen. It provided students the opportunity to demonstrate the understanding of the words that they were learning at that time.

If you are interested in Voicethread, I would check out the website, and create an account for yourself first. Then surf around on the site to see what is there! Continue reading

January 19th: Everyday Math Tech

This morning we will take a QUICK look at some Everyday Math technology tools:

There is a ready spot for sharing on the J drive. Look under K-4 and Everyday Math Tech Tools.