Choosing Legal Media for Your Work

As you may know, I co-teach (with Alan Ball) an afterschool Journalism club. Plagiarism is always a big concern with Journalism. And “our” journalists love to download photos and other work from the web. Lots of students also do this just for regular homework. As you may also know I live in Somerville, MA, the home of the Harry Potter Alliance that is under fire for appropriating some Harry Potter characters and film clips to critique Wal-mart.

So, in this remix-mashup culture, it’s important to find media you and your students *can* use. Creative Commons Search allows you to search Google, Yahoo!, Flickr, BlipTV, Spin Express, and OWLMusic Search for photos, videos, music and research with Creative Commons licenses. As you help students use these materials you create opportunities to teach them about Fair Use, which of course copyright holders tend to gloss over (or leave out altogether) in their “educational” materials.

Or here’s another source from Temple University for teaching about copyright and fair use.

Note: I gleaned this information from a presentation by The Good Play(tm) Project at Harvard and the Project New Media Literacies at MIT. The presentation was given at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, in New York City, March 26, 2008.

Early Easters….

Another interesting tidbit from Maureen Gilardi:

Have you realized how early Easter is this year? As you may have heard, Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare. Here’s the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!
Here are the facts: 1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!). 2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Get ready for Pi Day!

Friday is Pi Day! It’s pizza “pi”s for dinner chez nous. Then my daughter will have a chance to throw pies at her teachers–if she “pays” for the privilege with a correctly solved math problem plus 25 cents.

Find other fun activities here. You can also find links at last year’s Pi Day post.

I guess it should be no surprise that Albert Einstein was born on a mathematical date like Pi Day 1879.

Captions over the Internet During Phone Calls

(For our not-yet-existent “Exceptional Students” category…)…This is a press release that came over a special ed listserv, not our own original writing….

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.– March 5, 2008 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today released Sprint WebCapTel®, a new free web-based service that allows a person who can speak but has challenges hearing over the phone, to read word-for-word captions of their calls on a web browser. This new service is expected to help an estimated 23 million Americans with hearing loss, who may face challenges hearing over the telephone.

“We are always looking for ways to offer unique and easy user experiences for our customers. This new solution from Sprint will offer the hard-of-hearing community with the ability to enjoy the benefits of a natural phone conversation by accessing real-time web-based captions,” says Mike Ligas, director of Sprint Relay.

With Sprint WebCapTel®, users can make and receive calls on their own telephone, cell phone, land-line, or even an amplified phone. During the call, if they have difficulty hearing what is being said, they can log into  and read written captions of everything their caller speaks. Captions appear virtually at the same time as the person speaks, allowing users to enjoy a natural telephone conversation.

With this new service, CapTel® is available almost anywhere with a phone and internet access on a computer. Using any phone, even amplified phones, Sprint WebCapTel® will capture the audio of the person speaking to the user and change the spoken sounds into words to read. When displayed on a web browser, the user can change the font size, color, and even background. When a call is completed, the user can save the captioned conversation for later review, allowing the user to concentrate on being involved in the conversation.

“WebCapTel puts people with hearing loss back in control of their own telephone conversations – any time, anywhere – by capitalizing on the convenience and prevalence of the Internet,” states Robert Engelke, president of Ultratec, Inc., the company that developed CapTel technology. “It gives people with hearing loss the confidence to rely on the telephone again, leveling the playing field for professional opportunities, in social situations, and in matters of personal safety.”

This free service is available for Sprint customers anywhere in the United States and within US Territories. However, calls to or from international locations, such as Canada or Mexico, are not available. To learn more about this free service, visit .

Sprint has 17 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind or have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint’s experience in the field assures users of Sprint Relay receive quality service no matter what type of Relay service they are using. Relay service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or call length. For more information, visit

WebCapTel is an extension of Sprint’s existing CapTel® service, which also provides captions during phone calls, but requires a specialized telephone to display the captions.

Elena Krueger
147 Knight Lane
Williston VT 05495
Sprint Office VP 802-310-1956
Home Office VP 802-524-1811