Quick 411

The blog section is mostly used, at this time at least, for peer reviews and drafts of projects. As classes complete, I’ll be hiding the draft/peer review posts. This means the blog section is pretty sparse, maybe even empty. Don’t worry it’s meant to be.

If you have questions or comments feel free to leave them here.


Not-So-Final Project

Digital Literacy
A not-so-final look at Digital Literacy, for the middle school set, done as a series of lessons that can be used individually or as a contained unit.

Digi-Citi Reflection

Tips for Future Students

DigiCiti Reflection

This is a slightly rambling reflection on Digital Citizenship.

I shortened Digital Citizenship to Digi-Citi, because I kept getting tongue-tied while recording.


Download a Transcript of the DigiCiti audio file.

Tips for Future Students

My Tips for future ED 654 students, done motivational poster style.

Don’t Panic – Johan LarssonCC BY 2.0
Coffee potCC0 1.0
Recording micCC0 1.0
BooksCC0 1.0
Hot air balloonsCC0 1.0

Collection IV


ADA & IDEA – an assignment in 3 acts.

Fire Away – 3 lingering questions about ADA & IDEA.

Grok/Korg: Small Group Projects – video chat about our experiences/results.

Trolls – a search and research on patent and copy trolls.

D’Arcy’s Make It Accessible – transcribing work to make it more accessible.

Valerie’s Participatory Citizenship – 3 tools to promote participatory citizenship.

Valerie’s Participatory Citizenship

Assignment: Find and describe 3 digital tools that can be used to promote participatory citizenship. For each tool, describe how it works, and then analyze if it works.


3 tools to promote civic particpation


Community PlanIt (https://www.communityplanit.org)

Community PlanIt provides a framing that allows planners to guide citizens through the narrative of the planning process, creating opportunities along the way for learning, civil conversation, and meaningful input. Community PlanIt not only builds trust between citizens and planners, but is itself a powerful data collection tool that allows you to meaningfully analyze citizen input and truly incorporate it into the planning. – GamificationWorldMap

Community PlanIt has been used by cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, and Detroit to encourage citizen participation in city planing projects. Places like Moldova and Bhutan have used the platform to address the issue of youth unemployment. In the case of Moldova, 29 different Causes were generated to address the issue and the United Nations Development Program donated real-world funds to the top three.

I think that Community PlanIt has already had an impact, both nationally and globally, and could continue to do so. The hardest part will be gaining buy-in from citizens–which can only be truly be done by proving that the opinions and causes that members generate are taken seriously by community leaders.


Givelocity (https://www.givelocity.com)

Givelocity is a democratic crowdfunding platform. Members pledge a monthly amount ($1 or more), and then vote for their causes. At the end of the month the charities with the most votes get the pool of money. Members can even setup neighborhoods, which are groups of people/organizations that pool their donations and vote on causes specific to the theme of the neighborhood–for instance wildlife conservation, or humanitarian efforts. Some of the charities that have won in the past include the Big Life Foundation, Habitat for Humanity International, Doctors Without Borders, and Opportunity Village.

To help ensure charities manage donors’ money well, Givelocity lists nonprofits with 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator and the winning causes are required to tell members how they’ll use their Givelocity funds. – Nextavenue/PBS

I think that Givelocity is a good idea. It allows people to donate a small amount monthly, which many people can justify budget-wise better than giving a single larger sum. For many of the charities listed, any and every little bit helps. So, even if they aren’t getting huge donations, it is still helpful. The only detraction I can see, is that your money goes to whatever charity had the majority vote–which may not be one you support in particular.


Loomio (https://www.loomio.org/)

The Loomio application lets members of a group offer proposals, discuss their merits, make changes, and register their feelings all along the way. By entering into this process in good faith, even large groups can steer towards outcomes that may not be perfect for everyone, but make the fewest people unhappy — and nobody too very upset. – Sharable

Loomio believes by promoting and facilitating effective, inclusive decision-making they can bring change on a global scale. The civic activist app came out of the General Assembly attitude of the Occupy movement, to address the issue of there being no easy way to make group decisions online–a problem that left the Occupy movement ultimately hampered.

The National Assembly for Whales, used Loomio to give more time to discuss issues, focus face-to-face committee meetings, and hear from a much more diverse citizen pool. OuiShare, “an international community focusing on the collaborative economy and open source,” uses Loomio to make decisions across their global community and document when those decisions are made. Other groups that have used Loomio include remote villages in India and community hospitals in Vietnam.

I think Loomio is an interesting tool. It seems to have made an impact in both local and global communities. The format of being able to vote yes, no, abstain, or to ban the proposal, gives a lot of flexibility. Voting can also be turned off so Loomio becomes more a forum for debate and discussion, without the distraction of which side is winning. I like that they have a free membership, because it could be potentially used to model debates or General Assembly style consensus/democracy in a classroom.


Points: 10/10

D’Arcy’s Make It Accessible

Task: An essential component of being a responsible and compassionate “digital citizen” (and educator) is making sure that your works are accessible to an audience whose abilities fall across the spectrum. For this assignment, go out of your way to make your materials more universally accessible.

Not-so-secret objective(s): To encourage you to think about accessibility and improve your skills for making materials more accessible.

Making my work more accessible

I added a text transcript of my Tree Campus UAF infographic.

I added a transcript of my audio Think About Thinking – Rich Reflections.

Points: 10/10

After our exploration of ADA and IDEA, the relevance of this exercise really strikes home. I asked as one of my 3 questions how accommodations effect elearning/distance ed. I think this is a great example of how an impairment can have an impact, and how an educator can accommodate for that.


When we studied IP, I was pretty disgusted with the idea of Patent Trolls. To me they seem to violate the central purpose of IP protection.
patent troll scams

Patent Trolls, also known as non-practicing entities, don’t actually create anything they hold patents for. Instead they make money by threatening litigation, and raking in licensing fees. Because court case can take a long time and be costly, many companies/people end up paying even when they believe the patent claims are false.

A good example of this abuse is Soverain Software, which filed and won suits against the like of Victoria’s Secret and Amazon. Soverain claimed, in around 50 suits against retailers, that they held 3 patents that were the basis of online shopping carts. Amazon was ordered to pay $40 million in 2005.

Fortuitously, Newegg was taken to court by Soverain, and rather than settle (or even pay the initial ruling of $2.5 million) they appealed and got Soverain’s claims overturned. This ruling, in 2013, eventually led to Soverain losing 27 of the 33 suits that were still active. In 2015, the last 6 cases were ruled not to have merit–essentially voiding any chance of Soverain from using their patents.

Not all cases of patent trolling end so well; and laws, such as the proposed Innovation Act, which would hopefully mitigate the negative effects of patent trolls on innovation are hotly debated.


Copyright Trolls

Copyright trolls are basically the same as patent trolls.

An interesting case that has come up recently is the case of Carol Highsmith, who is suing Getty Images for $1 billion. Getty Images has been licensing her public domain photos, and even sent Highsmith herself a letter demanding $120 for the use of a her own photo (of herself) on her website.

Getty Images says they are looking into the claim but also state that it is common practice for image libraries to offer access to public domain images, and is different than claiming copyright.

My problem with that statement is that they sent out letters demanding payment from people using the images, even ones that hadn’t gotten access to them from Getty Images. If not claiming copyright, then how can they justify their actions? What legal basis do they have to demand payment/threaten litigation for the use of public domain photos?

It will be interesting to see where the case goes. Even if Highsmith only wins half of her asked for damages, it could cripple the company.


See Also:

Electronic Frontier Foundation — Patent Trolls

Why patent trolls won’t give up

Patent Troll Lodsys Settles for Nothing to Avoid Trial

The Innovation Act: Debating How to Protect US Innovation

How Newegg crushed the “shopping cart” patent and saved online retail

“Shopping cart” patent beaten by Newegg comes back to court, loses again

“Shopping cart” patent troll shamelessly keeps litigating, and losing

Photographer Files $1 Billion Suit Against Getty for Licensing Her Public Domain Images

Daniel Morel Awarded $1.2M in Damages in Lawsuit Against AFP and Getty Images

[Getty Images] Statement regarding Highsmith claim


Fire Away

Questions I still have about ADA/IDEA.

1. The level of accommodation is much different post-secondary, how are we preparing students to deal with the shift should they plan on continuing their education after high school? I know that part of IEP planning is the transition to adulthood (i.e. leaving parental care/being responsible for themselves), but are students/parents made aware that IEPs don’t follow along into college; and what help/information are they given about navigating the process of getting accommodations?

2. With the shift from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act, will there be an update to IDEA (last modified in 2004)?

3. How does ADA/IDEA affect online learning? While I have a pretty good understanding of what accommodations look like in a face-to-face classroom, I am less sure about how they would translate to elearning/distance ed courses.


An assignment in three acts.

reasonable accommodation

    Act 1:

  1. What are ADA and IDEA?
  2. Who do they protect?
  3. Why are Title 2 and Section 504 important?
    Act 2:

  1. What are reasonable accommodations? What makes accommodations unreasonable?
  2. What are they called in education?
    Act 3:

  1. How do ADA & IDEA apply to your working life?


Grok/Korg: Small Group Projects

Heidi, Valerie, Tatiana, and I got together and compared our experiences, and results, from the Small Group Communication Factors project.