Thursday, January 22, 2015

PDF's and Google Drive

I came across 10 Tips to Do More with Your PDF Files in Google Drive at the perfect time! I was working with a group of teachers yesterday who have some enormous PDF's they want to upload into Google Drive. We were trying to figure out how to break the file up so they could just use the pages that they really needed. PDF Split  is an app that does just that!

Many of the teachers in my district use Google Sites and they have the need to embed PDF's on them. If this is something you are interested in doing here is a short video that will walk you through the process.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Connecting Students with Soldiers

Lisa Hadenfeldt is an phenomenal English teacher in my district. She is always doing something fun and exciting with her freshman. During the next few weeks they are going to focus on letter writing and they would like to send their handwritten letters to those serving in the military. There is only one problem--she needs people to mail the letters to! If you have any friends, family, or former students who are currently serving in the military and you think they would like to receive a letter please send their mailing address to Lisa. They can be serving in the United States or overseas. They would like to mail their letters by the end of the month so please send her names and addresses ASAP!

Lisa’s email is

She is looking forward to hearing from you and her students are anxious to write their letters!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Curating versus Stealing

One of the biggest compliments we can give to someone is to share their work.  When someone writes a great post I share it on Twitter, post it on my Facebook wall, or share it out on Google+. Sometimes I even go old school and email it. I even have a dedicated page on my blog which called "Stolen Goods" where I share blogs that I think are valuable. I provide a very short description of the post then I link to the original post. I curate these resources so others can benefit from them. I am very clear that they are not my posts and that they are the intellectual property of others.

On New Year's Eve I noticed an exchange on Twitter between popular edublogger Richard Byrne and a couple of people about a blog that was recreating post that were stolen from him and other bloggers. The same conversation surfaced again last night and this morning on Twitter. While Richard is far from the only blogger impacted by this fraud I will use his blog as an example.

A few days ago Richard shared a post about how to create Jeopardy-type games using Google Spreadsheets. Educational Technology and Mobile learning soon published a very similar post the very next day. This is just one example out of dozens. There are other bloggers who have had their posts and ideas stolen from this "blogger."

The disclaimer on Educational Technology and Mobile learning says that "Some of the materials that are published in this blog are not our own property like for example some guides, posters and infographics. Again, all of these resources are properly referenced so that our readers can trace back their original creators." They also claim that, "If you are the owner of a resource featured in this blog and you decide, for a reason or another, that you do not want it to be featured here anymore or you want us to change the link to the credited source" they will remove it within 24 hours. NONE of that is true. Some of the bloggers who have called them out have been blocked. I can't find one example where attribution has been given to a blogger for their post. NOT ONE! To make matters even worse he has included a Creative Commons license at the bottom of his blog giving everyone the right to reuse and reshare all of the content on the blog that he does not own in the first place! He is a fraud and a phony.

There is a right way to share blogs and a wrong way. Sometimes we make honest mistakes because we don't know better. But other times there are people who think nothing of passing off work and ideas that do not belong to them. @medkh9 knows there are bloggers out there who do not want their work shared on his site yet he is still stealing their posts and providing absolutely no attribution or link to the original work.

What kind of example does this set for our students? What does this say about this person as a professional? They are stealing intellectual property from brilliant educators from around the globe while making it appear it is their own work. Their disclaimer is meaningless. You should not take entire posts even if you provide credit the author unless you have permission to do so.

Please let the world know you do not think this is OK! Melissa Techman is using the hashtag #whackamole to call him out.

Twitter: @medkh9 
Facebook is…/Educational-Tech…/202077286473233.

Please feel free to share any or all of this post---permission granted in advance.