Category Archives: Conferences

4th Annual IEP Mini-Conference 2016

4th Annual IEP Mini-Conference 2016: “Keeping It Real”

Sponsored by Georgia TESOL and Cambridge University Press. Organized by the Georgia TESOL IEP Interest Section and representatives of four Georgia universities and English USA.
Georgia Tech Language

February 27, 2016

Dr. Jeannie Beard

1:00-1:50 Room F

Since You Are Staring at Your Phone Anyway . . .

As teachers, most of us have experienced the frustration that has come with 21st century technology in the classroom, primarily the issue of students staring at their phones during class time.

Some teachers address the problem by having students turn off their cell phones or mandate a strictly “no phone use” policy in their classrooms, some going so far as to have students deposit their phones in a basket when they walk through the door, while others shrug and give up the fight as many students just gaze down at their palms during the entire class.

It is true that people today are addicted to their phones, and while
this addiction admittedly can be very problematic, really these smart devices do put a world of opportunity at our fingertips. Why should our students waste time scrolling through Snapchat and Instagram pics, when they can be using their devices to learn?

In this presentation, I will offer some of the practical strategies I have used to incorporate these mini-computers into my classroom experience, giving students the opportunity to learn with their devices rather than just be distracted by them during class.

We will discuss useful apps, single class assignments, and long-term projects that use cell phones and discuss strategies for addressing the issue of smart phones in the classroom. Join me as we lament the bygone days when students had their eyes only on us, and explore the ways we can engage them even as they are staring at their phones!

Kahoot Quiz

Research: College Students More Distracted Than Ever

On Your Phone Presentation Handout

“Since You’re On It Anyway . . .” – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Useful Websites:

Campus Technology

Dr. Jeannie Beard


Log In for Kahoot

Haiku Deck


Breaking News English

Dr. Jeannie Beard’s YouTube Channel

University System of Georgia: Teaching & Learning Conference April 4-5, 2013

Video Essays: Engaging Students As Producers of Digital Texts

Athens, Georgia; Friday, 9:00-9:45; Room TU


I ask students to make video documentary essays in all of my writing classes, primarily Composition I & II. Usually the Video Documentary Assignment is given at the end of the semester as the final project that applies their research and rhetorical skills to digital media production. Students post their videos to YouTube and I then create playlists on my YouTube channel where the student videos for each semester are collected. Students are then required to comment on the videos from their classmates, but are given extra credit for commenting on videos produced in other sections of the same course.

In 2011, I designed a mixed-methods case study to examine how video documentary essays function as a form of multimodal composition in first-year composition courses and how these types of texts may enhance the teaching of traditional composition skills, as well as contribute to the academic and professional communication skills of students. In this session I will discuss my research and some of the more surprising conclusions that emerged from my study, Composing on the Screen: Student Perceptions of Traditional and Multimodal Composition.

Through this mixed methods case study, I was able to learn more about how students respond to the tasks of multimodal composition before, during and after the process of creating video documentaries for their first-year composition course. Through surveys, interviews and the analysis of reflection essays, I was able to put together a picture of how students compare multimodal and traditional composition, the frustrations they encounter when composing in various modes, and ascertain the value the participants place on both traditional and multimodal composition. I was also able to depict some of the positive and negative aspects of multimodal composition that the students themselves revealed through the various research instruments used.

I have used this study to capture a snapshot view of student experiences with multimodal composition as a means of furthering my own pedagogical strategies and contributing to the discussion of best practices in the use of student-produced videos in first-year composition. In this process, I have come to several realizations, the most significant of which can be summarized as follows:

  • Multimodal composition is difficult and many students are unfamiliar with the process. This lack of experience can often cause students to have anxiety or feel intimidated when they are asked to create videos in their composition classes.
  • Technical problems are probably the most frustrating aspects of multimodal composition for students, but access to technology is not as big of an issue as in times past.
  • Students view the skills acquired through multimodal composition as professionally valuable; however, they view the skills inherent to traditional composition as valuable in their academic lives.
  • Students are more engaged with their topics and have an enhanced sense of audience awareness, rhetorical purpose, and social agency with video production.


  1.   It is important to recognize the anxiety that composing new media texts can cause our students, and we must also acknowledge that our students will not always be as enthusiastic about creating new kinds of texts as we are about asking them to do so.
  2.    Most students now have easy access to the technology needed to compose multimodal texts; however, working with unfamiliar technology can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. It must also be acknowledged that often technology fails.
  3. In addition to planning ways to support our students, it is also important to ask them to think about how they might use their composition skills, regardless of whether we are asking them to write traditional academic essays or asking them to compose in new ways.
  4. If composing new kinds of texts challenges our students to see their topics and research in new and engaging ways, then we should be able to use new media assignments to inform the writing process and get our students excited about writing in a variety of ways.
  5. Multimodal composition can also be used to get students thinking about rhetorical choices and the multiple modes accessible to make meaning in our digital world.
  6.  When students work with multimedia, they learn time management and organizational skills and they also gain confidence when they successfully create new kinds of texts.
  7. Opening the composition classroom to multimodal composition, specifically in the form of video documentaries, gives students the opportunity to develop skills that let them participate in convergence culture and address issues that are important to them.

In the introduction to Convergence Culture, entitled, “Worship at the Alter of Convergence: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change,” Henry Jenkins states that media convergence is simply the flow of media content across mediums. For example, I can capture a movie clip off of YouTube, right-click and save pictures from Google Image, type up some quotes from my favorite author, take some of my own video footage, and combine all of this on the movie-making software that comes free on my laptop, presumably with the intention of making my own message, then upload the video to Facebook, a social networking site, where my friends can watch it from their smart phones: “Welcome to convergence culture, where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways” (Jenkins 2).

Jenkins highlights the social, political and economical impact that the culture of media convergence is having and will continue to have on the world in nearly all areas of existence. For the first time in history, consumers have the power to create and share the media that has been previously restricted to an elite group of media moguls and industry experts. He writes:

Consumers are learning how to use these different media technologies to bring the flow of media more fully under their control and to interact with other consumers . . . consumers are fighting for the right to participate more fully in their culture. (Jenkins 18)

This sense of “fighting for the right to participate” alludes to the possibilities that new media technologies offer our students (and the citizens of the world at large) to become more active, engaged citizens in all areas of their lives.

In 2006, Time magazine nominated “You” the “Person of the Year.” What better testament to the power of media convergence in the hands of the people than this tribute? More recently, in 2011, Time declared “The Protester” as “Person of the Year.” The protests seen worldwide in 2011 were largely fueled by new media outlets, particularly through social networks and the widespread self-reporting efforts of the protesters themselves as they took the responsibility of journalism into their own hands, quite literally, by wielding thousands of smart phones and recording the news as it happened, reporting it to the millions watching, supporting, and speculating what will happen next.

Without question, the age of media convergence has given a new sense of power to the people to participate in the culture of media, and as Jenkins again emphasizes, “Audiences, empowered by these new technologies, occupying a space at the intersection between old and new media, are demanding the right to participate within the culture” (24). Perhaps the potential for new media outlets to effect positive social change in our communities, schools, and global society as a whole should be considered the most significant driving force behind integrating multimodal composition into 21st century composition programs. In fact, empowering students to become agents of social change could possibly be one of our greatest responsibilities as both rhetors and compositionists within the realms of higher education.


  • Using multimodal assignments to engage students in their topics before they write and putting these types of assignments EARLY into the course
  • Using video assignments to teach writing strategies: ethos, pathos, logos; research and reliability of sources; intros and conclusions, organization, transitions, timing, length; tone and voice, presentation, formal vs. informal language
  • Scaffolding a large assignment so that all the weight of the assignment is not entirely on the final product, offering the opportunity to do videos as homework assignments, group projects or as other alternative assignments
  • Discussing media works and how the information is presented affects the argument and the message, thinking about when traditional writing is more or less effective and when using multiple modes is more appropriate


Student Success in Writing: 2013

Composing on the Screen: How Multimodal Composition Can Enhance the Teaching of Writing

Savannah, Georgia; February 8, 2013; Room 210; 1:40-2:40 PM

Below is the 19-minute video I created as an overview of my mixed-method case study of how students viewed the challenges of both traditional and multimodal composition in first-year writing programs. I did this teacher research for my dissertation, which I successfully defended in August of 2012.

The video I produced has several purposes, the most obvious being that it is a representation of the work I did for my dissertation; however, the process of making the video and the video itself is much more.

The video is also a representation of the 21st century academic video essay, an example of moving scholarship from the printed page to the screen. This video represents what I ask my students to produce when I ask them to compose multimodal texts in the form of video documentary essays.

I used basic software and internet applications to create this video, and I experienced many of the same challenges and frustrations that my own students experience when they make their videos in my class.

I spent hours planning, collecting media, editing, and tweaking my video until it was just perfect, or as perfect as  I could make it within my own limits and expectations.

And, like my students, I felt excited about my video after its completion, was eager to share it with others, and felt that it adequately expressed my ideas and the range and scope of my topic.

Like my students, I feel my video brought my topic to life, helped me connect with a larger audience, and allowed me to develop my problem solving and technical skills.

The video explains the premise of my dissertation, captures the key findings in my research, illuminates the possibilities that digital video production offers first-year composition students, and provides a creative and entertaining twist to an otherwise antiquated and dull genre, the traditional print-based dissertation.

Here in this video, you can see my diss in a little less than 20 minutes. And if this gets your attention, you can download the entire 286 pages here: Composing on the Screen: Student Perceptions of Traditional & Multimodal Composition. 

  • Enhanced sense of engagement with topics
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-expression
  • Builds community
  • Enhanced sense of audience & purpose
  • Teaches rhetorical concepts that can be transferred to traditional essays

Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy 2012

Copyright or Copy Wrong: Navigating Copyright and Fair Use in Student Video Assignments

9:45-11:00 a.m.   Room 212

This session will explore some of the theory behind the use of new media in
the classroom and will explore some of the challenges we face, particularly
in regards to copyright and Fair Use laws, when allowing our students to
become producers of their own digital texts.

New Media Scholarship

The New London Group: Multiliteracies;“A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures”

Henry Jenkins: Convergence Culture : Where Old and New Media Collide

  • Media Convergence
  • Participatory Culture
  • YouTube & Social Networks

Daniel Anderson: “Prosumer Approaches to New Media Composition

  • Consumer + Producer = Prosumer

Anne Wysocki et. al. : Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition

Cynthia Selfe et. al: Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers

Lights, Camera, Action: Navigating Copyright and Fair Use in Student Video Assignments




  • Encourage Students to Create Their Own Content
  • Explain and Explore Creative Commons, WikiMedia and Freeplay Music  and the like (Pretty Lights, NIN)
  • Collaborate with Resident Experts, Create Copyright Library Guides (Internet Archives, Prelinger Archives, YouTube Content, Government Archives)
  • DON’T PANIC: Know the rules and give y0ur students some breathing room

Graduate Research Network; Computers & Writing 2012

Jeannie Parker Beard

PhD Candidate, Georgia State University

Instructor of English, Kennesaw State University


Composing on the Screen: Comparing Traditional and Multimodal Composition in First-Year Writing Courses

The purpose of this mixed methods case study is to examine how video documentaries function as a form of multimodal composition in first-year composition courses and consider how these types of texts may enhance the teaching of traditional composition, as well as contribute to the academic and professional communication skills of students. The study is also designed to determine how students react to multimodal composition and how they view the positive as well as negative aspects of composing new kinds of texts in their first-year writing courses.  The field of composition and rhetoric has been to new media, as argued by Anne Wysocki in Writing New Media. When teachers carefully consider the role and function of multimodal composition in their classrooms, new media can be used to enhance the teaching of writing and communication, engage and empower students, and better prepare them for the challenges and possibilities of life in our rapidly changing digital age.

Overview of Findings

1) Initially Students:

  • Roughly 50% Expressed in Interest in Multimodal Composition/50% Had Little to No Interest
  • Many Participants Had Concerns About the Project

2) Students identified that traditional and multimodal composition are similar:

  • Organization and Research
  • Both Types of Texts Use Rhetoric to Persuade

3) However, participants also found that:

  • Traditional Composition is “Boring & Old Fashioned”
  • Multimodal Texts are More Rhetorically Effective/Interesting
  • Multimodal Composition is Seen as a Professional Skill
  • Traditional Composition is Seen as an Academic Skill

Conclusion: Multimodal Composition should be used early in the semester as to teach concepts about traditional composition and rhetoric.

4) Participants reported the following positive aspects of multimodal composition:

  • Access is Not an Issue
  • Participants Had an Enhanced Sense of Audience Awareness with their Multimodal Texts
  • Students Learn and Develop Skills (Time Management/Technology/Problem Solving/Self-Confidence)
  • Students Become More Engaged with their Topics
  • Personal Expression is Easier with Multimodal Composition
  • Social Activism is Possible with Multimodal Composition

5) Participants reported the following negative aspects of multimodal composition:

  • Learning New Technology is Frustrating and Time Consuming
  • Technical Issues Inevitably Arise (Computers Crash)
  • Negotiating Copyright and Fair Use Laws can be very Daunting & Frustrating

Conclusion: Students can gain much from multimodal composition; however, a strong support system should be in place in order to alleviate some of the anxiety, problems and frustrations associated with composing new media texts in first-year composition courses.

Student Success in Writing Conference: February 3, 2012

Composition for Change: Documentary Projects in First-Year Composition Courses

This presentation will review how students can create documentaries to reach a wide and real audience as they propose solutions to the most important issues of the day. The speaker will also address concerns with multimedia assignments, such as considerations of copyright and fair use as students navigate the right-click digital age.

Student Produced Documentaries in First-Year Composition

1) Multimodal Composition and the use of documentaries in first-year composition courses was the basis for the mixed methods case study I conducted last year as the subject of my dissertation.

In my study,  students reported that multimodal composition:

  • Allows for more engagement with topics
  • Creates a heightened sense of audience awareness and gives more purpose to their arguments
  • Presents the opportunity for more personal expression through textual, visual and aural outlets
  • Teaches time management, organization and research skills
  • Builds self-confidence in communication and technical skills
  • Provides a beneficial resource  for professional communication

2) The proposal documentary assignment:

  • Asks students to identify a local, regional, national or global problem and offer viable solutions that can be implemented by members of the community
  • Asks students to use similar research, organization and rhetorical skills used in traditional academic writing
  • Gives students an opportunity to add elements of visual and aural rhetoric into their understanding of persuasion
  • Allows students to become critical producers and consumers of media (Anderson)
  • Asks that students publish their work to the world via YouTube and opens the classroom to discussion about how their compositions can influence their community and society (critical teaching pedagogy)
  • Opens the writing classroom to the issues of copyright, Fair Use  and Creative Co Continue reading Student Success in Writing Conference: February 3, 2012

From Document to Documentary: Integrating Research and Information Literacy Through Librarian-Instructor Collaboration And Digital Media Projects

Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy

September 23-24, 2011

Georgia Coastal Center

Savannah, Georgia

Presentation by Jeannie Parker Beard

3:00-3:30 Room 1002

I am so happy to have the opportunity to present on the collaboration that took place between myself and the amazing library staff at Chattanooga State Community College last year.

Combining the Proposal Research Paper and the Proposal Documentary Project in my first-year composition courses with instruction from the library staff members at every phase of each project did the following:

  • Created a dynamic relationship between faculty, students, and librarians
  • Invited students to become familiar with the library resources
  • Allowed students to enhance their information literacy skills
  • Exposed students to principles of  visual and digital literacy

The Amazing Library Staff

Tisa Houck, Lori Warren and Pam Temple

  • Provided instruction both in the library and in the classroom
  • Offered students support throughout the entire process, including help with research and technology issues
  • Created in-depth Library Guides for each aspect of the project

The Research Paper

  • Proposal Argument, Critical Teaching in the 21st Century
  • Engaging Students as Community Citizens
  • Addressing Problems through Viable Solutions

The Documentary Project

“Student-Produced Multimedia Projects” by Jeannie Parker Beard

Student-Produced Multimedia Projects

This post will be dedicated to the work I am doing with multimedia projects in my composition classes. I have given multimedia assignments in most of my classes over the past several semesters. Even the students in my ENGL 0096 course seemed to benefit from the experience. I believe that adding a multimedia project assignment can be an exciting and engaging prospect in any course. Below you will find some theoretical support for this teaching practice as well information about the assignment and links to helpful resources. Much of what is provided here will be an excellent starting point for those who are interested in assigning multimedia projects in their own classes, regardless of the discipline.

About Me

Currently, I am working on my PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at Georgia State University. I have completed my coursework and will be taking my comprehensive exams this semester (spring 2010). The reading list for my exams is reflected in this annotated bibliography blog.

My primary focus is in digital and visual rhetoric, essentially the use of multimedia in the composition classroom. My seconary focus is in composition pedagogy, again with a concentration on technology and composition.  I will be researching student videos produced in my freshman composition courses for my dissertation. The tentative title is: Composing on the Screen: Student-Produced Multimedia Texts as an Extension of the Writing Process. I hope to demonstrate how composing multimedia texts allows students to apply and enhance the skills learned in their composition courses. I am seeking a permanent, tenure-track position that will allow me to continue my work in new media and composition studies.

Since I began teaching four years ago, I have incorporated student-produced multimedia assignments in my composition classes. In lieu of a traditional, academic paper, my students produce videos as a final project in my first-year composition courses. These videos are a culmination of the rhetorical skills they have honed throughout the course. By combining their own writing with music, images, and video, students are able to shift from being merely consumers of mass media to critical consumers AND producers of their own rhetorically driven multimedia texts.

Every semester I am surprised and impressed with their productions, and every semester we are faced with new obstacles and setbacks. Today I am going to discuss some of the theoretical foundations that support using video as academic text, outline the basics of the multimedia project that I assign (and its variations), and how I’ve attempted to address copyright issues that inevitably crop up with the use of new media in this way.


In his article, “Critical Theory and the Challenge of New Media,” Jay David Bolter outlines how the image has come into a dominant role in our culture of digital media. The Web has integrated the many media of the 20th century and is restructuring the way we read and view information. He writes, “In short, the World Wide Web and other new media challenge not only the form of the book, but also the representational power of the printed word” (21). Bolter examines some of the challenges of new media, explaining how print is still the preferred medium for critical theorists. Here Bolter challenges theorists to examine new media from a more inclusive rather than exclusive lens by using new media as the delivery method of their critical theory. He writes, “These new media forms are available to us as producers as well as consumers, and they are available as forms of production to cultural critics and academics in general” (23). Jay Bolter is validating new media as an extension of academic writing, and this is valuable in my research as I am attempting to show how student-produced new media texts are an extension of the writing process.

Gunther Kress, like Bolter, argues that we have shifted from an age of print to the age of the screen. In his book Literacy in the New Media Age, Kress begins with the statement, “It is no longer possible to think about literacy in isolation from a vast array of social, technological and economic factors” (1). He argues that there is a shift from the dominance of print-based communication, specifically in the form of print based literacy through the medium of the book, to the dominance of image in conjunction with text through the medium of the screen. Taking a sociolinguistic and semiotic approach, he theorizes how literacy is changing due to the multiple modes available in the contemporary world.

Another important text is the collection titled Multiliteracies: Literacy and the Design of Social Futures. This book is a must-have resource for educators who wish to move beyond the so-called “Three Rs” and tackle the challenges of 21st century education head on. The members of The New London contributed to this volume representing a diverse group of scholars devoted to the social, historical, economic, political, linguistic and semiotic views of how literacy is changing in the digital age.

The concept of multiliteracies takes into account the influence of mass media and electronic media on the way we produce and consume knowledge. From the introduction: “Meaning is made in ways that are increasingly multimodal—in which written-linguistic modes of meaning are part and parcel of visual, audio, and spatial patterns of meaning” (5).

In this text The New London group explains the concepts of what they call “fast capitalism” in our “post-Ford” area.  No longer will workers of the future be required to perform routine tasks in an assembly line, but rather they will be called upon to filter, assimilate and navigate through virtual worlds of information in the most effective ways possible. Essentially, we are preparing students for a much different workplace than the traditional pedagogies of the past account for. They write, “Students need also to develop the capacity to speak up, to negotiate, and to be able to engage critically with the conditions of their working lives” (13). Part of the new pedagogy of multiliteracies is the idea that we are designers, and that critical analysis and interpretation of the multiple modes of meaning can lead students to the “design of social futures” in their working lives, public lives, and personal lives. Students must know what resources are available to them, know how to use those resources in the semiotic process, and understand how resources are “produced and transformed through Designing”

In “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments,”  Dr. Mary Hocks writes, ““. . . new technologies simply require new definitions of what we consider writing” (630).  The discussion of the hybridity of new media is relevant to my research because it is important for me to validate my students’ videos as academic work. Their multimedia projects are time consuming, and they involve as much writing, research and editing as a traditional paper. In many ways, a multimedia text is much more complex and involves much more work. In most cases, the students become more engaged with their writing and research when they see it coming together visually and audibly. Hocks writes, “We need to recognize that these new media and the literacies they require are hybrid forms. Historical studies of writing technologies have demonstrated how all writing is hybrid—it is at once verbal, spatial, and visual. Acknowledging this hybridity means that the relationships among word and image, verbal texts and visual texts, ‘visual culture’ and ‘print culture’ are all dialogic relationships rather than binary opposites” (630-631).

The Assignment

Below you will find the details of the multimedia assignment that I give to my ENGL 1101 courses. These are the exact guidelines of the project as they are given to the students. The basic guidelines remain the same for the project, regardless of the course; however, some of  the project’s topic parameters do change according to the course subject matter. For example, a literature class project may be a book or movie review, a biography of an author, a critical analysis, or an overview of a time period, genre, or ideology.

Multimedia Project Final

ENGL 1101


You will be creating a multimedia production as the final project in this course.  These projects will be due the last day of class and should be appropriate for viewing in class. You will be taking a paper written for this class and converting it into a video using Windows Moviemaker or iMovie. You may also choose to use a different software program if you prefer.

You may work alone, or you may also choose to work in groups up to 4 members. If you choose to work in groups, you must coordinate within the group and delegate responsibilities accordingly. Every group member is required to participate and contribute equally to the project. You should decide as a group whose paper to convert into a video, or perhaps you will decide to collaborate and combine your paper topics to create a cohesive topic for your video. I am available to make suggestions and help you with your topics, and I will also provide some basic instruction in class on how to use the multimedia software.

Video Requirements:

  • Videos must be 5-7 minutes in length (no more than 10 minutes)
  • Video must contain all of the following: still pictures, video clips, student-produced writing in the form of text within the video, music from the site FreePlay Music (or music that does not infringe on copyright)
  • Video must present a clear thesis statement and show the development of a rhetorical argument, just as a traditional academic essay would
  • All source material must be cited in the credits or as the information is shown or given. All pictures used must fall under creative commons license and be given appropriate attribution. Any copyrighted materials appearing in the video (including the songs) must fall under fair use guidelines.
  • Video must be uploaded to  YouTube and a link must be emailed to the instructor no later than the due date
  • A hard copy of the video on CD as backup will be turned in on the due date
  • All videos must be contain content that is appropriate for class
  • If working in a group, all group members must turn in a group evaluation form that gives the following information: 1. State what each member contributed to the group 2. State the overall effectiveness of the group 3. State your overall opinion of the final product 4. State if you feel that everyone participated equally and explain why or why not 5. State your overall experience with producing a multimedia text

The evaluation is due on the due date and will be sent by email from each individual member.

Grade: Worth 100 points (10% of total grade in the course)

Does the video meet the requirements?

Does the video show accurate writing skills?

How effective is the editing, sound quality and overall appearance of the final product?

Do the groups report equal sharing of responsibility?


YouTube has proven to be an invaluable resource for this project. Last semester I discovered how to utilize the playlist feature to organize student videos by class, and they were then able to watch their classmates’ videos and leave comments for extra credit. I instructed them to be respectful, write in complete, correct sentences (a departure from the norm when it comes to YouTube comments!) and leave constructive feedback, commenting on both the strengths and weaknesses of their peers’ work. It was also obvious that many students were sharing their videos with others because after only a view days many of the videos had close to 100 views.

There are other sites where videos can be uploaded, but I prefer YouTube because I can organize the videos all in one place on my channel, and it’s a site that my students are usually already familiar with. I also use YouTube as a springboard for copyright discussions, and YouTube’s internal site has many valuable resources and tips for following copyright guidelines as well as tutorials on video production. It’s overall a great teaching tool when used to this end.

I really like the idea that although there is plenty of mindless silliness on YouTube, there is also a forum there for learning and sharing student work.

For anyone who is interested in using multimedia projects in this way, I encourage you to check out my YouTube channel where you can see videos I have made about the project and the playlists of student videos. The YouTube channel can be a great resource and starting point for organizing your own multimedia projects.

My YouTube Channel

Creative Commons

After initially going over the project’s details, I spend one class lecturing about the principles of copyright, the fair use test, and the Creative Commons license. I have put together a PowerPoint presentation using images under the Creative Commons license, and I also show a couple of the videos from the Creative Commons site. By using Creative Commons in my own presentations, students are able to see firsthand how to negotiate copyrighted materials, conduct the fair use test, and utilize the digital media that is available under Creative Commons. Students are able to see pictures found through a Creative Commons search, and we also spend time discussing the four-point fair use test. By giving attribution to each digital image or video used, students are able to understand how citing sources for multimedia sources is just as important as citing sources for their research papers. Because I emphasize the proper attribution of sources within their academic essays early in the semester, these concepts are easily transferred to their multimedia projects.

I do explain that it is okay to use copyrighted songs, as long as they do not use the entire song in the video. I also explain that if their video is pulled for copyright infringement, that they will either have to go through the dispute process or change their video to meet requirements. It is relatively simple to dispute a video as being for commentary or educational purposes, but students are warned that videos that have been disabled will not be graded. This usually results in students using original work, or using digital media that is properly attributed under the Creative Commons license.

At first students are disappointed that they will not be able to use their favorite songs in the videos; however, I emphasize that they are allowed to use copyrighted songs as long as they use them properly under the fair use guidelines. This requires students to consider the guidelines and make their own judgments accordingly. I also point students to sites where they can obtain music tracks that are under the Creative Commons license. The site is a good source for music tracks ranging from acoustic melodies to electronic beats. I continue to add to my resource list every semester. As can be seen in the student videos produced in the fall of 2009, students had enormous success using various digital media appropriately and with proper attribution.

Copyright issues are not going away any time soon, but they should not impede us from using digital media for creative and productive ends in our classrooms.

I believe the best way to address issues of copyright is to begin by incorporating fair use guidelines in our own work and presentations.

When students see their teachers using fair use and Creative Commons in our own work, they can learn by example. As such, I have begun implementing fair use guidelines and digital media under the Creative Commons license in my own presentations. Likewise, I emphasize fair use and copyright laws as a continuation of the discussion of plagiarism and proper citing of sources that is commonplace in the production of traditional academic essays.

Creative Commons Search Engine:

“How To”  Resources

How to Make Your Video Editing Easier

How to Make a Video Clip

Video Maker Training Workshops

YouTube: Making and Optimizing Your Videos

YouTube: Copyright

How to Capture Video from the Internet

How to Convert Videos

How to Take a Screenshot

Making Movies with Google Earth

How to Record Video in Google Earth

How to Use Audacity: Free Recording Software

How to Upload Video to YouTube

Resources for Digital Media

Fair Use Test

Freeplay Music

Copyright Free Image Archive

The Best Copyright-Free Photo Libraries

The Best Copyright-Free and Government Video Libraries

Internet Archive

Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons Search

Waiver Form

I require all of my students to sign a waiver form when doing this project. I also require them to have anyone that appears in their videos to sign a form. They must also inform participants that their voice/image will be published to YouTube. Students are also given guidelines about making ethical decisions regarding these matters.

Consent and Waiver Form


I hereby grant full permission for students and instructors at Dalton State College to prepare, use, reproduce, publish, distribute and exhibit my name, picture, portrait, likeness or voice, or any or all of them in or in connection with the production of a motion picture film, television tap or film recording, sound track recording, computer or network distributed computer file, or still photography in any manner for educational, treatment, scientific, publication, informational and any other professional purpose deemed necessary.

I hereby waive all right of privacy or compensation which I may have in connection with the use of my name, picture, portrait, likeness or voice, or any or all of them, in or in connection with said motion picture film, television tape or film recording, sound track recording, computer or network distributed computer file, or still photography and any use to which the same or any material therein may be put, applied or adapted by Dalton State College, and any of its agencies, i.e. schools, departments, or divisions.

This consent and waiver will not be made the basis of a future claim of any kind against Dalton State College and any of its agencies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and seal this______________ day of ___________________ , 20 _____ .

NAME: ____________________________________

ADDRESS: ________________________________


SIGNATURE OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN:* _________________________
*When minor is recorded or when otherwise justifiable.