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Digital Anxieties: Questions about Copyright, Fair Use, Privacy and More

Digital Anxieties: Questions about Copyright, Fair Use, Privacy and More

On October 24, 2011, The Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University is hosting an event, "Digital Anxieties: Questions about Copyright, Fair Use, Privacy and more." The speakers at the event inlcude Heidi Wachs, Director of IT Policy and Privacy Officer at the Office of Information Services (UIS), Sheila Zimmet, Senior Associate Vice President at the Office of Regulatory Affairs, and Dave Smith, University Information Office of Regulatory Affairs. This panel is designed to create a space for faculty members and graduate students at Georgetown to discuss the key issues of copyright, fair use, and privacy surrounding digital teaching, learning, and research practice at Georgetown. It was particularly aimed at creating a discussion for faculty members in the The Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLT) Fellowship program. In the program the fellows are working with CNDLS to integrate new media platforms, such as Wikis, Blogs, Dipity, and Omeka exhibition practice into their course design. However, as students gain more access to a variety of media online, copyright policies and citations are becoming more blurred  and difficult to understand within the academy. Just as an essay must include proper citations, a digital exhibit must be properly cited as well.

Dr. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, a TLT fellow and Adjunct Professor of Religious Art and Cultural History, Visual Culture Graduate Liberal Studies program at Georgetown, is having her undergraduate students in the Catholic Studies 118: Mary in the Catholic Imagination, use Omeka, an open-source web-publishing platform designed for displaying media from libraries, museum and archives, to create exhibits and timelines that feature the visualization of Mary on the GU campus. The class is divided into six groups focusing on various visualization of Mary: (1) Images of Mary in the GU Art Collection, (2) Mary on the GU Campus,  (3) Images of Mary in Medieval Books of Hours, (4) Mary in Illustrated Bibles, (5) Mary in 19th- Century American Books & Paintings, and (6) a timeline group consisting of images from all groups. This past Monday Rob Pongsajapan, assistant director of web projects at CNDLS, and myself lead a hands-on Omeka workshop with Diane's class at the Gerlardin Media Center. During the Workshop, each group uploaded their scanned images and photos they gathered, added preliminary metadata to each photo (e.g. Title, Photo, Date, Dimensions, Artist, Media Type), and practiced creating pages and sections for their final online exhibition. One potential "Digital Anxiety" related to the project is the musical audio element that the timeline group hopes to include with each historical period. Students cannot simply search "17th century" music on Youtube and use the audio -- they have to either pay copyrights, look for audio under "Creative Commons" lisence, or work with the Georgetown Symphony. Also, the students have to make sure they are citing each photo with the correct "Metadata."

Dr. Betsy Sigman, a TLT fellow, and Professor of the McDonough School of Businness, is teaching a a course called, Developing/Managing Databases (OPIM 257). In the course, Sigman's students are using Dipity to create interactive business timelines. For example, one of her students created a "History of IBM" timeline, that allows students to incorporate a photo, link, and description for each item on the timeline as well as the ability to "follow" the project like you would on a social media website (See Image Above). This interface allows users and students to interact with and understand the history of database collection using new media platforms. Another useful tool that Professor Sigman has found useful to her class, is Google+ and Google Docs. She found that Google+ circles were useful ways for students to share their project updates with fellow classmates.

The TLT projects are excellent examples of the way in which the Academy is adapting to the evolution of interactive media in the Digital Age. CNDLS hopes that the Digital Anxieties event will help claify the current rules and regulations involved with the media platforms I have discussed above. Here is more info about the Digital Anxieties panel. If you are interesting in following some of the projects, you can visit the TLT Team Blog for updates. I will be sure to follow up on the event next week.

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