Category Archives: Course 2

Finding Images & Creative Commons

Welcome to Week 2!

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings in “Week 2″ in Course 3 under “My Courses”
  • written 1 blog post and 1 comment
  • started using the “Course 3″ tab of your grading spreadsheet to record the work you’re doing
  • recording the URL of the post you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 3 tab
  • recording the URL of the comment you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 3 tab
  • had a read through of the final project for Course 3 – it’s a little different than Course 1 or 2 – with even more opportunities for exploring and experimenting with different types of media

The Power of Images

After exploring about visual literacy last week, you might be thinking about how to bring more images and media into your classroom. This fun TED talk gives an interesting insight into how we can influence the perception of a product through the presentation. As you’re watching, think about how we might be able to use some of these “lessons” to positively influence our students perceptions of our subjects or content area:

If you find yourself inspired to start using more visuals in your setting, here are a few tools you can use to explore Creative Commons media (for a refresher about Creative Commons check out Course 2 Week 3):

  • Compfight – my personal favourite  (but don’t forget to put the Creative Commons search on!)
  • Search Creative Commons – my second favourite (and you can see a tutorial on how Kim uses it in the Week 2 readings)
  • Pixabay – becoming a new favourite of mine (it’s free to sign up, but you don’t have to, and don’t forget to search creative commons)
  • Color Lab – this is great if you’re going for a color theme or a “mood”, particularly with a series of images
  • Google Advanced Image Search – perfect for those who prefer Google
  • 500px – not as much of a search engine, but a great way to be inspired by images – you might be surprised by what kinds of connections you can make with these beautiful images
  • Google Art Project – an amazing resource, particularly for those teaching Visual Art or Humanities
  • Find photos & links & cite automatically with the Research feature on Google Docs (video)
  • Chrome extension: Flickr CC Attribution Helper – also part of the tutorial in Week 2, the easy way to properly attribute Creative Commons images (FYI: the newest version of Flickr has “broken” the original version of this helper, but Alan has a newer one here – give it a try, but it’s certainly not required)

Creative Commons was updated to version 4.0. in November 2013.  It’s previous version hadn’t been updated since 2002.  Here’s an overview of the changes from The Atlantic, that occurred in 2013 and a more detailed description on the Creative Commons site.

Copyright, Ownership, and Creative Commons – A Reminder

Back in Course 2, we read and talked a lot about Creative Commons. First, it is awesome to see so many in this cohort already using (and attributing) Creative Commons (CC) licensed images in their blog posts.  It’s important to note that it is our expectation that all multimedia you are using in your posts and projects is either Creative Commons (CC), your own, or you have specific permission from the owner to use it.

To refresh our memories, CC is an alternative license that creators can use when publishing their work. This license gives up some of the rights usually associated with copyright – namely the need to ask for prior permission before using the work – so long as certain conditions are met. These conditions are usually some combination of the following:

  • Attribution (BY) – All CC licenses include attribution. Put simply, if you want to use the work, you must credit the creator and, if possible, link back to the original.
  • Non Commercial (NC) – Some CC licensed work allow you to use it without seeking prior permission only if it is for a non-commercial purpose. If you want to use it for a commercial purpose, you need to get permission.
  • No Derivatives (ND) – Some CC licensed work allow you to use it so long as you agree to not alter the work in any way. For images, this includes cropping the image and/or adding text over the top of the image.
  • Share Alike (SA) – Some CC licensed work allow you to remix and build upon the work so long as you promise to publish the work under the same conditions. I like to think of this as the ‘pay it forward’ nature of Creative Commons. A CC licensed work can be No Derivatives, or Share Alike, or neither, but not both.

Taken from Creative Commons infographic by Click for full image (CC BY SA)

Course 2 Comes to an End!

And that’s a wrap folks! December 17th is the last offical day of Course 2 – just in time for a welcome break into the New Year!  You’ve made it through two courses!  How do you feel?

By now you should have:

  • One blog post for each week of the course (5 posts)
  • One comment for each week of the course (for a total of 5 comments)
  • A Global Collaborative Final Project (embedded unit plan)/Reflective blog post (total of 6 posts)

Don’t forget to:

  • Reflect on your the global collaboration of your project
  • Copy and paste the correct URLs for your blog posts/comments on your gradesheet
  • Moderate any comments left for you on your blog posts
  • Complete our Mid-Course Feedback (so we can improve our instruction, know what is working and not working, and make sure the course is meeting your needs)
  • See below if you are completing CoETaIL for SUNY credit

I will be completing the final grading of all your gradesheets between now and December 24th.

SUNY Paperwork

Just one more reminder that if you are taking COETAIL for SUNY credit, your paperwork is due to SUNY by the end of this course (ie: this week). You need to have submitted your paperwork before the end of course 2 to receive credit for the 5-course program. If you have any questions about the process of your application, please write to SUNY directly at:
If you’re not taking COETAIL for SUNY credit, you don’t need to do anything!

Spammy Comments


CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

Several of you have reported that you are getting a message about a spammy comment when you try to leave a comment for a colleague.

As you can imagine, we have to have a pretty staunch Anti-Spam plugin for the CoETaIL site.

Unfortunately, it means from time to time you can get caught up in it!

Here’s a few things to know:

  • Overuse (and sometimes one time use) of capitals (like acronyms) are often pinged as a spam – try to avoid whenever you can
  • Leaving several comments at once or over a short space of time also gets you pinged as a spammer – lengthen the time between leaving comments
  • Sometimes, the Anti-Spam plugin decides it just doesn’t like your computer’s IP address that day!  – try again another day

If all else fails and you can’t leave that comment, just send it to me in an email (don’t forget to tell me who it’s for and what post it’s for) and I’ll post it for you manually.  Don’t forget to still add the details to your gradesheet and link to the blog post your commenting on – I’ll know all about it!

Peek Into the Future:


CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

Finally, if you haven’t heard, the Online 3 cohort (facilitated by Kim Cofino and myself) have just finished Course 5!
This End of Course 5 Post for Online 3, is worth checking out.
Not only are there some amazing projects, but it also gives you a great sense of what you are working towards in this course.


And on that note, I wish you all a very safe and relaxing break!

Some Highlights from Course 2

Image by HebiFot CC0 Public Domain

Image by HebiFot CC0 Public Domain

I’m enjoying reading all your posts and watching your blogging voices develop as we move through each week’s topic.

I’d like to share some posts from around the AIS-R cohort in case you missed them.

Great Reads (and Why)

Laurie has done a fabulous job of providing not just a lot of resources, but relevant resources to support the content of her post.  She makes some great personal connections, focusing on the positive and empowering her students in her post Watch Your Step

Private Eyes is a great story from Miriam and has an even greater message to share with students, while Googling Yourself has Allison making some powerful, personal connections between home and school.

Cheryl highlights the work of others that are influencing her thoughts in Tread Carefully and Dema doesn’t “hide her personality but filters it”, in her post Too Private or Not Too Private – That is the Question.

Sharing any kind of work with students is a firm favourite, as Bettina does, in her post Students Perspective on their Digital Footprint.

Connecting with your readers

Image by MacLac2000 – CC0 Public Domain

Although he’s not in our AIS-R Cohort, Chris is a cohort member of the Online5 community who are doing the CoETaIL courses the same time as we are.  I really like the way Chris is continuing conversations with his commenters via his blog A Hole in the Wall.  In particular, his blog post Digital Footprints The Genie is Out of the Bottle demonstrates quite clearly how he is doing this in a genuine and thoughtful manner.  He obviously believes you took the time to read his post, therefore commenting so he’s letting you know that he genuinely appreciates the time you’ve taken.

Noura left Chris a comment and then further comment in reply to his comment thereby making a connection and securing via twitter handles. Noura is also taking the time to connect with her commenters in her post I share Therefore I am.  Not only is connecting or continuing conversations with your commenters (especially if they share a resource, or ask you question) a polite thing to do, it’s considered good blogging etiquette.  It’s also good blogging etiquette to moderate any comments left you for as quickly as you can.  You can set up notifications so that you get an email every time someone leaves you a comment.  (It’s under Settings, Discussion).

Connections, networking and continued conversations become an integral part of Course 5 so I really encourage you to develop and foster these over the coming courses.

Where For Art Thou Creative Commons?

If we take into account a week off for October break, then technically this is ……..

Welcome to Week 4!

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings up to, and including “Week 3″ in Course 2 under “My Courses”
  • written 3 blog posts and 3 comments
  • continue recording the URL of the post you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 2 tab
  • continue recording the URL of the comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 2 tab
  • found and contacted a collaborative partner for your Course 2 final project
  • reviewed the feedback on your posts and comments in your grading spreadsheet

“Just because it’s there – does not mean you have the right to use it!”

from: Langwitches

As we head into the half-way point of Course 2 – we are now expecting everyone to use images that you have permission to use (using Creative Commons images is the best way to ensure that you have permission) and that all images are correctly attributed – at all times.  This also extends to Videos and Audio.   It is our ethical and moral responsibility to ensure that we are modeling appropriate use of images/audio/video with permissions and attributions.

Some of my favourite blog posts about Creative Commons, Copyright and Fair Use include

Jeff has created a short video demonstrating how to cite and embed images correctly in a blog post, if you’re not sure how to do this.

Below are links to my “go-to” places for Creative Commons images, audio and video. I also use my own images a lot (as I’m a keen photographer) but I still attribute myself.

  • Compfight (brilliant search engine of Flickr – remember to set to search for Creative Commons Only) – and I LOVE their attribution helper! Makes it so easy!
  • More recently I have been using Pixabay – using the Creative Commons filter. (You do have to sign up for a free account)
  • Jamendo (I use jamendo to find instrumental audio needed for all my movie projects)

The use of Video (especially embedding Video from YouTube) can be a little unclear at times. I’m keen to hear what you do when you use someone else’s video in your blog posts.

One of the Instructors from a previous Online CoETaIL Cohort shared his favourite places for sourcing Creative Commons images. Click here to go to Brandon’s blog post (well worth a few extra minutes of reading!) Kim has also shared in the past, some of her favourite places to source inspiration and Creative Commons images. Don’t forget to check out the links in the CoETaIL Diigo account for course 3 as well.  There’s some great resources in there too!

And if you prefer step by step instructions with screenshots (instead of a video tutorial) –
Here’s a link to a blog post that I wrote for my students – showing how and why we use compfight only for our Images.

A great number of you are already using creative commons images with attributions in your posts, which is fantastic! It is now an expectation that all blog posts will contain Creative Commons images/video/audio or multimedia that you have permission to use.  Each blog post should be aiming to meet the criteria of a 4 on the Blogging Rubric – each post needs to be enhanced by some sort of relevant multimedia – either an image, audio or video.

If you have any questions or queries – please don’t hesitate to ask – this can get confusing, I know! It is really important you and your students to understand why you just can’t reuse whatever you want when you are publishing on the internet.


Please share any tools/sites that you are using for creative commons images/audio and/or video in the comments!


Course 2 Final Project

Here are some tips:  (My fellow CoETaIL Instructor (Rebekah of Online 5) has done it again!  She’s been inside my head and “pinched” my thoughts again!  So what choice do I have, but to “pinch” her words AGAIN with a few tweeks for our Cohort)

  1. It must be a globally collaborative project.  You must work with people who are not at your school and we really prefer if they are COETAILers since they will understand what you are trying to achieve. (The Online5 cohort are also currently completing Course 2 and would be a great place to start making connections) However, given that we are a school cohort, you can work with a non-COETAILer who is happy to think about these things. Please me (Chrissy) to ensure that it is okay. Again, we prefer that you work with a small group of COETAILers, (2-3) so the more communication with me the better.  Please consider the global collaboration an enduring understanding when looking at the rubric.
  2. You have choices. As you look at the course outline you will see two suggestions and one option that says “propose small group project to the instructors of this course”.  Again, I would suggest you float ideas by me as soon as possible. (It must still be a globally collaborative project.)
  3. Use a Unit Planner.   Here’s the link you will need.  As AIS-R have their own planner, this is acceptable to use throughout the CoETaIL program instead of the CoETaIL UbD Planner.  Please make sure you include a learning plan no matter what planner you use.
  4. Your final project is group work, your blog is individual. Please share the work on your final project equally and remember to reflect on the entire process in your own final project/reflective blog post.
  5. Start early, communicate often. Find your teammate(s) quickly. Set up a Skype date or create a googledoc.  Start brainstorming as soon as possible. Feel free to email me if you have questions or ideas. Don’t wait until the last minute, especially when you have to take into consideration the fact that you might be working with someone who is on the other side of the world.
  6. The due date is December 17th. I used to be a classroom teacher so I know how stressful that time of the year is and it’s the day before Winter Break finally arrives! But you will not want to get an extension because then you’ll be blogging on holiday and no one really wants to do that. And to be honest, I don’t really want to be marking everybody’s work when I’m away camping with my family. I totally understand that December is crazy time of year. But the only way to make it manageable is to plan ahead and get a jump on your work. If you are truly struggling, or there is a family emergency, we will of course work with you to make it manageable. But please remember, communication is incredibly important.
  7. Have fun! This is a great excuse to get to know someone new, feel what a global collaboration looks like, and to try something different.

Course 2:

Welcome to Course 2!

The main focus of Course 2 is around privacy, safety and responsibility online.  We’ll explore the ideas of digital footprints, copyright, digital citizenship and the power of connections over the next six weeks and 4 days!  Again, the course will be divided into 5 themes for the first five weeks, and your sixth week will be time to catch up and complete your finished product.

Just like last course, you will need to complete:

  • 1 blog post per week for each of the 5 weeks of the course
  • Final project (see more details about the final project after the Week 1 readings)
  • 1 additional blog post reflection on your final project (and the final project embedded in the post)  – for a total of 6 posts
  • 1 comment per week for each of the 5 weeks of the course – for a total of 5 comments

All of these items should be documented on your grading spreadsheet – please use the Course 2 tab of your spreadsheet.

Final Project for Course 2


Usually it’s really easy to connect and collaborate with someone else doing CoETaIL outside of your school in Course 2 as the group is diverse (as well as online).  But this isn’t so easy this time since AIS-R cohort is all AIS-R teachers.

Course 2 is about beginning to make connections and beginning to work more globally so we do want you to try to globally connect with someone that you don’t already know personally. There is an Online5 cohort (blogroll here) doing course 2 at the same time as AIS-R that you might like to try and connect with.

Please try to connect with someone in Online5 first, but if that’s not successful or timely, then it is ok to connect and collaborate with another non-coetail educator (and/or someone you already know) as long as they are not at AIS-R.

Have You Checked the Rubric?

Rebekah, one of the fabulous instructors over at Online 5, must have read my mind last week! (And she’s now has saved me a tonne of time – (sending you some coetailer-love Rebekah!)

So now that you have your gotten your blogging feet wet, I want to draw your attention to the rubrics for commenting and blogging. We may have been more than fair in our grading of blogs and comments since everything was so new. And to be honest, I  feel like until you’ve had instruction or feedback, it isn’t quite fair to assess you on things you haven’t done before.  We have always used the rubric, but we may have let a couple things slide. But as we start course 2, we do want to emphasize the rubrics and let you know that we will be using them as we move forward in COETAIL and we don’t want you to be surprised if our expectations start to creep up.  Read more here ……

Her blog post is an excellent (aka MUST) read and she’s even created TWO videos talking about the Blogging Rubric and the Commenting Rubric.